How to Wear Dark Colors in Summer

Blue Trench as a Dress

When Spring and Summer rolls around, the stores are usually inundated with paler shades of well, just about everything–all designed to help you beat the heat (at least psychologically). But how do you stay cool and polished if your clothing personality isn’t all sweetness and light?


Here are 3 tips for successfully pulling off deeper colors in the summer months:

  • Choose lightweight fabrics. This is especially important in the south, where soaring temperatures mean that even tropical wool leaves you feeling sticky and looking heavy by 10 a.m. Opt for lighter fabrics, such as linen, cotton, and silk (I especially prefer linen-cotton blends, as they don’t wrinkle as easily as 100% linen).
  • Wear darker colors in the evening. Party clothes tend to be comprised of a bit less fabric, and the combination of evening lighting and sexy silhouettes communicate intentionality rather than “winter wardrobe leftover.” Or if you’re feeling contrary (which I always encourage), wear a single deep color head-to-toe and throw in some shimmer for good effect (refer to my trench-as-a-dress pictured in this post). The key is to make it look purposeful.
  • Invest in summery scarves. I like deep colors against my skin, but when I have difficulty finding them in the aforementioned silk, linen, or cotton, I enlist the help of a diaphanous scarf to place some color near my face. Admittedly, there are days in Florida when the wispiest thread of silk around your neck will make you sweat like a skinny-jean-clad hipster at a music festival, so this tactic is best reserved for your early morning coffee run or an evening cookout.

A final tip: I love a dramatic eye as much as the next Marilyn Monroe worshipper, but I find it rather heavy-looking in the summer and prefer to balance my deep colors with a bold but summery lip. Hot pink, coral, and orange-red all stand up to deep clothing colors but maintain a tropical vibe.


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