Reviewed & updated: October 19, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
It may be the colour that gets banned when the weather gets warmer, but this versatile colour can still be used in a summer look. In this quick and simple guide, we’ll show you how to wear black during the hotter months without completely overheating.
Traditionally, black clothing and warm weather have been uncomfortable bedfellows, but when you opt for lighter layers, more relaxed cuts, and generous use of accessories, there’s no reason why you can’t stay looking and feeling cool even when you’re rocking a black ensemble. Let’s be honest, how many different kinds of black jeans or black shirts do you have in your closet? Do you want to look business casual or are you aiming for a black formal outfit? The truth is that you can easily pair black on black.
Before we start, we’re going to tell you know few things about wearing black in the summer. First of all, black absorbs a lot more heat than its lighter alternatives, so if you are going for a black look, you don’t need every piece to be black. If you do, there’s no doubt that you’ll massively overheat. Another thing to know is that you should try and keep your black clothes breathable and loose. If you’re in something that’s too tight, again, you’ll overheat a lot quicker. So with these things in mind, how do you wear black in the summer?
We’ll start with the top half of your outfit. Your black tops are pretty simple to style if you’re going for a plain crew neck tee. You can wear this with a lighter pair of trousers or blue jeans. Make sure the fabrics not too thick, so obviously a knitted wool top is out of the question, and keep the fit fairly loose. We know that a tighter top can show off your muscles a lot more but if it’s too tight you won’t be able to enjoy the sun and heat as much as you want to.
If you’re out in a pub garden for the evening and a black T-shirt just won’t cut it, you can instead go for a black overshirt. Wear this open over a white T-shirt and jeans or chinos. As it’s open, you won’t feel confined to the shirt and you’ll be able to feel a bit of the breeze. Pair with trainers or some loafers, depending on how smart your shirt looks.
Also, make sure that your closet consists of a blazer, a bomber jacket, and a polo shirt. Your summer wardrobe and your summer outfit should be made of cotton, a comfy linen shirt, and similiar fabrics for durable wear.
In the comfort of your own home, you’ll be able to wear whatever, and as little, as you like but when you step out in public, you need to be tactical about your trouser choice. Black is a big commitment for your bottom half because it’s going to make you fairly hot. There are ways around this, you just have to know where you’re going, how hot you get and how to style looser pieces well.
You can obviously go for a pair of black shorts. A basic pair without too much embellishment will be a great versatile item to match up with lighter-coloured shirts and T-shirts. Try to avoid jogger shorts in the heat, no matter how comfortable they are. These shorts will absorb heat and sweat and in the end, won’t be as comfortable as you initially thought. Black chino shorts or linen shorts will be your best bet. They can be as short and long (both need to be within reason) as you want and as the materials light, you’ll be able to move and breathe in them.
If you don’t feel like showing off your legs then go for a straight leg pair of chinos. These won’t be as binding as jeans and will go with a range of tops. The loose fit, even when you choose a skinny style, will keep you cool. Wear with white trainers and a T-shirt. This look can take you from day to night without looking out of place.
Now that you’ve either go a black top half or black bottom half sorted, you need to think about what shoes you’re going to go for. Are you going to pair black shoes with this look or go for something else? If you are thinking about going down the black footwear route you need to make sure you’re not in anything too heavy. Even though the colour may be dark, it doesn’t mean you have to be going for boots or chunky trainers. You also want to avoid formal shoes as much as possible, instead go for a light brogue or change into some loafers.
Hot feet in the summer aren’t the most comfortable feeling in the world, so peeling off thick, heavy shoes after a long day out in the sun isn’t going to be something you want to be doing. Keep the sweat at bay by picking lightweight canvas shoes for a casual look, or looser loafers for something more formal. Black trainers like Converse or Vans work well in the summer, even though they may be black because they’re not fully black and they’re made with light canvas material.
All Black Everything
Yes, it may look cool and you may feel cool when you wear all black but you’re going to get hot, especially in the summer. Of course, you can give it a go, but if you want to stop the sweats, at least pair your black pieces with something else that’s lighter in colour. Black absorbs heat, so if you’re out in the sun in head to toe black, it’s not going to be surprised when you start dripping and feeling faint. You really want to keep things lighter in the summer, so mix a few pieces of black into your wardrobe and try and stay away from a completely black outfit.
Even simply wearing black shorts and a black overshirt with a white T-shirt underneath will break things up. Or, take a black jacket with you for the evenings and slip this on when you want to look cool in all black. Black sneakers and a biker jacket will make all the sense!
How to Wear Black During the Summer
- Black absorbs a lot of heat so if you can, mix up your black pieces with lighter alternatives to keep you cooler.
- Black T-shirts and shirts shouldn’t be too tight, keep them loose so your skin can breathe.
- Shorts should be chino or linen fabric as these are light and cool to wear. They can be as long or short as you want, just make sure you’re not in hot pants.
- For your shoes, keep them canvas, and don’t go for any chunky boot or trainer styles. Choose a shoes with a white sole, just to mix things up a little.
On That Note
Wearing black doesn’t always have to be left for the winter. With the right pieces and when dressed in the right way, black can be worn all year round. An open shirt or pair of black chinos, whatever you choose, you’ll have an effortless black outfit that looks summer-appropriate (ish). Just make sure that you up your men’s summer fashion outfits and have high-quality summer pants, summer shorts, and chino pants to make your clothing both comfy and stylish. Are you ready for your new attire?