Without a doubt, black is my favorite color to wear. My wardrobe is mostly made up of black: black skinny jeans, little black dresses, black ankle boots. Even both of my winter coats are black. To some, this might sound boring, but to me, black has a certain depth and sophistication to it that other colors don't. For someone who often goes through life feeling a little uncertain (even downright lame on some days), wearing black allows you to at least feel like you look cooler than you are.
Once summer comes, however, I feel the societal pressure to lighten up my wardrobe. I get a lot of comments in the winter regarding my penchant for wearing black, so in the summer, I feel even more self-conscious about it. I resign myself to white sandals, yellow dresses, even some painfully bright neon workout clothes and a white bikini that replaced my old black one. Weirdly, this lighter, more colorful wardrobe makes me kind of sad rather than happier. So this summer, I resolved to wear more black. It's been going so well that I decided to see how far I could take it. In the interest of proving that wearing black in the summer is doable and even pretty awesome, I wore all-black outfits for an entire week.
Reasons why wearing black in the summer is awesome: It makes getting ready easier (everything goes with everything else!), you'll look chic and maybe even a little mysterious, it looks great with either Winona-Ryder-pale skin or a tan (I personally can't wear white unless I'm tan, because otherwise I look naked), and you can enjoy summer fun without worrying about getting grass stains or spills on your white clothes.
If you're intrigued, here's the all-black outfit ideas and tips that I came up with during my week of wearing black this summer.
1. Black and white always looks cool (even if you're just walking the dog).
For a casual day of dog-walking and running errands, I wanted to be comfy. I wore black Nikes, black denim cutoffs, and my Mindy Kaling shirt from Nylon Shop. Take your black tees to the next level by choosing ones with text or pictures and make it comfier for summer by chopping the sleeves off like I did. This would also make a great workout outfit, as long as you switch out the denim shorts for something a little more exercise-appropriate.
2. All black can even make a kiddie pool seem more sophisticated.
When I want to look like a fancy lady at the beach or poolside, I follow this formula: black swimsuit + giant sunglasses + giant black floppy hat + red lipstick + sunscreen = instant Old Hollywood glamour. I can almost ignore the fact that my kiddie pool is less than fabulous.
3. Choose light fabrics.
This outfit is a great option for the office. I actually usually work from home, but I would wear this outfit to a meeting. The top and the pants are both made out of extremely light, flowing fabric that breathes and doesn't cling. I think the heeled ballet flats give it a nice Audrey Hepburn air, and the pop of yellow from the bag nods to summer.
Plus, you can throw a light cover-up like this open-knit cardigan in the bag, in case your office is overly air-conditioned (or against bare shoulders).
4. Black skinnies and rain boots are perfect for summer festivals.
I have not been to any summer festivals, but I did find that this outfit was great for a muddy, rainy night. I consider black skinny jeans to be a year-round staple, and I'm quickly feeling the same way about these däv Liverpool rain boots. They made the roundup of comfiest rain boots, but I also love the fact that they look like a cool pair of biker boots rather than dorky rain boots. They didn't feel hot or sweaty at all, either. As for the umbrella, I was just lucky that the one I happened to have in my car was black.
5. One-pieces will save your life.
There is honestly nothing better than a romper, and I say that as someone who used to secretly judge people who wore rompers. Now I'm one of them, and I couldn't be happier. You just throw it on and go. Yes, you have to disrobe to pee, but that's just all part of the fun. Choose a structured piece; mine is from Forever 21 (because I'm not going to spend a lot of money on a romper), and it has buttons and a belt and even lace-trimmed shorts.
I like to pair it with a low, casual pair of heels to elevate the look for a day of shopping, but at home, I just wear my romper barefoot or with sandals. It looks minimal, modern, and more grown-up than you'd think. Such is the power of wearing black.
6. You can't go wrong with a black dress.
Not a romper fan? That's OK. Just stock your closet with a bunch of black dresses. It's the same principle, after all. Plus, bathroom breaks are easier. I like to wear a tiny little black dress — or as I like to call it, a TLBD — with insanely high stilettos for a date-night look that takes literally two minutes to put together. (And despite the misleading picture above, no, I'm not going on a date with my dog.) If you're not as lazy as I am, you could also add some jewelry, lipstick, and a sparkly clutch to really bring the look to the next level. Now you're set for all 14 summer weddings.
For the day, I live in a black jersey maxi dress. It covers my legs so I don't have to shave, has padded cups in the chest so I don't have to wear a bra, and I barely have to wash it because it's black. It's what I wear when I've basically given up on life, but you would never know it by looking at me because it looks extremely chic.
7. Reconsider the jumpsuit.
I know, I know. If you're not into rompers, you're probably not into jumpsuits either. I used to be against them as well, and to be honest, I'm still trying to figure out how to wear them. A jumpsuit has to fit perfectly and have all the right proportions, and I haven't found the right one for me yet. Still, I don't regret buying this black jumpsuit from Forever 21. (How could I, when it was only $15? Thanks again, Forever 21, for enabling all of my ill-advised trend explorations.)
It's not exactly easy to style a jumpsuit, but it is easy to wear one: Just throw it on and go. For a different kind of date-night look, I paired my jumpsuit with killer Zara heels. Most of the time, however, I just throw this on when I want to wear an easy one-piece around the house and my romper is in the wash. Give the black jumpsuit a try this summer. If you think all black is boring, this might prove you wrong.
Images: Kelly Dougher (3); Josh Kirby (4)