Don’t let colour blacken your mood – em­brace the dark­ness

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - NEWS -

SO MANY STYLE LESSONS were learned this week. The most im­por­tant be­ing that brighter colours do not al­ways make you hap­pier on a mis­er­ably wet, humid Au­gust day. In fact, they evoke a cer­tain kind of melan­choly. Who re­ally wants to bounce around in flo­rals when its grey and rainy? Con­ven­tional wis­dom tends to ad­vise against wear­ing black in late summer/early au­tumn. Sci­ence has also led us to be­lieve that when it’s warm, black ab­sorbs the heat of the sun, whereas white re­flects it. But when re­searched more, black ab­sorbs the heat ra­di­ated by your body too, so it keeps you cooler. Who knew?

Fash­ion has en­dured a rocky re­la­tion­ship with darker shades in early au­tumn – some love, some loathe them. It used to be a frowned-upon rep­re­sen­ta­tion of a black mood, mean­ing you were bor­ing if you wore it, but more re­cently I have grown an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for a chic, black slinky summer dress. It may have a rep­u­ta­tion for feel­ing tired and gloomy but ac­tu­ally there’s some­thing very ap­peal­ing about seek­ing refuge in a cer­tain colour when tem­per­a­tures change.

Of course, there’s are cer­tain ways to wear it to suit the longevity of days. It all lies in the fab­ric. Make sure it’s loose, light and fluid – silks, jer­seys and crepes ad­just well to the heat as do dresses with sheer pan­els and cut-out de­tails. Any­thing in wool, tweed, cot­ton or vel­vet leave for later in the year. Take black roll­necks and opaque tights out of the equa­tion – any­thing dark over your chin feels too mor­bid and heavy and, de­pend­ing on the weather, bare legs are ap­pro­pri­ate un­til late Oc­to­ber.

One black sta­ple that is typ­i­cally au­tumn-friendly and can be worn rain or shine is a chif­fon skirt. Supris­ingly ver­sa­tile, I wear mine with a T-shirt and train­ers off duty or with a silky printed blouse tucked in for of­fice du­ties. Try Brown Thomas, Zara and Reiss. Cu­lottes or a jersey jump­suit work popped with a gold strappy san­dal – it looks a lot sleeker than brighter rain­bow shades. Try Vic­to­ria Beck­ham or H&M. Al­ter­na­tively, a light­weight state­ment knit pulls to­gether a midi skirt or high-waist trousers ef­fort­lessly – I love Marks and Spencer’s light cash­mere or Zoe Jor­dan’s black and white key­holed sleeves.

For lazier week­ends, tu­nic dresses and tops – Cos, & Other Sto­ries – or dun­ga­rees with a sim­ple black tee and chunky black slides or san­dals – Of­fice or Birken­stock – aren’t mood-de­pen­dent and mean you are suit­ably ar­moured if the weather does de­cide to change.

One last styling foot­note. Cut is im­por­tant. Black has to be softly struc­tured and del­i­cate for it to qual­ify as au­tumn black, oth­er­wise you’ll look like a moody of­fice worker. Think mini dresses with cro­chet neck­lines and slip dresses with trail­ing hems. Ghost in Kil­dare Vil­lage, French Con­nec­tion and Jig­saw are your high street al­lies here.

There’s some­thing very ap­peal­ing about seek­ing refuge in a cer­tain colour

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