Fashion

Why a black dress will be the best thing you’ll wear this summer

Posted by
Billie Bhatia
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Black has often been disregarded as a colour to wear during the warmer months, but we make a case for it to take over your wardrobe this summer. 

The idea of a summer wardrobe and the reality are two very different things. Being British, we should expect unpredictable weather, but our sensibilities are overruled by the optimism of flouncing our summers away in seersucker blouses, white broderie anglaise dresses and pristine linen co-ords.

That is until we are brutally hit with the realities of summer dressing. Those being: usually an uncomfortable commute with someone’s back sweat lingering dangerously close to our personal space (we haven’t missed this), our clothing’s ability to crease without us even moving, the threatening splatter from a brightly coloured salad (leftovers from the socially-distanced BBQ at the weekend) and, worst of all, the inevitable make-up stain on our top as we use the same hand to mop our sweaty brow as we do to waft our burning bodies.

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The solution to all this is glaringly obvious, but social norms and a subconscious feeling that it is ‘wrong’ means that wearing a black dress in the summer has become something of a taboo. It’s considered too heavy, too sombre, too reminiscent of winter and too absorbing of the sun’s rays (did you know it also absorbs your own body heat?) for the supposed joy that summer sparks.

Well, we are tearing up the rule book and declaring a summer black dress a safe and incredibly stylish place to find yourself this season. As we all know, with great power (see rule-book tearing) comes great responsibility, and we would not being doing due diligence on your wardrobe if we didn’t unpick the complications of tackling summer black.

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First up, find your fabrics. Avoid leather and nylon at all costs. Linen, cotton, light chiffon and even lighter silk are your friends as they let you skin breathe – and you’re going to need it. Speaking of skin, for your dress to reach the upper echelons of success there needs to be some on show: a slash across the shoulder, a slit up to the knee, a low back. Let your sun-kissed skin be seen.

Accessories will make or break this look. For work, ditch suits and make raffia, straw and tortoiseshell your dress companions. If it’s a more ‘summer in the city’ version you’re after, try layering stacks of gold jewellery on wrists, necks and lobes, and pair your black dress with barely-there sandals or simple slides.

It’s a revelation, right?

Here’s our pick of the best black dresses to buy now for summer days and summer nights.

Summer Days

Summer nights

  • Ghost

    Ghost
    Black summer dresses: Ghost

    A lot of us are ready to start dressing fancy for any occasion we have coming up. This slinky slip dress will see you through every special occasion. 

    Shop Ghost Bella dress, £245

  • & Other Stories

    & Other Stories dress
    Black summer dresses: & Other Stories

    Backless dresses are big news this summer. Worried about not wearing a bra? Fear not, this style has a tie bow at the back so you can wear a bra and all straps will be covered. 

    & Other Stories open back midi dress, £65

Opening image: Victoria Adamson. 

All other images: courtesy of the brands.

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Billie Bhatia

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