Let’s talk about fashion clichés: you are not supposed to wear white after Labor Day, florals are for Spring, and black is a big no-no in the Summertime. Classics, right?
However, that doesn’t mean they are commandments carved in stone. The thing about clichés, you know, is that very frequently, they are based on old ideas and misconceptions. Even so, some of them die hard — and no, it doesn’t matter how much you try, your aunt Mary will not change her mind.
My favourite line in the rule book is probably that one about dark colours and warm weather: we all know they don’t mix well. Except, is that really accurate?
By nature, I am a curious person and, as weird as it might sound, I enjoy reading on cultural assumptions. Sometimes, from a scientific angle. (Thank you Wired for the countless hours of interesting reading!)
During one of my endless pool-side mornings a couple of weeks ago, I read an online article claiming that most of what we mindlessly repeat about colour and weather is wrong. After all, thermodynamics don’t lie (sorry, I always wanted to have an excuse to write that. Actually, this entire post is just a pretext to do so. Let’s just pretend it is not…)
But back to the topic: Which colour is more suitable for Summertime, black or white?
White is claimed to be the best option — not only it is chic but will also keeps us cool in the warmest season. Or so they say. Actually when we look at white colour, we are seeing the combination of all existing light, meaning that the sun’s rays are reflected. And yes, that is perfectly right. Although, it is incomplete information too.
The heat comes both from the sun and our bodies. When all that body heat reaches the white clothing, it gets reflected right back towards the body. Hence, when we wear white, we cook ourselves.
The best color to keep cool in the heat, it turns out, is black.
Black absorbs the solar radiation, true, but it also absorbs the body heat without reflecting it back. Hence, the helpfulness of black clothes will depend on finding a fabric that is similar to those summery white clothes. It is quite logical, isn’t it? Atmospheric conditions play a leading role: once the heat is absorbed, if there’s a little wind, the tissue will radiate it away. That was unexpected, wasn’t it?
(Actually, this whole science-nerd moment was quite unexpected too. Please, don’t tell the cool fashion bloggers out there…)
Personally, my to-go warm weather uniform on its darkest shade consists on a sheer blouse and shorts, or fine skirt that will allow air circulating. Natural fibres such as pure cotton and linen are completely awesome to keep the heat at bay. I am a big fan of investing in Summer black — actually, black for all seasons.
For this look, I went for a a boredom-proof monochromatic Summer look by simply adding an organza ruffled blouse with dramatic sleeves. The shorts, on the other hand, are quite simple which help to balance the outfit. It can be styled both with heels or flats, (which I usually carry on a tote bag in case I feel too tired after a long walk, as this was the case).
What is your personal favourite colour in Summer?
(For more articles on The Prêt-à-porter Series, you can visit this link).
Blouse (Vintage. Very similar looking alternatives available at Chicwish )
Shorts (Old Zara, current option here)
Shoes (Asos) / Bag (Deichmann, sold out)
27 thoughts on “Why black is a great colour for Summer”
I love wearing black but rarely do, especially in Summer, but I like the idea of a sheerer fabric to keep cool. Lovely outfit!
I used to wear black most Winter and Spring, but I recently started being a bit more adventurous. However, I still believe monochrome outfits are fun if you introduce some volume or texture. Oh, thank you so much! It is very kind from you!
I never follow fashion trends. If I want to wear black during summer, I will. Most people have told me not to because they think it’s too hot for black, but now that you explained why it’s better to wear black, I am going to give them the scientific explanation as to why I do!
Really great post! And I’ve learned something new about wearing black during summer 😊
And that’s great! Personally, I like to check fashion trends out of curiosity, but I rarely adopt them myself. I truly believe style is more interesting and down to earth.
But anyway, I am glad you enjoyed reading the scientific explanation behind the topic. Thank you so much for commenting!
