This past week, of all weeks, with soaring summer temperatures, I decided to experiment with wearing something black on my person every day. I am honing what I love and what works best for me and my wardrobe. In this process, I am forcing myself to wear things that might not seem like the correct items for the day, but that really do work for my personal style. In this ‘forcing’, I want to see if I truly am comfortable in certain pieces, or if they only work for me in my head, or for the occasional styling video. I am also trying to be brutal about what I take with me to Underberg when we move in January, and what is best to leave behind, essentially donating or gifting the items I don’t really wear.
Monday started out pretty cool, temperature-wise, so I decided to add this black, Broderie Anglaise blouse to a pair of jeans. I added a pair of black loafers to complete the look.
My findings: I loved this outfit. I found everything about it comfortable. My day began with the billowy sleeves, buttoned at the wrist. By midday, it was considerably warmer than the early morning, and I rolled the sleeves up a tad. Due to the fact the material of the blouse is cotton, this entire look worked well for me. Jeans are my go-to uniform, so I found that although rather warm after lunch, this outfit is definitely one that will always work for my style.
On Tuesday, I was meeting a new friend for the first time. It was already about 28degC when I got dressed that morning, so I chose to wear linen joggers paired with Birkenstocks and a 100% cotton shirt.
My findings: Again, although the pants were black, I found myself extremely comfortable for the entire day. I do think that the fact they are made from 100% linen, helped as we sat outside in the sunshine at midday, and I didn’t break a sweat. The collarless, cotton shirt, although a stiffer fabric with structure, was cool and comfortable too. I did find that my feet were a bit sweaty in the Birkenstocks, but they are made from a man-made fabric. They are most definitely comfortable on my feet and don’t hurt my scars at all, but I think are still suited to a wee bit cooler weather due to the fabrication. All in all, not a bad outfit.
Wednesdays are the day my hubby and I usually try to get out for brunch. We don’t manage to do so every single week, but on this particular day, we did. I chose this dark, floral skirt, which used to be a wrap style dress. It never worked as a dress. I am short and relatively petite, so the large floral print, in my opinion, swamped my frame. Wearing the print as a skirt, makes this print far more wearable on me. I’d paired it with a 100% cotton tee from h&m. I also added a pair of strappy sandals from Woolworths. These are also made from polyurethane, so the fabric does not stretch.
My findings: Even though the seamstress shortened the hem for me when altering this dress onto a skirt, I find it still far too long. Going up the stairs in my home, I stepped on it several times, and eventually made the conscious effort to swoop up the fabric to the side, in order not to trip. The black item in this outfit, was the tee shirt. Although on it’s own, it’s not a warm item, that particular day, was sweltering. I cannot say if it was the colour or the fabric of the shirt, but I was just sweaty. The skirt is made from viscose, and is very flowy, so should not have been hot at all, but it was all in all, not a great outfit for that specific day. The shoes ended up being so uncomfortable too. We did spend a good deal of our time out, on our feet. Had I known that was going to happen, I would have selected another pair of shoes. To be fair, it was approximately 35degC that day. Anything other than a swimsuit next to a pool, or rather, inside the pool, would have been excessive. I am so grateful we are moving to a more moderate climate.
Matilda came to visit on Thursday. I wanted to be comfortable, but stylish in a casual sort of way. I chose this pair of cotton culottes that I thrifted at the beginning of the year. I really love these trousers. They are the perfect fit. I added another 100% cotton tee from h&m and a really old pair of leather slides. They are beginning to show some wear on the base at the toes. They are leather uppers, but the base is polyurethane and rubber.
My findings: If I look back on the week, this was my favourite outfit. The pants, although black and heavy and structured, were really cool. I was never uncomfortable at all. The only bug bear I have with these culottes is that everything sticks to this fabric and even though I lint rolled it before I got dressed, by the time Matilda arrived, I needed to do so again. They are not great for me as I have pets, but the comfort and style factor, outweigh that issue, so they are staying. The tee shirt was cool, but to be fair, we didn’t exert ourselves all day and sat either indoors, or in the shade, the entire day. The shoes are so comfortable. I actually purchased my Birkenstocks to replace this pair, as they are rather worn, but I am still not ready to let them go. All in all, the most comfortable outfit of my week.
On Friday, I was sorting through some items at home. I wasn’t really getting down and dirty, so I decided to try out a dress for this day. It’s a teeshirt style dress from Superbalist, that is 40% cotton and the rest is polyester. I added my thrifted pair of Vans to keep the look casual. I also tried a scarf as a belt, to add some interest and a pop of colour.
My findings: Although it was another sweltering day, my feet weren’t particularly overheating in these sneakers. The dress, although not 100% cotton and despite the fact that the majority of the fabrication is man-made, was relatively cool. I attribute that fact to the style of dress. The scarf around my waist, did however come off almost immediately after taking this pic. That thing did make me most uncomfortable and caused my upper body especially, to break out in perspiration. In theory, it looked great, but practically speaking, it was a no-go for that day. The dress also has a side slit on the right side, which I think helped greatly in keeping my body cooler. This was not a bad outfit, but I do think I will reserve it for cooler weather, and I do love it with an added layer of a denim/leather jacket.
I had a therapy session early Saturday morning otherwise I don’t think I would have bothered to dress up. I wore these gorgeous black, tailored trousers from Trenery which I had adjusted by my seamstress earlier this year so they fit me perfectly. I wore the same loafers I wore on Monday because I’d added gold jewellery and I loved how the gold chain on the shoes, tied the look together. My sheer, patterned blouse is about six years old now, but I do love the tones and it’s such a flattering style on me, that I know it will be around for many more years.
My findings: Although comfort was not the look I was going for, I have to say, this outfit was all that and more. Not only was I comfortable, but I felt polished and stylish. It’s the first time I’m wearing the trousers, and was surprised by the fit, but that’s what happens when you adjust items to fit you perfectly. A classic, black pair of trousers are a must for anyone who loves a more tailored style. They go with everything. The top, although sheer, was easy to wear. I just added a cotton vest underneath. Saturday was a cloudy and cool day, so I didn’t overheat. The shoes are a great style and so comfortable. They are an older pair I’ve had for almost two years now, They have stretched to fit my feet well, and don’t hurt me anywhere. I have to say, I loved the look of this outfit and will most certainly repeat this one.
To summarise, I will 100% wear more black in my summer wardrobe. Out of all of these pieces, the only item I have considered culling from my closet, is the altered skirt. However, I do know that I might get more wear from it once we’ve moved, so I will hold on to it just a little while longer. I think, paired with a chunky black knit, a pair of black boots, this skirt might work much better than a summer piece. The leather slides from my Thursday look are definitely not going to be staying after the summer is over. I do think they’ll work well as ‘work shoes’ whilst we renovate our new home, but due to the wear and tear on the base, I am going to let them go after that project is finished. I have found this exercise extremely useful in showing me that black, most assuredly, is a colour I love and will wear more often.