A 12 Piece All Black Summer Capsule Wardrobe

A white background with 12 clothing items plus shoes and accessories for A 12 Piece All Black Summer capsule wardrobe. In the middle is a black box with white text that reads, "A 12 Piece All Black Summer Capsule Wardrobe."

Can you wear black in summer? This is common question across the fashion world and something similar might have run through your mind when you saw this post. The quick answer?


But most people still want to avoid it from the long-running belief that it will make you hotter.

It has been such a polarizing debate that there have been studies done on this question going all the way back to 1980 with an article written in Nature titled “Why do Bedouins wear black robes in hot deserts?”

The research showed that the amount of heat the skin is exposed to from the clothes is the same regardless if you are wearing black or white.

So yes, you can wear black in the summer. But even if the science didn’t back it, you still could.

There is this preconceived idea that come the summertime, all black fashion is taboo and one must embrace colours, florals, and bold prints.

But what if that just isn’t you?

What if you are the person who feels most comfortable and most confident in a black on black outfit?

I can see some of you nodding your heads along with me.

A 12 Piece All Black Summer Capsule Wardrobe

A white background with 12 outfits for A 12 Piece All Black Summer Capsule Wardrobe.

Waistcoat | Satin Track Pants | Pointy Toe Flats | Shoulder Bag | Dress | Bubble Hem Shirt | Necklace | Belt | Flip Flops | Handbag | Skirt | Shorts | Button Up | Earrings | Bracelets | Cardigan | Loafers | Crochet Flats | Linen Trousers | Tote | Polo Shirt | Sunglasses | Silk Tank Top | Bardot Top | Mules

While I enjoy some colour, when given a choice the black option is the one that I gravitate towards.

I don’t know how many times I saw something that I liked that came in several colours and just to break from having an all black wardrobe I talked myself into choosing a colour only to bring it home and regret that I didn’t get it in the black.

My philosophy for myself is when in doubt, buy it in black. I’ve never regretted that.

Having a monochromatic wardrobe doesn’t mean that you are forbidden from adding anything of colour.

I was actually going to use the accessories in this summer capsule to be colourful but then chose to stay with the all dark outfit direction I was going.

So if you prefer an all black outfit but want to sprinkle in some colours, add some neon shoes, or a bright red purse. The options are limitless.

Before we jump into the why I wanted to share a bit about my choices.

Since this is a summer wardrobe I really wanted to keep the pieces more minimal.

I made certain to pick all black clothes in different textures and fabrics to give a sense of variety.

I also looked to include many different styles and cuts in the pieces. The only touch of colour is through the accessories and I went with neutral gold for those.

I opted for a variety of footwear in different shapes and textures, and handbags that serve different purposes. I have one tote, a handbag and a shoulder bag style.

The handbag is actually one that I just ordered for myself via a very reputable eBay seller based in Japan (I’ve done a lot of research).

It is a vintage Celine Boogie bag in black leather with studs which quite aligns with my style.

The Boogie bag came out in 2002 and is available in many different colours, and fabrics.

And it is one of the few designer handbags that still is a relatively low cost. You can find many styles available for around $200, often less if you look.

I’m only mentioning this because the y2k vibe is strongly on trend right now, and if this bag comes back into the running again then the prices are going to soar.

Why choose an all black wardrobe?

Black is an excellent wardrobe choice due to its versatility, timelessness, and flattering qualities.

As a neutral colour, it effortlessly pairs with any other hue, allowing for endless outfit combinations and seamless accessorizing.

Although we shouldn’t care about it, it does have a slimming effect which is universally appreciated, as it creates a streamlined silhouette that in turn can boost confidence.

Black clothing also has a sophisticated and elegant appeal, making it appropriate for a wide range of occasions, from casual outings to formal events.

This makes it easy to take the same look from day to night.

This versatility reduces the need for an extensive wardrobe, as a few well-chosen black pieces can form the foundation of numerous outfits.

Additionally, black clothing tends to hide stains and wear better than lighter colours, increasing its longevity and practicality.

From a fashion perspective, black never goes out of style, ensuring that investments in quality black pieces will remain relevant for years to come.

How to Build an All-Black Summer Wardrobe

Many of us struggle in the summer to maintain a wardrobe that reflects our style since it is harder to express that when using less clothing.

That being said, I often wonder if another reason that we may struggle with this is because we like to wear a lot of black and have been told black is not for summer which leaves us with a more colourful wardrobe that just doesn’t feel like us.

Something to ponder.

So don’t ditch your all black attire in the hot season, embrace it with some easy style tips for wearing all black this summer.

I also want to note that all black clothes make a good travel wardrobe. It really takes the thinking part out of your planning since everything just naturally goes together.

Start with the Basics

Black Tank Tops: Invest in a few high-quality black tank tops. Choose breathable fabrics like cotton or linen to stay cool. Tank tops can be paired with various bottoms and layered under other pieces.

I chose a silk tank for this wardrobe.

Black T-Shirts: A black t-shirt is a versatile staple. Look for options in lightweight materials. V-necks and scoop necks can add variety to your wardrobe. I opted for an off-the-shoulder Bardot style tee to up the sexiness.

Black Shorts: Whether you prefer tailored shorts, casual denim, or flowy styles, black shorts are a good choice. They can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. I went with some faux leather in a longer length.

I know, I know, faux leather in summer? They are loose fitting with and the inside is soft so you won’t have a Ross from Friends leather pants incident. I wanted to add some texture.

