More and more, summer dressing is dictated by summer activities rather than style mandates. As the only truly fancy free season left, one must never allow the activity slave to hamper the style pioneer within. This particular summer's end marks your last chance to mismatch in the carefree lifestyle that you should be emulating as though your life depends on it. We have lived in a wayward world of planned mismatching from haute couture to sportswear for long enough. Fashion's knee-jerk reaction to its recent reckless past is resulting in a very matchy-matchy fall to come. Revel in style clashing now - but stay on top of your style rollout for the fall ahead. Tennis and mini-golf aside, the most important activity on a true style maven's agenda is pre-fall shopping.

Looking "summer" is an activity unto itself, that often requires the props of cafe lounging. Unlike summer's past, sporting a non-lounging sporty look now demands extra pressures. Gone are the days of sportivo fake-outs. Looking like a surfer, golfer, fill-in-the-blank, sports enthusiast when you're not has become dumb, so be whoever it is you really are and dress accordingly - or take some diving classes.

By popular poll, real sportsters know that the intermittent broadcast that the ozone is in the midst of "repair", is a big lie. Sunscreen is still the most valuable summer accessory. Warm water sport scenesters should also wear rash guards - even if the water's warm - all summer long to aid in sunburn stoppage. It may be safer for all involved to stick to shopping.

Not missing any good beach days, smart fashionistas will plan ahead for the fall transition before it bites them in the head. Remember, pre-fall finds can occur in unlikely places. Don't negate midwestern malls, beachside 99 cent shops and yard sales that you come across while in the cross-country Winnebago with mom and dad. *As fall is going to be all about matching like you've never matched before - now would be the time to turn around your "vacation" with the folks in the deep historical recesses of middle America and pick up a puff paint T shirt to wear with your sickest Hawaiian cut offs and brand new shoes from Walmart, just in time for Labor Day. Get it all out of your system while you can.

If you can snare one for the day that's not on Fire Island - shopping with your very best gay boyfriend is a must for deciphering sample, street and thrift sales. Print out this handy shopping guide to help you on your quest.