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How to Wear Black in Summer

How to Wear All Black and Still Look Like You’re Dressed for Summer

You don’t need to be into florals or bright colors to fully embrace the season.

By Madeleine Kim

I’ve always found dressing for summer to be a bit challenging. In the fall and winter, I can rely on layers to create dimensional, interesting looks, but when it’s 90 degrees outside, you won’t find me wearing a blazer no matter how chic and structured it is. Perhaps that’s why summer clothing tends to be so colorful—the less clothing you wear, the more impactful each piece has to be.

While I love a pop of color every now and then, I ultimately feel most like myself in neutrals—and especially in all black. For anyone who shares in this sentiment, I’ve put together this style guide, featuring seven (almost) all-black outfits that feel just as summery as any floral sundress.


The Weekend Outfit

Put a polished spin on a classic look—a T-shirt and jeans—by swapping your cotton tee for the washable silk Annika top. The Daria jeans feature a straight-but-not-tight fit, which allows for ventilation, and our Turkish cotton Better Than Denim is more breathable (see: better) than denim. White sneakers and simple hoops finish the look.

Annika top and Daria jeans
How to Wear Black in Summer

The Summer Suit

Give your suits a summer-ready twist by wearing the gingham linen Flaka top in place of your usual underpinning. You could pair this and your Yiyan blazer with classic trousers, but it’s summer, and I feel like having fun, so I opted for the swishy Zhou culottes instead. Accessorize with hoops and the snakeskin-print Rowan flats for a chic pattern-mixing moment.


The Special-Occasion Outfit

Silk and satin styles automatically read as dressy—but often, these fabrics are dry clean-only, making them impractical for the warmer months. Not so with the Vicky tank and Penny skirt: These elegant separates are machine-washable, so you don’t have to worry about sweat or spills. Pair them with the silver Ella sandals and a statement necklace to complete the outfit.

tips to wear black in summer
gingham black dress for summer

The Vacation Outfit

Florals and bright colors may not be your thing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pull off a breezy, vacation-y sundress. Try the monochrome Nyla dress in luxe gingham, which is summery without being flashy. Pair it with easy slides and add black-and-white earrings for some extra personality.


The Power Travel Outfit

As Meghan Donovan wisely pointed out in her Parisian city guide, travel often involves stepping off a plane in a new city with hours to kill before you can check into your hotel. And when you’re traveling for work, you may even have to head straight from the airport to a meeting. When you dress in Power Travel, none of this is a problem. Rely on breathable, wrinkle-resistant OrigamiTech styles like the Nia jacket and Colby pants, and stay cozy on the plane with the knit Charli top.

How to Wear Black in Summer
mmlafleur Power Casual outfit

The Power Casual Outfit

Not sure where your day will take you? Grab a Power Casual outfit that’s fit for work, playtime with kids, dinner with friends, and everything in between. The machine-washable, wrinkle-resistant, odor-resistant Antonia top is an easy choice, because the faux-wrap construction and waist seam mean the styling is done for you. Just add kick-crop jeans, playful earrings, and leopard-print loafers.


The Date-Night Outfit

The Luca skirt is equal parts flirty and fun—just like the evening you have planned. Dress it down a tad with the pima cotton Alina-T-shirt, then slip on your Carter slides and some layered gold necklaces, and you’re ready to go.

mmlafleur black outfit

Written By

Madeleine Kim

Madeleine Kim is the Senior Brand Manager at M.M.LaFleur, where she started out as a stylist. She loves developing styling-focused content and creating newsletters that bring the M.M. community together.

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