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Porter
Art of Style

How to wear black in summer

Black is prized for its understated elegance and endless wearability, but it’s not always the obvious choice when it comes to summer dressing. However, worn correctly, it has year-round appeal. MEGAN LOGUE finds out how fashion insiders style this iconic color when the mercury rises…

Fashion
TyLynn Nguyen

TyLynn Nguyen, designer and fashion consultant

“Black is a core color in my closet; it’s beautiful and of course has a lot of strength behind it. Plus, it’s also very easy to style when you’re getting dressed in a hurry. Wearing black in the summer can seem silly because the color itself holds heat, which is why my favorite pieces are generally crafted from black cotton, which is breathable and chic. During the summer, I’ll often wear stretchy black tank tops, Bermuda shorts and bikinis – pieces that are easy and understated. Lockdown has affected my day-to-day look: I’ve been quarantining at home in California with my family and my style has remained minimal and polished. But, with three children to take care of, comfort is my top priority right now.”

Jeanette Friis Madsen, co-founder of Rotate Birger Christensen

“I love wearing black from head to toe. For me, the allure isn’t just that it’s an easy option when you’re getting dressed in the morning, it’s also the way black strikes the balance between simple and powerful. Wearing black in summer makes me feel sexy, as opposed to the girly vibe you often get from bright colors and floral prints. This was actually one of my favorite looks from Paris Fashion Week; the power shoulders and cinched waist just worked so well. And who doesn’t love a playful accessory?”

Jeanette Friis Madsen
Sylvie Mus

Sylvie Mus, stylist

“Black is my favorite color; it always looks chic, which is why I wear it all year round. My style is a bit more casual during the summertime, so I find that adding a black element to my look really pulls it together – like blue jeans with a dramatic black top, or going for all black but in different fabrics and textures to add interest. For this look, I loved the contrast between the little bralet and the suit pants; I like playing with proportion and mixing feminine and masculine pieces together. These are pieces I keep on constant rotation. My wardrobe generally consists of a few very treasured items that I tend to wear over and over again – a lot of which are black!”

Giedre Dukauskaite, model

“Black doesn’t dominate my closet, but it’s well represented – it’s just such an elegant color. I love wearing it in summer because it makes you stand out and it looks graceful and understated. Also, an all-black outfit paired with a glowing tan is a divine combination. I’m a huge fan of Dion Lee’s designs, and what really drew me to this dress was the cut, which is effortless yet striking at the same time. Honestly, since quarantine started, I’ve mostly been wearing sweats because Vilnius, where I live in Lithuania, is such a relaxed place – but I really miss dressing up.”

Giedre Dukauskaite
Yan Yan Chan

Yan Yan Chan, creative director and fashion consultant

“When I was working in PR, black was very much the core of my closet. Since then, I’ve definitely learned to experiment more with color, so now I leave black for special occasions. I have a collection of slinky LBDs, and I love wearing all black while playing with textures and silhouettes – it’s much more subtle and sexy. Most people associate black with the winter, but I like to incorporate it into my summer look, such as throwing on a sheer black dress over a bikini.”

Giorgia Tordini, co-founder of The Attico

“I’ve been wearing black forever – it’s a big part of my closet. Black in the summer, with tanned skin, is just so chic and sexy; it works on the beach and after dark. It’s also a great styling tool. If I feel like experimenting with bright colors, like fluo pink or green, black is an easy way to tone the look down and give it a sultry feel. I love the silhouette of this Miu Miu look – it feels like a very ‘proper’ outfit, but the vinyl and cropped cardigan give it attitude. After spending the last few months in lockdown in Milan, where I’ve practically been living in leggings and hoodies, I’m definitely ready to dress up again.”

Giorgia Tordini

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