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Digital Cover wish-list© Edward Berthelot

How to wear black in summer for maximum chic

Here's how to wear the traditionally no-go shade this summer...

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Chloe Gallacher
Style Writer
May 23, 2024
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Usually when thinking of summer, we think of bright hues, eclectic prints or sorbet shades. Lighter tones and airy fabrics spring to mind, however, there are some who would rather sport an all-black ensemble all year round. 

Whilst black is famed for its understated elegance, it's not always the first choice for a summer wardrobe. As seen on the SS24 runways, black is having its moment this summer. From structured tailoring at Jacquemus to sheer dresses at Chanel and a more preppy feel at Miu Miu, there were a mix of styles throughout fashion month.

Chanel opted for sheer fabrics
Chanel opted for sheer fabrics
Jacquemus showcased structured silhouettes
Jacquemus showcased structured silhouettes
Miu Miu favoured a more preppy style
Miu Miu favoured a more preppy style

Certainly treading into more of the quiet luxury waters rather than the maximalist, joyful wardrobe, that doesn’t mean to say a black look needs to be boring and bland. It can ooze sophistication and is an effortlessly chic option. Its endless wearability can maximise any outfit and is a key player in any capsule wardrobe. Worn in the right way, it can be the perfect option for summer. 

Hello! Fashion shares the best ways to style a black this summer:

Keep it simple:

Sophia Roe dons an effortlessly chic all-black ensemble © Raimonda Kulikauskiene
Sophia Roe dons an effortlessly chic all-black ensemble

Wednesday Addams is an evergreen style icon, don’t just reserve her for Halloween - take inspo from her and opt for an all-black ensemble. When it comes to summer, swap your winter warmers for spaghetti straps, linen fabrics and floaty maxi dresses, paired with black accessories for a consistent look. This summer, we’re swapping the chunky dad-style sandals for a feminine, strappy version: thank us later when they become a core part of your everyday fit. 

Modern tailoring:

Sara Sampaio wears a chic oversized blazer dress.© Edward Berthelot
Sara Sampaio wears a chic oversized blazer dress.

Tailoring doesn’t have to be reserved for the winter months, a structured blazer dress or waistcoat and tailored shorts give an instant put-together look. Opting for a lighter fabric like linen as opposed to the normal heavy feel of tailored pieces will give a more fresh, airy summer feel and keep you cool in the heat. 

Contrasting textures:

Cover star Amalie Gassmann perfects the contrasting texture approach© Jeremy Moeller
Cover star Amalie Gassmann perfects the contrasting texture approach

Using contrasting textures and dynamic shapes will boost your look. It will give an elevated, considered feel to your look and is a way to bring more dimension into the dark hue. Don’t be afraid to mix textures either: pairing a black raffia bag with your look will create a contrast to keep it interesting. We're taking our inspo from Hello! Fashion's cover star Amalie Gassmann who perfects an effortless chic look.

Emphasis on accessories:

We are obsessed with Xenia Adonts full Schiaparelli look© Christian Vierig
We are obsessed with Xenia Adonts full Schiaparelli look

An alternative way for a contrasting look is to put your emphasis on your accessories. By choosing a look with hardware on it, you can tie it altogether by matching your accessories with it. Xenia Adont gives a great example by opting for a strapless Schiaparelli dress with gold buttons and keeping all her accessories gold for a cohesive finish. 

In the details:

Kesewa Aboah perfects the all-black look© Jeremy Moeller
Kesewa Aboah perfects the all-black look

If you want to go for an all-black look but you’re not sure where to start, go for a piece that has interesting detailing. Kesewah Aboah gives us a prime example: a mini dress with cut-out tie detailing and puffed sleeves. To finish your look, just pair with black accessories - sunglasses are a must. We love the preppy finish of the simple loafers, but experiment with different shoes depending on the outfit choice.

