Beating the Heat in Black Silk

Beating the Heat with Black Silk

 
A lot of people avoid black in the summer. Scientifically speaking, it is true that black absorbs light, but whether that absorption turns into heat depends on the fabric and the cut of your clothes.

Personally, I think of black as an ally in the summer because it hides perspiration better than any color. So, if I am going to the ballpark on a hot evening or (oh my) for a day game, I am likely to wear a black sundress . . . and boil elegantly inside my own skin without anyone noticing.

 
 
 
 
For work, I sometimes wear this floaty silk blouse and unlined, tropical weight wool trousers.
Whisper weight silk is just right when the temperature is above 90 degrees (F)

Whisper weight silk is just right when the temperature is above 90 degrees (F)

As you can see, the blouse is very loose

As you can see, the blouse is very loose

 
 
 
 
Although this blouse is loose and floaty, it’s not a total tent. The yoke sits nicely across the shoulders and collarbone and it fits closely through the bust.
 
O.K. Maybe it is a tent. But because the fabric is very light, it’s an elegantly draped tent.

Floppy bow

Floppy bow

Come a little closer to see the yoke which closes with long ties that I have fashioned into a bow.
 
It is much easier to tie a creditable bow with lightweight, soft fabrics than stiff ones. Stiffer fabrics, though, will hold the shape of a square knot more effectively. Just an observation, if you are ever wondering whether to tie a square knot or a bow.

To finish things off, a rock crystal necklace and a substantial black watch.

Rock crystal, a type of quartz, looks like ice cubes here; oooohhh ice

Rock crystal, a type of quartz, looks like ice cubes here; a strand of ice around my neck would be refreshing right now

Substantial watch case looks a little bit like a bottle-opener . . . which  makes me want a frosty root beer

Substantial watch case looks a little bit like a bottle-opener . . . which makes me want a frosty root beer

Blouse: Theory; Pants: JCrew; Necklace: David Yurman; Watch : Ritmo Mundo; Bag: Coach Gramercy Satchel

9 thoughts on “Beating the Heat with Black Silk

  1. love the outfit. But what I’m really excited about are the glasses (which are only visible in profile). are those McFly glasses I see???

    • Indeed they are McFly glasses, Desh. My attempt to stay up-to-date with large specs. I know you set this trend more than a decade ago; I am just a sad copyist following in your wake.

  2. Amen to that! As a glasses wearing curly haired female I want to see your eyewear Directrice! Are there more pairs you have not shown?
    And I think black in the summer is perfectly acceptable and always chic.

    • I wear glasses for reading, but find that I need them when my husband is taking pictures. He’ll take a few shots and then show me what he’s got; without my glasses, I have approved some very unflattering pictures. I’ll post a photo tomorrow of the glasses I am wearing currently.

  3. What a lovely ensemble! And I fully support the idea of loose-fitting clothing in summer heat, so bring on the elegantly draped tents, I say.

    Your rock crystal necklace reminds me of a string of beads I have that was my grandmother’s. I’ve never worn it but you’re making me think I could make it work for daytime. And, I’m intrigued by the idea of a necklace combined with a top that has something going on at the neckline…counterintuitive/rule-breaking, but it absolutely works here. (I suspect because of the dead simple color scheme?) Not sure exactly how I would replicate that from my closet, but you’ve inspired me to try.

    • Hi Sarah, Rhizophora and Bubu — So glad you like the combination! I think it works because the bow is very soft/fluid and off-center. I got the idea when leafing through a book about Jacqueline Kennedy’s clothes during the White House years. I noticed that when she wore a necklace, it was often partially obscured because it was under a jacket or tucked inside the neckline of a dress. This seemed very charming to me.

  4. What a lovely outfit. I also endeavor to wear loose outfits in summer. I do wear black in early summer and late summer (then the temperature is only in the l90s), but once it hits 100, I only do light colors. Like Sarah, I was also impressed by the combination of necklace and busy neckline. It looks wonderful on the Directrice.

  5. This whole look is so cool and urban and sophisticated, I love it – and I echo the other comments re the neat interplay of neckline and necklace. That said, I simply cannot wrap my head around any combination of “wool” and “DC in August.” I lived in DC for three years — maybe it’s my northern blood, but I just can’t imagine anything other than cotton or linen (or nudity) in that heat and humidity.

But what do you think?