Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - STYLE WATCH -

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.


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