Incorporate a print:

We love the printed blouse with contrasting leather dress layered on top© Edward Berthelot
We love the printed blouse with contrasting leather dress layered on top

If an all-black ensemble isn’t for you, fear not: by layering a core black item with a bright print, it’s a way to ease yourself into the trend. Whether it’s a black dress over a printed shirt, or pairing a black midi skirt and accessories with a bright printed top, it allows you to bring out your summer favourites whilst still maintaining the black element.

Add a pop of colour:

We love Xenia Adonts subtle pastel yellow addition© Kirstin Sinclair
We love Xenia Adonts subtle pastel yellow addition

Another way of injecting some colour into a black look is by choosing one key tone for your accessories. A subtle way is opting for a sorbet hue, or go all-out with a primary bright. Whether you just do one item as a colour, or go all out and match your bag, shoes and sunnies, you can’t go wrong with black as your core item. 

Hello! Fashion shares the best black pieces to shop this season:

  • Black One Shoulder Georgia Midi Dress

    Nobody's Child

    This is chic outfit option that requires minimal effort. We love it's asymmetric one shoulder and its A-line skirt with fitted top creates a contrasting silhouette and it's organic cotton poplin gives an airy feel in the height of summer.

  • Jalen Slim Leather Sandals


    A.EMERY is our ultimate go-to brand for summer sandals. With its ankle strap and cross-over straps, you'll be reaching for this timeless pair year after year. 

  • Saar Beaded Mesh-Jersey Midi Dress


    With its knotted front, cut-out detailing and wooden beading finish, this Nanushka number would be a cult addition to any wardrobe. We'd pair with strappy sandals for a night out, or for a casual day feel, chunky sandals and a raffia bag.

  • Ebro Straw Crossbody Bag


    A straw bag is a must for summer. This all black iteration features a straw base with a leather strap finish. Its the first thing we're packing for our getaway this year.

  • Anastasia One Piece


    Made to flatter your silhouette, this one piece swimsuit has a cut-out detail with wide straps. We'd add gold jewellery to compliment the gold metal hardware. Its open-back adds a sexy, sleek finish.

  • 100% Cotton Poplin Skirt

    Massimo Dutti

    We've spotted the black midi skirt everywhere this season and can't wait to get our hands on one. This drawstring waist Massimo Dutti number is going straight in our basket. We'd style with either a slogan tee tucked in to inject some colour, or a plain black fitted vest for an all-black ensemble.

  • Isla Black Cat Eye Sunglasses

    Jimmy Choo

    We can't help but treat ourselves to a new pair of sunglasses every summer, because you can never have too many, right? The cat-eye is on trend this year and we love this Jimmy Choo pair with a fresh approach to a classic style. Their black frames with contrasting black lenses will slot right into your capsule wardrobe.

  • Mini Alana Bucket Bag

    Anine Bing

    A bucket bag is a cult classic in our capsule wardrobe. We love this all-black version from Anine Bing - we'd opt for gold jewellery to match the gold hardware. Its a great option for a new everyday piece. 

  • Tie-Front Waistcoat


    Over the past few years, we've seen the resurgence of the waistcoat and is now a staple in every wardrobe. We love the delicate tie detailing on this COS piece. We'd style with a satin maxi skirt, or with the matching shorts for a tailored look.

  • Zendaya Dress


    The easiest way to achieve an effortless all-black look is a chic summer dress. We love the contrasting strap detailing and smocked waist on this Rails number and would style it with simple sliders and a black bucket bag.

How we chose:

  • Style and variety: Less of a trend and more of a classic, capsule piece, black has a certain timeless quality. Our selections vary in design but they are united by the fact that they have a certain lasting appeal and can be styled in multiple ways.
  • Price: Variety is key, and therefore alongside pieces by some of our favourite designer labels, we've included some stylish picks from the high street if you're looking to save.

Why you should trust me:

I am Hello! Fashion’s Style Writer, with seven years of experience within the fashion journalism industry. I have a love for fashion and spotting upcoming trends, coveted pieces and scouring online for irresistible new-in finds.

HELLO!'s selection is editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items our editors love and approve of. HELLO! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. To find out more visit our FAQ page.

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