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How can I make my black dress look more summery?


A black dress can be styled in many different ways to give it a fresh, summery look. The key is to think about lighter fabrics, prints, textures, accessories and styling tricks that will breathe new life into your LBD (little black dress). With some creativity, you can transform your black dress into the perfect summer outfit.

Choose lightweight, breezy fabrics

One of the easiest ways to summer-ify your black dress is to choose one made from lightweight, breezy fabrics. Some great options include:

  • Cotton – A black cotton sundress is a summer staple. Look for lightweight cotton in loose silhouettes.
  • Linen – Linen has a casual, beachy vibe that’s perfect for summer. It’s lightweight and breathable.
  • Chiffon – Flowy chiffon adds movement and billows nicely in the breeze.
  • Lace – Delicate lace black dresses evoke a romantic, summer night vibe.
  • Crochet – Crocheted dresses have an airy, open weave that’s ideal for summer.

Heavier fabrics like wool, ponte, velvet or leather can feel too wintery and hot during summer. Save those fabrics for colder weather.

Look for prints and patterns

Prints and patterns are an easy way to inject a summery look into a black dress. Some top options include:

  • Floral prints – Nothing says summer like a splashy floral print. Go for big, bold blooms or small sprigs.
  • Polka dots – Playful polka dots have a retro vibe perfect for summer.
  • Striped – Nautical stripes in summery hues like red, white and blue are very on-trend.
  • Gingham – The classic picnic table cloth print looks fresh on a black dress.
  • Tropical prints – Palm leaves, hibiscus flowers and pineapple prints read summery and fun.

When mixing prints, make sure to pick a simple print for your dress and accessories, then layer on a second bolder print.

Use texture

Fabrics withInteresting textures can give your black dress a summer update. Some textures to try:

  • Eyelet lace – The perforated look has a breezy vibe.
  • Crochet – A crocheted overlay adds airiness.
  • Laser cutouts – Peekaboo laser cutouts add a flirty touch.
  • Ruffles – Soft ruffles have a carefree flair.
  • Smocking – Sweet smocked details make your dress pop.
  • Ruched – Figure-flattering ruching is feminine and fun.

Focus the textured details on the neckline, sleeves, hemline or waist for an accent.


The right accessories can totally transform the look and feel of your black dress for summer. Some summertime accents to try:

  • Straw hat – Top your dress with a wide-brimmed straw sunhat.
  • Sunglasses – Slip on oversized shades for instant glam.
  • Beach bag – Tote a cute embroidered straw bag.
  • Sandals – Strappy sandals or espadrilles complement the summer vibe.
  • Statement jewelry – Wooden, beaded or enamel jewelry adds a pop of color.
  • Belt – Cinch the waist with a brightly colored belt.
  • Scarf – Drape a silk scarf around the shoulders or neck.

Accessories with tropical, nautical or bohemian vibes work especially well.

Experiment with silhouettes

The silhouette of your black dress can make a big impact on its summer appeal. Some hot summer silhouettes include:

  • Shift dress – A sleeveless shift style is easy-breezy.
  • Maxi dress – A flowing maxi dress is perfect for summer evenings.
  • Halter dress – A halter top and flowy skirt screams summer.
  • Babydoll dress – An A-line babydoll dress is cute and casual.
  • Wrap dress – A wrap style flatters the figure and feels laid-back.
  • Off the shoulder – An off the shoulder neckline bares some skin.

Cooler weather styles like bodycon dresses or sleeveless sheath dresses don’t have quite the same summery effect.

Highlight colors

Don’t be afraid to complement your black dress with pops of summery colors. Some colors that evoke summer vibes include:

  • Aqua – The quintessential summer color, aqua reads beachy and refreshing.
  • Coral – Vibrant coral is the color of tropical flowers and sunsets.
  • Mint green – Crisp and cooling mint green says summer.
  • Yellow – Cheery sunshine yellow boosts the summer fun.
  • Navy – Nautical navy has a sailing meets boardwalk vibe.
  • White – Crisp white pairs perfectly with summer black.

Look for dresses with contrasting piping, colorblocking, floral appliques or accent colors. Or complement your black dress with colorful accessories and footwear.


With creativity and style, a black dress can easily be adapted for the summer season. Fabrics, prints, textures, accessories, silhouettes and pops of color are all easy ways to dress up your LBD for summer. Have fun playing with different looks, and your black dress will seamlessly move from season to season.

Section Key Points
Introduction A black dress can be styled in many ways to give it a summery look. Focus on lighter fabrics, prints, textures and styling tricks.
Lightweight Fabrics Choose breezy fabrics like cotton, linen, chiffon, lace and crochet. Avoid heavy fabrics like wool or velvet.
Prints and Patterns Floral, polka dot, striped and gingham prints say summer. Mix prints carefully.
Texture Use interesting textures like eyelet, crochet, cutouts, ruffles and smocking.
Accessories Straw hats, sunglasses, beach bags, sandals and statement jewelry give summer vibes.
Silhouettes Try breezy shift, maxi, halter, babydoll, wrap or off-the-shoulder styles.
Colors Aqua, coral, mint, yellow, navy and white complement black for summer.
Conclusion With some creative styling, a black dress can be perfect for summer.