Breakout the Black

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July 17, 2014

All of your white clothes are at the dry cleaners, anyway.

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.

  • Alexis

    I recently discovered your blog, and LOVE it! I have been printing my favorite articles for my daughter to read later, shes 4 now….lol

    • Amelia Diamond

      That is so sweet!!

  • Jill

    I don’t wear much white. It doesn’t look great on me (I’m better in a beige or cream color) and I’m a D cup, which white tops tend to over-highlight. But I wear black constantly in the summer – though rarely all-black – I love it with colorful skirts. In fact, I’m leaving for a vacation in Colorado today and I’ve packed 5 black tanks, four patterned skirts, and two dresses (neither of which are black, but one has a black tonal pattern). I actually like charcoal gray and brown better…but black is easier to find and just makes life easier in general. :)

  • Tracy

    I love wearing all white outfits but black is a pretty fab option also!

    http://fashion-soup.com/

  • ee_by_cc

    I used to feel guilty about wearing all black in summer, like I wasn’t taking full advantage of lighter hues. Not sure what changed, perhaps wanting some simplicity in my dressing routine, but I definitely walked away from feeling obligated to don colors.

    http://www.enduringethereal.com

  • Amanda Raponi

    Black is for always

    • http://blogaboutdesign.com/ B.A.D l Blog About Design

      I love black too! It’s easy, and you don’t have to worry about stains as much as you do when you wear white!

      Check out our NEW B.A.D street look: http://blogaboutdesign.com

  • http://www.dominiquecandido.com Dominique
  • http://www.wellforlife.co.uk Elle F

    Your blog is the best, it has saved me from multiple times of boredom in the office (though i often look a little demented trying not to giggle). Thankyou team man repeller and your wonderfully crazy minds :)

    • Amelia Diamond

      Thank you Elle F!!!

  • http://madamecouture.blogspot.com/ Emma Hager

    I’ve always wanted to try all-black looks, but I only have like one or two fully black pieces in my wardrobe. I’m so drawn to white cotton. I like looking like something out of a 70s cult or at least something from a McCall’s pattern book in the same decade. I love winter whites, too, although they aren’t that practical in other parts of the country.

    I’ll head to the nearest thrift store and see if I can’t find a few pieces to make an all-black look.

  • Emilia Petrarca

    I’m committed to sweating buckets in black this summer (even on my daily desert hikes). Nuns do it, so we can too.

  • Mix of Styles

    awesome post, absolutely agree with you.

    http://www.mixofstyles.com

  • Jamie

    Something there is that doesn’t love black in the blazing sun (probably the heat absorbing qualities), but I live in Arizona and ever since monsoon season started, black has felt SO RIGHT. Thanks for writing this. Now I feel less guilty for eschewing summer hues.

  • monkeyshines
  • http://runfromthedesire.blogspot.com Sharrel

    I always wear all black in the summer, because white does’nt fit me.

    x

  • Anita

    black is beautiful. It’s a right choice for every occasion
    xx Anita
    http://vanillaelephant.blogspot.de/

  • BethanyBeach

    I recently have come to adore black-on-black, because it looks so sophisticated and has the added benefit of making my hair look blonder (perfect for summer, right?).

  • Aubrey Green

    Amelia – speaking of stains, what was the outcome of that sweater of yours? Did you get the stain out, was the sweater ruined forever, did you make it into a crop top?

    I love black and it makes my eyes look more green than blue, which I love :-P.

    • Amelia Diamond

      Aubrey thank you for remembering my poor poor sweater. I did not get the stain out, and I didn’t make it into a crop top BUT SHOULD I?

      • Aubrey Green

        Yes, you definitely should. That sweater shouldn’t go to waste :). If you do decide to take that route, please show a picture. If you are too scared to do it yourself, definitely take it to a dry cleaners, that’s what I do to my jackets, or shirts that I want to turn into vests.

        • Aubrey Green

          Not to have it cleaned, the dry cleaners will cut and hem it for you :)

  • Munsha

    Black is my favorite summer color!! But I don’t do too much black in the winter – I’m all about the gray (or white, because you never know when you might need to camouflage with the snow)

  • Charlotte Fassler

    Im championing the all black summer ensemble today. Into it!

  • Lauren Ann Long

    “The new black is always black” – Einstein

  • rachel

    wait do people wear colors other than black ever? that seems wrong… but black. ahh, black seems so right.

  • Guest

    Black makes my complexion look sallow, but navy blue, on the other hand, or any shade of blue, for that matter, does it for me.

  • Caroline

    Excellent post! Check out my blog!

    http://www.carolinescloset.org

  • Stephanie (Fab You Bliss)

    Love it! Black is my favorite too. Although my mother always says, “You need to wear color.” And I sometimes agree. But I love wearing black for every reason you’ve listed, always have…always will!

  • http://www.janaleemiller.com/ Jana @ 333 Days of…..

    You can never go wrong with black! okay-maybe at a morning wedding :)

  • Fashionista in the Oven
  • JZRL

    Once you’ve done summer black, you SURE won’t turn back. I’m a huge fan. It’s clean and simple, plus you stand out more wearing it in the summer as so few have discovered the clear benefits (no grass stains on your ass when you’ve been picnicking in the park, for example…). One question, do we know where those tantalisingly wonderful leopard print pumps are from in the first shot of the slideshow above?

  • Jamie Morton

    I love white for the summer, but for special occasions always rely on classic black. It`s more chic and elegant, especially for the evenings.
    Acton end of tenancy cleaners

  • http://sedapop.blogspot.com Carolina Petrosky

    My motto: True style is knowing how to wear black… too early and too deep?
    sedapop.blogspot.com

  • http://www.theeccentriclife.com Danaee. Blacc

    Black, white , and gold are my favorite colors. I try my best not to cheat on them

    http://www.theeccentriclife.com

  • http://www.mageeski.blogspot.com mageeski

    Black is the best! But white is also pretty good. Basically monochrome! Plus all the other colors!

    I like it all.

    Lets just wear pretty clothes, okay?!

    Magee / Mageeski.blogspot.com

  • Whitney

    I’m a real life stage manager and I endorse black both in and outside work hours! Often paired with a hefty amount of grey. I’m pretty bad at colours, actually.

  • Between the Blondes
  • Perry

    Here in Toronto, EVERYONE is wearing black all year ’round (even in the summer) and it needs to STOP!

  • Maui

    “…the beauty of black is that it actuallyis. 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.”

    YES. My white clothes do not usually last more than a month because of coffee stains, ketchup, grease, dirt, etc. Not really great for a klutz.

  • Mary Ant

    Awsome clothing!!!! I love it!!! Hey I know a guy who has as nice clothing as that…..Check him out!!!! ρουχα σε μεγαλα μεγεθη

  • mand

    hey….
    nice blog you got there….
    nice clothing…..
    i know a guy who has awsome clothing!!!!!!!!!!ρουχα σε μεγαλα μεγεθη

  • Captain

    i love this clothes….i know someone with clothes like them…ρουχα σε μεγαλα μεγεθη

  • ShanIsRad

    As much as I love black, I can’t wear all-black in the summer! I blame working in retail, and having to wear all-black.

  • cogitate10

    for me black is as immaculate as white. so super bet.