HELLO. It’s me.
No, not Adele. It’s ME. I’m back.
How good is a summer break if you can swing it? We did indeed swing it and had a week at the beach (more on that here).
Today I had the need to touch on a wardrobe subject that’s become something of an obsession.
I’m talking about black frocks in summer. Specifically black frocks with a bit of shoulder action.
I cannot get enough of them. And I can’t stop wearing them.
I may need an intervention – or a support club.
But it’s summer, you say? Shouldn’t I be bursting out a riot of colour every day?
Sure, there are plenty of days when colour is my outfit partner of choice but there is something so effortlessly chic about slipping on a little black dress with the heat is on.
So, I’m declaring it – the off-the-shoulder black dress is THE dress of summer 2016.
Well … my “THE” dress. Here’s why I’m calling it.
Why the off-the-shoulder/cold-shoulder black dress works
1. The black fabric is very much balanced out by a show of skin. Contrasts in any outfit are always a good thing. This is the easiest contrast to achieve.
2. Said skin doesn’t need to be tanned to look good. Black looks fabulous with porcelain skin. See point #1 re contrast.
3. Arms are covered. This is a big win for those who may not want their arms out on show. The off-the-shoulder style will sit just off the shoulder and cover the upper arms, without heating you up. You’ll still feel cool because shoulders, neck and back are exposed. WIN.
4. Most styles include some kind of detail or interest in the patterning or fabric. Cut-outs, broderie anglaise, sleeve design – all of these things lift your off-the-shoulder look up a notch.
5. Your choice of accessories is limitless. Add colour; don’t add colour. It all works. Go with how you feel on the day. Shoe-wise, black very much works but why not switch out black for tan or nude for a leggy summer look? Or surprise spice things up with a metallic or leopard print.
I know from the comments on Instagram and Facebook when I wore these outfits that many struggle with this style of dress because of the necessity to wear a strapless bra.
I hear you.
If it weren’t for the five valid style points I listed above, I probably would avoid it too.
Instead, I strap my 16Ds into a strapless bra for the day or evening and take it off as soon as I’m home.
I get asked a lot about finding a strapless bra that is comfortable. Truly, this is such an individual thing.
What might work for me, may not work for you. It’s not just boob size, it’s boob shape and how wide your back is.
My back is WIDE, so in the quest for a black strapless bra, I took myself off to David Jones after Christmas and tried on about six different styles.
I need a bra – strapless or conventional – without a full cup because there isn’t a whole lot of fullness in the top part of my girls.
Most strapless bras err on the full-cup scenario. It takes a lot of searching, trial and error to find my ideal.
But find I did.
I dropped a crazy-but-worth-it-amount of money on a black lace strapless bra by Simone Perele. What also lead me to this holy grail of strapless bras was a little experimenting with sizing.
I tried going up a back size and down a cup size – so 18C instead of 16D.
And guess what? It worked. Worth every cent. No empty space in the bra where my boobs should be and (relative) comfort.
My suggestion to you – make time to try on lots of strapless styles and sizes. Get advice from specialist fitters and make it a mission to find a strapless bra that works for you.
Black in summer?
Still not convinced about wearing black in summer? Check out these recent posts from my bloggie comrades:
So, tell me … do you want to sign up for my black off-the-shoulder support group? Embraced the off-the-shoulder but in other colours? (oops, me too!)
* These pieces were gifted to me for editorial consideration. Full disclosure policy here.