SEE THE LIGHT ON DARK SUMMER COLOURS...
WEARING ALL BLACK IN SUMMER? No, it doesn’t make you a lazy dresser. Or look like Wednesday Addams. Nor it does it make you sweat more. Black is actually one of the best colours to keep cool because it absorbs energy from the body and retains it instead of reflecting it.
Convention, of course, dictates a lot of the clothes we wear and while many of us crave a wardrobe full of rainbow brights in summer, I’ve come to appreciate the contrast of a black dress with a pop of colour on my wrist or feet. Did I mention black is always slimming and it goes with everything – yes, even navy. This summer I’ve worn more black than I have in the last decade – slouchy jumpsuits, polka dot wrap dresses and silky wrap midi skirts with a white T-shirt are my thing, which luckily I can wear layered into next season.
Take a glance at the SS18 catwalks and you’ll see where I found the inspiration. Tibi designer Amy Smilovic’s collection was a favourite – she served black utilitarian dresses and skirts punctuated with pops of optic white while Margaret Howell offered cargo button jumpsuits in coal black, hyperstyled with leather accessories. Philip Lim amped up sex appeal with romantic slinky ruffled dresses in inky black, as did Jacquemus with his soft, draped asymmetric dresses with side-knot detailing. The high street has helped too. Whistles and The Kooples at Brown Thomas have beautiful maxi and off-the-shoulder black dresses in dotty and textured prints this season. At Rixo, design duo Henrietta Rix and Orla McCloskey have worked their animal prints into black foundations on silky skirts and blouses too. In Arnotts, look out for Marella’s collection – all those soft black wrap dresses in stripey and dotted iterations have a touch of Danish brand Ganni but are a fraction cheaper.
I’m also in love with the balloon-sleeved white blouses styled under shirt dresses at Zara – they’re perfect transitional office wear which also look flattering with high-waisted black wide trousers.
One of the most versatile pieces and a bulletproof office cover-up that you can throw over your shoulder with skinny jeans and heels off duty too is a cropped textured blazer. Think short, light, cropped with razor-sharp tailoring from Reiss, Mango, H&M and Theory, and leave longer boyfriend styles that can look heavy and clumpy until winter.
To make black work in warmer months, you do, of course, have to play by a few rules. No heavy woolly fabrics and definitely no black opaque tights. Wearing textured prints that break up the colour and soft loose fabrics usually ensure an all-black outfit is chic without crossing over into dull and prim school teacher territory. Details are gamechangers too – try tasselled earrings, a rope belt, a colourful canvas bag or white mules.
“I’VE COME TO APPRECIATE THE CONTRAST OF A BLACK DRESS WITH A POP OF COLOUR”