By  on November 30, 2006

Women's apparel this fall has been all about knits, dresses and — to spice it up — knit dresses. Those trends continue into holiday, adding festive red and velour into the mix. Retailers weigh in on some of their hottest sellers so far for Christmas and the fall season in the contemporary, better and moderate markets.1. J. CrewHoliday hit: The dress business, particularly through the mini "little black dress shop" site on $98 to $325 Fall hit: Cashmere is the magic fabric, whether it comes in the form of a long-sleeved T-shirt or hoodie (shown). Price: $1682. Ann TaylorFall hit: Even suits morphed into dresses this season, as seen in this pebble crepe wool sheath and jacket combo (shown).Price: Dress, $148; jacket, $218.3. TalbotsHoliday hit: Velour knit separates, particularly in red for the season, fit the Talbots' customer penchant for comfort.Price: Jacket, $78; pants, $68.Fall hit: Knits with embellishment around the neckline, like this V-neck version with rhinestones (shown). Price: $384. Kenneth Cole New YorkHoliday hit: Combining both of this season's hottest trends, Kenneth Cole's newly upgraded New York line scored with its air-spun cashmere dress (shown).Price: $398Fall hit: That same calf-length turtleneck dress has been strong.5. Holt RenfrewHoliday hit: Although featured in the move "The Break Up," Jennifer Meyer's small yellow gold leaf necklace is proving a good gift for couples who are still together.Price: $675 Fall hit: This See by Chloé knit dress (shown) incorporated both of the season's key trends.Price: $4256. Tommy HilfigerHoliday hit: Party dresses, including the limelight prom dress. Price: $595Fall hit: Outerwear has done well, including the Nicky biker jacket (shown).Price: $4957. NordstromHoliday hit: Fall's knit dress transitions into holiday by coming in red, like this Karoo Mark Eisen cashmere wrap (shown).Price: $342Fall hit: Big cardigan sweaters paired with sleek bottoms, like NFY dark skinny jeans, scored in Nordstrom's contemporary section.Price: $1508. Tommy BahamaHoliday hit: Cashmere sweaters, like the Island Fronds wrap and the Heavenly cardigan sweater (shown).Price: Wrap, $500; cardigan, $125.Fall hit: The holiday weekend was a reflection of the past few months, when cashmere sweaters dominated buys.9. Forth & TowneHoliday hit: Little black dresses, particularly the "cosmo" (shown), are favorites for holiday parties. Price: $148Fall hit: The new arm of Gap Inc. did well with many of the season's trends, including layering and plaid, with this capelet.Price: $16810. Lord & TaylorHoliday hit: Black dresses, particularly in matte jersey, like an ABS version with pleats and a patent belt, have been great early sellers. Price: $240 Fall hit: Knits have sold well, particularly versions with a festive metallic aspect, like this in-house cashmere version that can be worn either as a cowlneck or off-the-shoulder (shown).Price: $17011. White House|Black MarketHoliday hit: Cardigans with embellishment, such as the Maxine crop cardigan. Price: $78Fall hit: The dress trend has paired with the hot black-and-white color story this season — which is always in fashion at White House|Black Market — on this Charlotte lace dress (shown).Price: $14812. J.C. PenneyHoliday hit: Velour separates, like St. John's Bay velour zip hoodie. Price: $24.99 Fall hit: Kimono-sleeved and tunic-length tops, like this cowlneck tunic from its private a.n.a. brand (shown).Price: $12.99

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