Some of my clients like to wear dark neutrals like navy and black in Summer, but with a good amount of bare skin, and in seasonally appropriate fabrics so that they don’t overheat. You can keep the outfits dark like most of the outfits shown here. Or add bags, shoes, belts and jewellery in whites, pastels, other neutrals, and brights. 

1. Casual Black Dress

Jersey fabric can be see-through and flimsy but tends to look more substantial in darks like black and navy. This one has a lovely ‘70s integrity with the empire cut and kimono sleeves. Espadrilles make a nice change to regular sandals, and I like how the raffia sole breaks up the black. If this were my client, I’d add casual tortoiseshell jewellery to further break up the black, and a bag in a shade of brown or tan. Animal print accents would look fab too.

Casual Black Dress

2. Navy Shirt Dress

I LOVE this dress, how it’s styled, and have ordered it. It’s a boxy navy shirt dress with a high-low hemline, subtle white stripe, and white buttons. The subtle white accents are just enough to break up the expanse of dark, and lighten the palette. Sneakers are one option, but so are slides, mules, loafers and sandals. Scrunch the sleeves, add a bag, and you’re ready to go.

Navy Shirt Dress

3. Black Crops and Patterned Top

This is the option with the least amount of sold dark neutral if you prefer breaking things up. Combine a pair of black or navy cropped pants with a black patterned top, and finish things off with Summery black shoes. Add a bag that works with the pattern of the top. The black slides showcase a good amount of skin, thereby adding and effective Summery touch. Great bookending of footwear and hair too.

Black Crops and Patterned Top

4. Jumpsuit

A navy or black jumpsuit can be a nice alternative to a dress when you prefer to wear pants, and don’t mind the extra effort in the loo that jumpsuits require. I like the addition of the black sandals and hat that perfectly bookend the model’s hair. The topper is for the chill in the morning, evening, or arctic a/c, but not essential. Add jewellery, watch and bag as desired.


I don’t wear solid black anymore, but I like to wear solid navy and do so year round. Some of my Summer navy items have a subtle white stripe, but give the effect of solid navy. Here are my Spring and Summer navy items that I remix with white, light blue, blush, and sour brights. The navy denim jackets go over all sorts of patterned tops and dresses. I don’t wear navy from head to toe in Summer unless it’s in the form of a dress. My footwear is white, blush, light blue or bright, and never dark.

Over to you. Do you like to wear black and navy in the Summer?