A great post. I love black and navy but always think everyone must think I’m dull in the summer! Thanks for this. Gorgeous pictures btw. X
First, you are welcome! And thank you very much for your kindness.
Second, I feel you should certainly wear what you like and makes you happy. In my humble opinion (and as much of a cliché as it is), life is just too short to care. Buy the dress, drink the wine, wear black in Summer if you want!
A big hug and be very welcome to my site.
Allegra I’m so glad you touched basis on wearing black in the summer because I wear black in the summer all the time and rarely get hot. Like you said, it’s all about choosing light-weight material! Thanks for the scientific research😘
Natonya | https://www.justnatonya.wordpress.com
Morning Natonya and thanks for reading! Same here about wearing black in Summer. I was so tired of listening to people telling me I must be cooking myself in the clothes, I decided it would be cool to have a reply at hand. Now, I can ask them to read my post instead of loosing time every time. 😂
I absolutely love that outfit – so chic!
Thank you! That is very kind.
First of all, that outfit is super cute. And second, I live in Nairobi, ergo don’t experience the four seasons like you guys do, but I also wear black in warm weather all the time. What would life look like without wearing black anyway?
After all, women who wear black lead colorful lives 😉
Aw, thank you Marion! 💘 I can’t imagine how different must be to dress without seasons. But I am glad you find black comfortable in warm weather too. And yes, I very much agree with your quote! 😘
I’m so glad you made this post. I am kind of anxious of wearing black in the summer but you made me believe that it’s okay x
But of course it is, Monica! Just look for loose and light fabrics. You will be ok!
I wear black year-round and just adjust it to be suitable to the weather. Absolutely adore the blouse you’re wearing in these shots and definitely agree that black can totally be a summer colour. xx
El // Welsh Wanderer
Thank for commenting El. It is nice to meet other black colour lovers out there. ❤️
Great post. I love black in all seasons .
Me too, such a smart colour. Thanks for commenting.
You didn’t take into account that heat also gets transmitted by contact. White clothes may reflect your own radiation back to you, but it also reflects the Sun’s radiation. Black absorbs everything, gets heated quickly under the Sun and then warms you by contact.
Also your own radiation can’t warm you over your own body temperature, that would break the 2nd law of thermodynamics, and wind doesn’t make your clothes radiate heat away, it just takes heat from them by contact.
I have to say, I also love to wear black all year, but I’m aware of the risks. Use light fabrics that let the wind through – just like the ones in the pictures, and drink plenty of water.
Hi there Zia, be very welcome! Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I know about the contact principle, which is the reason why I recommended fine loose fabrics that allow air circulation. I agree I should have insisted more on the loose factor, though. The Berbers are well-known for using this system to keep themselves safe in the desert.
Thanks again for your meaningful comment.
I love black all year long. I rarely let trends influence me. That out fit is fab . You have great taste. Love your site name- very clever
Aw, thank you! 😊 I see your point about fashion trends: to me, they are lots of fun to see in other people, but at this point of my life I do prefer doing my own thing.
When I was younger, I was always worried about other people thinking I was not fashionable/trendy enough. Nowadays? I don’t give a f&*$% I guess it is related to the fact I’m older and a bit of a grumpy grandma. 😂
I haven’t considered wearing black in Summer before, but I’m always open to trying something new!
I think is something everyone should try at least once. Life is too short to stick to rigid fashion rules, after all.
I love black all year round! I don’t really follow fashion at all, just wear whatever I like!
I think most people are into style rather than fashion. Although trends are difficult to skip since they are present in most shops these days.
[…] Something one of my favorite fashion bloggers Allegra from Rogue & Rouge have in common is wearing full black outfits in hot weather. Allegra is a clever and sassy fashion blogger with a writing style that makes you giggle and think at the same time. She talked about wearing all black in the summer from a scientific perspective, which was quite interesting. Catch up and learn more about her content here: About Rogue & Rouge Why Black Is A Great Colour for Summer? […]