It’s the natural inclination to reach for white clothes come summer. White cotton is like ice cream or a milkshake, snow cones or frosted glasses filled with cold wine. It’s the color of paper plates and playing hooky and low slung linen pants. Wearing it is a triple dog dare to not get dirty, which might as well be an open invitation to find the nearest patch of grass and happily soak up its green stain, but white is not — contrary to what the previous lines may have you thinking — the only color of summer.
Black is a pretty phenomenal contender too.
I think we forget about black clothes in the summer because it reminds us of winter. Black was the color of trudging through snow and the boots we ruined, the turtlenecks that hid us and the states we declared our hearts in when the Vortex wouldn’t die. There’s also that small issue regarding all-black wardrobes and how they sometimes remind us of a high school play’s stage manager…to which every stage manager should most definitely respond, “And what is wrong with that?”
Nothing, if you’re managing a stage.
But the all-black outfit always makes a comeback. For New Yorkers real and stereotyped, it’s the color — or lack thereof — that we refuse to shake. I think it’s because in a city that’s all about efficiency we put currency on anything that’s effortless: the fastest subway, the closest coffee shop, the nearest ATM. White appears easy, but the beauty of black is that it actually is. You can’t ruin it. You don’t have to wash it after every wear. It’s grab-able from a dark closet with closed eyes on mornings where getting dressed is akin to being stabbed by angry bees, and you know without question that it’s going to look good. Not to mention the age-old truth: it’s chic.
When given the chance to saturate clean lines, airy fabrics, minimalistic outfits and playful proportions, black proves itself worthy of even the hottest day. Look at Daria by the pool! Look at Arizona in those high waisted swimsuit bottoms. Look at that woman flinging birds and those illustrated beach goers in their all black outfits and tell me they don’t look cool.
To the scientist in the back, black does absorb heat. Which means prescription-wise I wouldn’t recommend wearing it on a desert hike (mostly because I don’t recommend hiking in general). But to an outdoor party where florals suddenly feel heavy, neon completely overdone, and where you’d like to be the only person not in white jeans?
Absolutely. That’s what monochrome midnight is for.
Now in the comments below, let’s see your best summer black.