Sunday 16th May 2021
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How to: Summer black

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I love the way head-to-toe black looks in summer—equal parts laid back and pulled together and just a tiny bit badass, too. Very New York chick. And aside from the part where she’s got her shirt unbuttoned past her bra, I feel Erin Wasson’s outfit here is a great object lesson in how to make the look work: keep things simple, pay attention to proportion, wear a clunky-ass platform, and even those of us who aren’t skinnypants, tously-haired models can to pull it off.

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This oversized stand collar shirt is a softer alternative to a more traditional button-down, and it keeps things on the breezy side. You must tuck it in, even if you just do that tucked-in-front-and-not-in-back thing.

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Erin is wearing super-skinny pants, something I no longer do: you can execute a perfectly credible version of this look with a more forgiving boy-cut skinny pair like this. (Yes, these are crazy stupid expensive R-13s; the market is annoyingly slim for good slouchy skinnies in black. This Frame Denim pair is still on the high side but not quite so bad; J Crew’s Matchstick cut is always a solid choice—size up one for more of a slouchy effect; or if you’re in the mood for a higher waist you might try these.)

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These platforms look perilously high, but they’re good old Kork Ease, which means they won’t be torture to walk in.

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Just a basic webbed Boy Scout-style belt, simple as you please.

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A quick hit of gold against bare skin is so sexy.

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Posted on July 1st, 2014 21 Comments

21 Responses

  1. Love it. Those Kork-Ease are perfect. The platform sandals could certainly be subbed by a pair of black leather flat sandals like the ones from Everlane to keep the same vibe. I also wish Steven Alan had made that blouse in linen instead.




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    • Andrea says:

      I agree that the platforms are divine, but I tried them and the fit was all wrong (and my feet are standard issue). Plus, they are quite high, almost costume-y. Buy them brick and mortar so you can try them on first!




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  2. Sarah says:

    Hmm. But the shirt is actually navy, not black. Close enough? Kim, how do you feel about the timeless question of whether navy and black can be combined?

    Also, I love that the high-waisted jeans are “Slim Mom Jeans.”




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  3. Lisa says:

    If I lived in Manhattan again I’d totally wear black shifts and sandals in the summertime. With 3/4 quarters sleeves and a Henley neckline. And gold.




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  4. caroline says:

    Go for it! I don’t live in n.y anymore which is why I think I must do it!
    Its nice to feel a little bad as now and again…
    I think it slows the aging process! Plus looking cheery and well adjusted all the time us a bit of a snooze.




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  5. Kristen says:

    Love the Kork-Ease, I don’t know how long one could hoof it around town in them though. I found these Charles David “Francis” low wedges and fell in love with them for their comfort alone. http://bit.ly/1m64Ffx

    How does one not burn to a crisp wearing all black in the summer sun I am still wondering.




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    • Lisa says:

      Thanks for that link…I love those. I also love black clothing, but all black in heat and humidity, hell no. That entire outfit would be great in all white (for July and August).




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      • Kristen says:

        You are so welcome, Lisa! Ouch, humidity as well as heat, black is not for you in summer. I’m wondering if linen would work though.




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  6. joannawnyc says:

    I am wearing all black right now on a hot/humid day in NYC–black linen trousers from the Gap, a James Perse tee, and flat black Prada sandals.

    On days like today I try to stick to the shade when I’m outside, and public transit and most offices and shops are so heavily air-conditioned that you need to bring a sweater. So all-black doesn’t necessarily mean you are hotter.

    All-white can be psychologically cooling, certainly, but the end of a day in the city often means your outfit shows traces of every grimy surface you’ve encountered along the way 😉




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  7. SC says:

    Why no skinny jeans? I feel like they look good on every age. No?




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    • Grenadine says:

      I too would be curious to know why no skinny jeans….I have always thought they are one of the more flattering cuts on most women.




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  8. Grenadine says:

    ADORE that pendant necklace in rose gold. LOVE IT. Too bad it’s $420 – I have too many other wardrobe priorities right now otherwise I might splurge.




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  9. Rash says:

    I’m just impressed with how she can walk in platforms on cobblestones. I’ve damaged my ego more than once that way.




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  10. angie says:

    badass but not cool. yesterday i wore a black swingy dress with no show socks and black oxfords. badass and cool.




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  11. angie says:

    it was in 97 and humid here yesterday. no tight black jeans. please.




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  12. Viajera says:

    Hold the phone — people aren’t getting into real high-waist denim, are they? They seem so uncomfortable to me. And since they rarely look good, what’s the point?




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  13. Annie says:

    Old Navy Rock Star jeans are surprisingly good. Very flattering.




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  14. Mamavalveeta03 says:

    Erin Wasson is WAY too cool for me! Maybe make it “mom jeans” by NYDJ and lower clog platforms by Swedish Hasbeens, and I could own it.




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