The last good buys of summer are not necessarily those with the smallest price tags: They are more apt to be the clothes that will get you through summer and into autumn, even winter. Some suggestions for late-summer investments:
Cotton sweaters that can be used later as a layer under a jacket (and when worn out, even to sleep in.
Printed skirts with the look of challis or pants in dark prints to be paired up later with sweaters or other more wintry items.
Dark cotton (or blend) unlined jackets, roomy enough to be worn over sweaters for cold weather instead of the T-shirts for hot.
Sleeveless dresses that can become instant fall-winter jumpers with sweaters or shirts.
Nubby blend, look-like-silk trousers or skirts that adapt to day or evening wear for any season.
The simple black dress, as appropriate for mid-winter as mid-summer. CAPTION: Illustration, Navy print camp shirt with matching pleated-front pants Paul Harris, $46. Earth-red linen jacket with mushroom-color rayon and flax pants, both by Finity at Hecht's. Jacket, $64 pants, $48. Cotton crewneck shirt, khaki-colored wool gabardine trouser skirt and Indian cotton madras button-down shirt, Lord & Taylor, Sweater, $22; skirt, $74; shirt, $38. Black chemise in acetate and rayon, with white collar and cuffs and red bow. Garfinckel's, $76. By Martha Vaughan for The Washington Post