It was an afterthought to Paris designer Karl Lagerfeld to make a long and lean black skirt for his fall collection. He liked it, he said, because the effect was not very different from black trousers.

That afterthought is an addition that makes almost everything in a closet look a little newer. It teams up with Victorian blouses and tuxedo shirts, full blouson jackets and short blazers, and as Lagerfeld did it, with a matching jacket. CAPTION: Picture 1, Karl Lagerfeld's black wool suit for Chloe ($995) at Saks-Jandel; black and red "La Parisien" gloves by La Crasia ($110) at Bloomingdale's; black high-heel boot by Harvard Square ($165) at Rich's Shoes; Patricia Underwood black hat ($150) at Saks-Jandel.; Picture 2, Cathy Hardwick plaid wool shirt with off-center front button ($102) and narrow black wool skirt ($84) at Hecht's and Garfinckel's; wide black leather belt ($40) at Garfinckel's; red earrings ($14) at Garfinckel's; black boots by Barefoot Originals ($180) at Hecht's.; Picture 3, Vogue Pattern 8447 narrow skirt with Vogue pattern 8450 white tuxedo shirt and Vogue Pattern 8336 tweed kimono jacket; black pumps by Joyce ($48) at Hecht's; black wide leather belt ($40) at Garfinckel's and silver fan earrings ($8.50) by Orion at Hecht's.; Picture 4, Red wool short coat by Blassport ($292) with black wool narrow skirt ($112), also by Blassport at I. Magnin; black pumps by Joyce ($48) at Hecht's; red leather high gloves ($140) at I. Magnin and Frank Olive black hat ($62) at I. Magnin. PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARGARET THOMAS