For the past couple of seasons, the sphere of creative visionaries known as the high-fashion industry has been obsessed with colour and pattern. In other words, sculpting an outfit together of as many harsh prints and garish colours that has the ability to give an onlooker a headache is considered to be ‘trendy’.
The nature of menswear has very much moved towards statement ensembles, one that if worn on, the street would draw gazes and turn back heads. Bold hues, bolder patterns, garments that make their presence known. Yet, a counter-trend has almost formed, that is of minimalism. Approaching clothing from a far less outlandish vantage point and opting for basic pieces. One such way to do this is monochrome.
Black has been thrust in the spotlight recently, its the ultimate colour (or well, absence of colour) that absolutely anyone can look good in. Yes, yes, I hear your crys “But… black in Summer? Are you crazy? We’ll fry in the heat!” Worry not, there are a few easy ways to tackle the heat-issues of black, here are our 3 ways to wear black in the summer months:
The key to the all black outfit is simplicity. Taking well-tailored, unblemished garments and going for a much more understated look is the best way to employ the all black trend. The model casual outfit for all black is effortless – a t-shirt, bottoms, and shoes – meaning that there is a surprisingly wide margin and space to experiment with subtlety.
A basic black tee can be found anywhere and in varying designs. When choosing one, consider playing with the shape of the tee; a crew neck will project a different silhouette than a u or v-neck. Or chisel a rocking edge to the look by going for graphic tees instead of plain. You can experiment with the different styles and blends of black tones.
Rock and roll band tees are typically made in black, so exploring rawer, rebellious graphics and prints is always an option. More gothic, darker aesthetics should not be neglected. Think biker grunge acid wash, or leather paneling and contrasting sleeves. Blend tones of black together, crate effects such as an astute ombre or blocking monochromatics.
Shorts should be kept quiet, denim or canvas shorts will work the best and go for a length that is flattering to you. Equally, black full length jeans or chinos are another viable option. Cuff them to add a contemporary twist.
Finish off the outfit with a pair of urban shoes and you will be ready to take on a summer’s day with a rocking edge.
Black, being the complete absence of colour, is a neutral anchor, meaning that it is highly versatile in regards to what it can be worn and presented as. The all black ensemble can also be transferred to the realm of formality, too. It provides a streamlined and fluent aesthetic, as black creates an illusion of slimming. Hence when curating an all black formal outfit, go for slimmer, tailored pieces to accentuate a slimmer appearance.
Ditch the denim shorts/jeans and adopt slim cut chinos or tailored shorts; leaving room for breath-ability. Toy with the fits, but keep in mind that it is a formal occasion you’re dressing for. So keep the accessories to a minimum and remain un-embellished by leaving cuff links, pocket squares and brash jewelry at home.
The shirt should be simple to exude that cool effortlessness. Or, as the street style mavericks above demonstrate, a black top/polo neck can be a suitable substitute for injecting a touch of difference to your formal wear.
The footwear, what many will first find their eyes gazing towards, should be (pretty unsurprisingly) simple. Leather tasseled loafers, brogues and desert boots all will flatter both the necessity for smartness, and the playfulness that summer provides.
Taking the lead from the Schott Perfecto, a brand of leather jackets dated back to 1928, the biker jacket is the foundation of the rockability aesthetic, and also, the all black look. Channeling the coolness of James Dean, with his rugged expression, the leather motorcylce jacket symbolises the age of rebellion and youth and has evolved into a menswear staple.
Pairing with black skinny jeans will evoke the pioneering punk spirit; creating a retro 80s look. A simple black tee will finish it off, but consider quirky or similarly punk-ish graphic tees or sweatshirts to place a splash of fun into the ensemble.
In terms of the jacket itself, the iconic Perfecto jacket layout sees the asymmetric zip as being its most defining feature. The belted waist and zipped sleeves meld together to forge an urban appearance. On the other hand, a rounded collar leather jacket or one that has the added addition of a shearling collar are equally stylish and masculine options. Keep in mind that the jacket is ultimately the statement piece of the outfit.
Keep the shoes simple, boots are preferred but trainers will still carry the rebellious flame. Plain black Wayfarers can be considered, but keep the outfit as a whole restrained and classic, this is the ethos of an all black look, simplicity.
Within the boarders of the fashion world, the colour black is simply unbeatable. Black flatters every shape, skin colour and flows into pretty much every sort of style, from punk to prep. It is a highly versatile colour that can be blended into all garments and outfits, but most easily into an all black outfit.
Everyone has at least one pair of black jeans, a black tee lying somewhere in their drawers, and the quintessential black pair of shoes for the Friday night’s out. The fact that the key rule to an all black is simplicity, this means that an all black look requires little thought and does not have to (nor will it ever be) a long thought out process.
Throw on your basic black pieces, whether you are a suit and tie gentleman, or a tee and jeans guy, the all black look transcends rules and there’s room for it in any wardrobe.