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Fashion, Style & Beauty 26 Jul 2013

Summer Noir: Brighten Up Your Black Staples for Summer

If you are anything like us, your wardrobe is peppered with delightfully chic black items that are abandoned during the summer months, no matter how fabulous they look. Summer doesn’t have to mean ditching your black staples and storing them away for fall and winter. That’s one of the fun things about changing seasons: finding different ways to incorporate your off-season items. Black is a staple color that can sometime be seen as cold, dark and inappropriate for the warmer weather. Luckily, there are little tricks to warming up your black clothing and making them not just summer-appropriate, but summer-essential!


Warm it up with breezy hair & makeup

Throwing your hair up into a messy topknot or bun is the easiest way to summer-ize your blacks. Pulling your hair up makes your look lighter and gives the illusion of cool, breezy summer chic. Though wearing your down can be fun and sexy, it also weighs down a look. When you’re trying to brighten up your black items, you want your look to be as light as possible.

This applies to your makeup as well. Keep it light. Stick to a clean, natural face. Light bronzer, mascara and eyeliner will do the trick. This makes your face look fresh. To add a little something fun, give yourself a red or orange lip. This ties the entire look together and makes the effect chic and effortless.

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Go Bold

The basic black top is a staple piece of clothing that everyone has in their closet. Brightening up a black top is a simple task that gives you the opportunity to explore bold colors and patterns. Explore with daring patterns you normally wouldn’t try, or go for that hot pink maxi skirt/dress that you once thought was too bright. The two contrasting colors even each other out and lighten the tone of the outfit. Wearing a nude strappy heel adds a sophisticated touch that doesn’t take attention away from the statement bottom.

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Our picks? 

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Capri Blouse, $235             The Reformation Skirt, $59      ASOS Sandals, $59.40

A touch of femininity

The summer season is all about keeping it cool with bright, vibrant colors. However, wearing color is not the only trick to making something season appropriate. Pay attention to the fabric you are wearing. Sticking to feminine fabrics illuminates any outfit without any color at all. Keep your fabrics light in weight like lace, sheer, silk and satin. A heavy fabric can weigh down an outfit and make it too wintery. Stick to fun, feminine fabrics when experimenting with black this summer.

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Our picks?

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Motel Mary Playsuit, $120   Forever21 Sandals, $26.80   New Look Clutch, $13.56

Shine with silver

Silver is a sophisticated, fun and chic trend that transitions from season to season. Silver is the perfect companion to any black piece, especially when trying to brighten it up. The strong contrast between black and silver draws the eye away from the basic black top and leads it straight to your killer accessories. The bigger, the brighter, the better. Add statement pieces, like amazing metallics to your look and you’ll gleam wherever you go. Have some fun with this—throw little hints of silver anywhere!

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Our picks?

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Zara Dress, $89.90     Steve Madden, $99.99    Marc Jacobs, $255.01    Paisley, $115

Blame it on the accessories

Another practical way to liven up your darks is by wearing colorful accessories. One bold, colorful statement necklace can carry several different looks into summer. Don’t be shy with the color on this look. Accenting your statement piece with light pastels is the perfect way to complement it. Pastels are subtle enough not to clash with your other accessories, but bold enough to stand on their own. And don’t forget about your nails! They want to share in the efforts to revive your dark clothing.

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Our picks?

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Amrita Singh Necklace, $400        Boohoo Skirt, $12               Mint Clutch, $97


Wearing a monochrome, all-black, ensemble can still be fun and sophisticated for summer. The key is to add a pop of color to one aspect of the outfit. We die for a red bag. It’s bright enough for summer, but not enough to kill the monochrome look. This look embodies the chic factor we were looking for to run errands or meet your friends for coffee. It’s an effortless summer outfit.

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Our picks?



Amrita Singh Bag, $120    Amrita Singh necklace, $120  BKE Sandals, $39.95


Thanks to our fabulous intern, Allison, for writing and styling this article!

About the author


Stassi’s addictions: Red nails, gold jewelry, scary movies, margaritas, cozy nights in, top knot buns, statement heels, girlie lingerie, Brigitte Bardot, online shopping, being near the water, hot sauce, all things New Orleans, PDA. Oh, and Pandora’s cooking. View All of Stassi's Articles



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