Plus, not everywhere in the world gets to be 40 degrees in the summer so they will work for some and not for others. Choose a loose-fitting Bermuda style short in a linen or cotton if these aren’t for you.

Black Dresses: A black summer dress is perfect for any occasion. Consider styles like a breezy sundress, a chic midi dress, or a versatile maxi dress. Choose breathable fabrics and look for details like cutouts or slits to enhance airflow.

Layer with Lightweight Outerwear

Black Cardigan: A lightweight black cardigan is perfect for cooler summer evenings. Opt for one in a breathable knit or a sheer fabric.

Black Kimono, Shawl, or Linen/Cotton Blazer: These pieces add a stylish layer without adding bulk or too much warmth. They can also protect you from the sun.

Shawls are great travel peices in the summer to cover up your shoulders when necessary.

Choose Versatile Bottoms

Black Skirts: A black skirt can be paired with almost any top. A-line skirts, pencil skirts, and flowy maxi skirts in breathable fabrics are great options.

Black Pants: Black pants are essential. Look for styles in lightweight materials, like linen or thin cotton. Wide-leg and cropped styles can help keep you cool.

I chose not to include jeans this time and instead opted for some linen trousers, and a satin Adidas wide leg flowy pant. You may want to substitute one for jeans if that is more in tune with your style.

Accessorize Thoughtfully

Black Sandals: Comfortable black sandals are a summer must. Choose styles that are both stylish and supportive, perfect for long walks or casual outings.

Feeling a little Caroline Bessette-Kennedy I went for the 90s flip-flop style in a slight platform.

Black Sunglasses: Protect your eyes and add a touch of glamour with a pair of chic black sunglasses.

The sunglasses I chose are large black retro frames with a deep purple gradient lens to keep with the darkness but add a little something extra.

Black Hats: A black sunhat or cap can provide shade and complete your outfit.

Black Bags: A versatile black bag, whether a tote, crossbody, or backpack, will complement your all-black wardrobe perfectly.

Incorporate Breathable Fabrics

Cotton: Cotton is a natural, breathable fabric, that absorbs sweat, and dries quickly making it perfect for summer.

Linen: Linen is lightweight, allows airflow for breathability, and has a casual, relaxed vibe.

Silk: Lightweight, cooling, and adds a luxurious touch

Rayon: Rayon is a man-made fabric that mimics the properties of natural fibres like cotton and linen, and is often blended with other fabrics for better performance.

Modal: soft, drapey, and resistant to shrinking.

Play with Textures and Layers

This part is really important and is applicable for all monochromatic outfits to make them more elevated and give them visual interest.

Mixing different textures adds depth to an all black outfit.

Consider pairing a lace top with a cotton skirt or a silk blouse with linen pants. You can also include cotton/poplin, crochet, Ramie, leather, and satin.

This applies to all aspects of the all black look from head to toe, so a shiny leather handbag will bring depth to a cotton and linen look.

Don’t be scared of mixing different shades of black.

We have all experienced pulling out a black shirt to go with our black pants only to notice they are not the same shade. That’s okay. Using different fabrics and textures will also make these different shades work well.

Choose pieces that have interesting cuts or details to them. Statement pieces are what I like to refer to some of them as.

Play with proportions by pairing loose tops with fitted bottoms or vice versa.

Layering can also add dimension. Yes you can layer in the summer. I initially had this semi sheer top included because I tried it on in COS and loved it, but most of us would need a tank or camisole layered underneath it and I wanted to simplify this making it more of a minimalist all black wardrobe.

But a sheer top over a black tank or a lightweight vest over a dress can create a stylish look without adding too much warmth, so keep that in mind when building your all black outfit

Consider Practicality

Breathability: Ensure that all your pieces are made from breathable materials to keep you cool.

Ease of Movement: Choose styles that allow for comfortable movement, especially in the heat.

Sun Protection: Incorporate items that provide sun protection, such as wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses.

Caring for All Black Clothing to Maintain its Colour

Wash black clothes inside out in cold water using a specialized detergent for dark clothes.

Avoid overwashing, spot clean when possible.

Hang dry to prevent fading and shrinkage.

And lastly, store away from direct sunlight to avoid the colour from fading.

Last thoughts?

Building an all-black summer wardrobe is about balancing style with comfort.

By choosing the right pieces, fabrics, and accessories, you can stay cool and look chic all summer long.

There is something very freeing about having all black clothes. It simplifies dressing, while still maintaining a chic standard of dress.

It is minimal effort with a maximum outcome which makes getting dressed in my least favourite season so much easier. An all black summer wardrobe will ensure you’re prepared for any occasion, and for some cute black outfits look below.

All Black Outfit Ideas

A white background with 12 outfits for A 12 Piece All Black Summer Capsule Wardrobe.
A white background with 12 outfits for A 12 Piece All Black Summer Capsule Wardrobe.

Waistcoat | Satin Track Pants | Pointy Toe Flats | Shoulder Bag | Dress | Bubble Hem Shirt | Necklace | Belt | Flip Flops | Handbag | Skirt | Shorts | Button Up | Earrings | Bracelets | Cardigan | Loafers | Crochet Flats | Linen Trousers | Tote | Polo Shirt | Sunglasses | Silk Tank Top | Bardot Top | Mules

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Sara is the founder and creative behind livelovesara. A George Brown College Fashion Styling Graduate, she provides advice on finding your personal style regardless of age and budget. She is always on the hunt for the perfect wardrobe piece and is a vintage and thrifting enthusiast who can't wait to share her newest finds. She is also trying to learn French.

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