Inviting darks into summer
Few things occupy the small but intense wardrobe-scan section of my brain than the spring/summer closet transition. (I am aware, given the state of the world, of the vacuity of this pastime, but when awake at 4 a.m., the matter arises.)
For me, pastels are Other Women's Colours. I'm happy in navy, black, chocolate and shot of Klein blue or freesia pink. So, I keep darks in the rotation unless it's jungle-hot; more on that later.
Strategy One: Lighten and brighten
A black summer dress is a different bird than a fall/winter version; it accords with the season through its weight and detail. I just unpacked a black linen gauze dress and thought, Looking forward to wearing you!
An example: the Philipa by PartTwo, made of washable 50% cotton/50% lyocell; a touch of eyelet takes it into summer. (If you dislike eyelet, hunt for a dress with some sheer sections and less coverage than a winter style.) The sleeve length is much better than the weensy cap.
Accessories for a summer black dress:
Part Two's dress with Camper "Casa Mirta" slides: punchy yellow is a fantastic summer shoe, goes with everything.
Bag: Issey Miyake's shades-of-grey metallic "BaoBao" prism tote is an iconic bag, and priced accordingly at $US 595 at Nordstrom, but I have seen them offered for less, on resale sites.
Other choices: A graphic summery print like the one on Fossil's "Carmen" shopper, about $CDN 285:
My go-to is a natural straw, but it needs to be well-finished or it abrades fabric. BtB Los Angeles (at Nordstrom) make a casual black and natural tote; price, $US 78:
Strategy two: Black linen with white bottom
I have the J. Crew tee in a few colours, and like it very much, especially for travel. The linen knit hand-washes easily (cold water, baby shampoo or dark-clothing detergent like Woolite Darks) and air-dries quickly.
Accessories: A long necklace breaks up that black without turning up the temperature.
Left: Ultralight:Turquoise boho raffia and leather pendant, from Etsy seller AlmaBohoCollection; price, $US 15.
The raffia pendant is strictly summer; the Kidson and Jensen pieces will add interest to a simple top all year round.
Strategy three: They only come out at night
Should three conditions converge, black droops: high heat, humidity, and blazing sun. I mean, there is a reason why whites are the custom on the court.
But once the sun has set, black no longer makes you look overheated; it's cool.
I'd like to wear this for a late-night dinner al fresco: Veronique Miljkovitch "Whilow" sheer linen gauze top. (Price, $CDN 145.) The all-important details—raw edges and contrast stitching—take this from generic to chic.
|Photo: Veronique Miljkovitch|
Miljkovitch is among my very favourite designers. Everything I have bought has returned both value and pleasure year after year. The well-stocked web site has occasional sales, worth watching for.