Wearing Black in Summer: Too Hot to Handle?
Black is the unexpected star of summer 2023, but if you’re a little wary to wear it during the year’s sunniest season, let Liberty show you how it’s done
It may be high up the list of summer fashion trends, but you’re probably wondering if wearing black in summer is advisable? Perhaps even possible – without getting an uncomfortable sweat on, that is? On one hand it feels timeless, suits everyone and has long been the colour of understated elegance (case in point: the little black dress), yet on the other, there’s the unavoidable fact that black clothes absorb the most sunlight, so will make you feel a little warmer than lighter colours, which reflect it. But don’t turn your back on black just yet. Wearing black in summer and keeping your all-important cool is possible. Let Liberty show you how.
As with anything you’re unsure about, don’t dive straight into the deep end. Instead, add black into your summer outfits little by little. Option one: accessories. The golden rule here is you’ll need at least two per outfit for balance and to make the addition of black look deliberate. Option two: wear a summer dress like Sleeper’s Black Vichy Atlanta Dress, £255 that features the colour in its print, but not predominantly. Option three: as opposites often attract, wear just one piece that’s block coloured black like the Comme des Garçons PLAY Short-Sleeve T-Shirt, £65 and offset it with something bright, contrasting and synonymous with summer like a crisp white jean.
Read more: The Best Dresses for Summer
Before you can base entire looks around black, it’s vital to know which fabrics will help keep you cool when faced with high temperatures. Comfy and practically weightless, silks, linens and paper-thin cottons all allow heat to escape from the body with ease, so will help keep you cool under the collar – even if they’re black. Having the opposite effect, wearing leather, nylon and polyester will only end in disaster, so avoid at all costs at this time of year. As a rule of thumb, if you hold an item up to the light and can see light coming through its weave, it should be heatwave-proof.
Read more: How to Wear Linen like a Pro
Sticking to oversized and voluminous silhouettes is another surefire way of wearing black in summer without breaking a sweat. Think of it this way: when you’re struggling to sleep at night because of stifling heat, you might open a window to get a stream of cool air flowing, so breezy, loose-fitting clothes apply the same principle of ventilation. The trick is to wear dresses, trousers and tops that leave a little breathing space between them and your skin, clothes that hang away from the body rather than close to, like Cecilie Bahnsen’s Beth Linen Plissé Dress, £1,300.
Read more: Designers at Large: The Oversize Dress Trend
Less Is More
Another way to wear black while keeping your body temperature down is to keep the phrase ‘less is more’ in mind when getting dressed. Wear pieces that are cropped, come without sleeves and that feature cutaways whenever possible. For the office, wear AGOLDE’s Mina Tank-Top, £120 to show-off your sun-kissed skin without bearing all. To make any going-out outfit that bit cooler, zip yourself into Cecilie Bahnsen’s Nimbus Matlasse Cold-Shoulder Blouse, £600, and if you’re heading poolside at some point in the near future, take a refreshing dip in Toteme’s V-Neck Wrap Swimsuit, £170.
Read more: How to Master Minimalist Style