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Get the look: Summer black


Who's that?

Not who; what. It might sound like a tween icon, but it's actually shorthand for the monochrome palette that has seeped into spring/summer styles.

Marvellous, I can just carry on wearing my winter clothes then

Don't be silly, you know fashion is all about the fetishisation of small differences. Besides, even with the UK climate, you'll find yourself a little clammy in cold-weather togs.

So what turns winter black into summer black?

First you need to go lightweight with the fabrics – think soft, sheer and fluid. Then you'll want to look for feminine shapes with a bit of "interesting texture". Ruffles and pleats are good, as are lace and broderie anglaise.

Yikes! Black lace in summer? I'll end up on that 'Goths in Hot Weather' tumblr…

It's more about channelling Bardot on holiday in 1950s Capri – the contrast of a sweet summer dress rendered in sombre black is subtly powerful. A healthy show of skin (décolletage or midriff, as you prefer) is also imperative.

Bardot in summer? I can do that

That's the spirit. 2nd Day's floaty "Shu" dress strikes a nice balance between Goth and girly (£190, my-wardrobe.com). Or check out Jaeger's broderie anglaise shift (above, £275, jaeger.co.uk).