pretty things to see, feel, eat

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Mama likes...Black dresses in the summertime

I love wearing colour.  Bring on bright brights, shocking neons (perhaps not head-to-toe, I am, ahem, over 30 after all), and even loud prints at times.  And of course, black.  I always come back to black, no matter what the time of year is.  In summer, the juxtaposition works even better.  

I love white in the winter - a white dress with black opaques and towering wedges; a white cashmere or wool sweater whisper warmth and luxury; white jeans with a black top look cool and effortless (and childless, clearly.  At least not of the wipe their hands/faces/noses on you type of offspring.  Toddler-less to be exact).  And in summer, I can't dismiss black.

There's something perennially classic about black.  It doesn't try too hard, it just IS.  I'm not just talking an LBD for evening-wear either.  A flowing black maxi dress, set off by gold jewellery maybe, a flouncy black dress with details in the cut or fabric, or black capri pants with a simple t-shirt.  Wearing black, the details jump out, unhindered by print, not distracted by colour.  And somehow, black always looks groomed.

I think of Stockard Channing as Rizzo in Grease, in her black cinched waisted shirt-dress, while the other girls looked purposefully prudish in their flouncy pastels.  She looked cooler, grownup, no fussy cardigans thrown over her, but elegant, and, well, naughty, of course.

Even Sandy finally gave in to black when she made her final transition to release her inner vixen in those pants that were so tight Olivia Newton-John apparently had to be sewn into them!

For a more modern girl-in-black crush, albeit still with a 50s twist in living La Vita Bella, is the divine Monica Bellucci as seen in the brilliant ad campaign for Summer 2013 by Dolce & Gabanna.  She stands out amongst the fun and frivolity as classic and just stunning in that black lace dress.

Wearing black in the bright light of a summer's day is unexpected - you could be on a walk of shame, or you could have just tossed on something elegant, without needing the excuse that an LBD usually does of an evening event, and it certainly doesn't have to look like workwear.

(image credit - The Blonde Salad)

So, I'm not averse at all to wearing black in summer  - in fact, I love it.  There's even physics to back it up!  To put it simply - white reflects heat, and it looks cool and light, however while it reflects the heat from the sun (very minimally, especially when you live here in the UK), it also reflects the heat nearest to you... your own body heat, and so therefore makes you hotter than black, which absorbs heat!  This answers the long-standing question of why people in the hottest countries in the world often wear black head to toe (apart from religious and cultural reasons of course)... it's practicality.  Who says fashion isn't practical!

dress, French Connection

dress, Monsoon

In my world, no colours are off limits - and nor should black be, just because the heat is on.  In fact, it's even cooler to wear black in the summertime!  Just show some flesh, and add some gorgeous accessories.


  1. Great post, I love all your black dress selection too. Thanks for stopping by pret-a-vivre :) Have a fabulous weekend!

  2. This reminds me I have a great black summer dress sitting in the back of my closet! Thanks for sharing this <3

    Colour Me Classic