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).
Shorts (Old Zara, current option here)
Shoes (Asos) / Bag (Deichmann, sold out)