black dress in summer

How To Wear a Black Dress in Summer and Look Effortlessly Stylish

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Black? In summer? The answer to that is definitely yes! The color black is the epitome of timeless and deserves a spot in every woman’s classic wardrobe. However, a black dress is not just reserved for wedding wear and formal events anymore! You can easily put together a stylish look for summer using this must-have piece. Here’s how to wear a black dress in summer and look effortlessly chic while doing so!

This post is sponsored by Walmart Fashion. Thank you for supporting the brands that support My Chic Obsession!

dress | shoes | purse

First things first. A key to making any little black dresses work for summer is picking the right fabric. Starting with the wrong fabric will not only make you very uncomfortable, but it will instantly turn your stylish outfit into a stylish outfit for the wrong season!

Fabrics/materials to look for

  • Cotton
  • Jersey
  • Linen
  • Chambray

You want the general feel of your black dress to be lightweight, thin, breezy, and/or flowy.

Fabrics/materials to avoid

  • Tweed
  • Wool
  • Velvet
  • Leather
  • Vinyl
  • Fleece

Save those fabrics for the cooler months!

The dress pictured in this post is from Walmart and is 97% cotton- one of the best materials to wear in the scorching months! Cotton is breathable and allows heat to easily escape your body. And since this dress’s silhouette flares out past the bust, it creates a breezy style making this dress a top summer pick!

My favorite way on how to wear a black dress in summer is to pair it with natural summer materials, such as straw or wicker! One easy way to do this is by pairing your black dress with a straw/wicker hat or straw/wicker bag.

This particular wicker handbag is uber chic. I love that the strap is removable as it can instantly change your whole look. Going for a more casual vibe? Keep the strap on. Want to look a bit more chic and elevated? Strap off.

You could also find other ways to add this summer material into your look such as with earrings or belts like these affordable and cute Walmart picks below!

The easiest way to look effortlessly chic in this summer outfit is to pair your black dress with gold dainty jewelry. Statement jewelry has its place, but in order to achieve an effortless look, you’ll want to go for simple, classic, or natural pieces (like the straw picks above).

Though I love black leather ankle boots as much as the next classic girl, summer opens up a lot more options when it comes to footwear. You don’t have to worry about staying warm or protecting your feet from winter elements, so why not have fun with your feet and try out some new styles, whether it’s flip flops, mules, sandals, or pumps. The list goes on!

But the best way to achieve the balance of summer casual and summer chic is to wear a low block heel. The height makes this doable for most everyone to wear, yet it elevates your look just enough! These jute-wrapped block sandals combine everything that’s perfect for summer such as a breezy style, walkable heel, chic design, classic colors, and natural materials.

However, I did find that they rubbed a bit on my toes so I would wear these to a place where you don’t have to do a lot of walking, such as out to lunch with friends.

For a cooler summer night, pair your dress with a denim jacket or light cardigan. Not only is this a great combo, but you want to avoid any outerwear that is too dark or thick.

Related: 9 Effortless Ways To Get That French Girl Summer Style

Body shape and style

The styles are endless. Black midi dress, black bodycon dress, black mini dress, or black maxi dress. So what is the perfect little black dress?

Well, the answer is not cut and dry, and if you struggle with knowing what to buy, you probably want a clear answer!

But one of the great things about a black dress is that it can work for anyone’s personal style! So the “perfect” black dress is going to look different for every woman. And at the same time, your wardrobe may need more than just one favorite little black dress!

As previously mentioned, in the summer, you’re going to want to rock the color black in a lightweight, loose, and flowy material, and in the cooler months, thicker materials and extra layers will be your friend.

And of course, you’d want to take your body type into consideration to find the right dress for you.

If you are insecure about your arms, you’d probably want to look for something with sleeves.
A full bust could benefit from a slight v neck to balance out the top of your body.
A smaller bust may feel more confident in embellishments and materials that add volume to the upper half.
Tummy insecurities? Swing dresses can be a good option, as can empire waist dresses.

I like the empire waist in the dress pictured as it does wonders for my postpartum tummy!

Though no matter your style or shape, ideally, this dress would not reveal too much skin so it can work for a variety of occasions, though you may find that your wardrobe needs more than one black dress anyway. There may be times in your life when you need a fancy dress and times when you need your black dress to work for your everyday outfit.

It’s no surprise that there are so many different ways you could wear this staple piece! Here are a few other ideas on how to wear a black dress:

For casual days, pair your black dress with white sneakers! This combo is perfect for everyday wear and a great outfit idea for whenever you want to look cute yet casual at the same time.

You already know that a black dress is a wardrobe staple and can work for whatever dress code gets thrown your way.

It can look effortlessly chic in the summer, but works for formal occasions and even the red carpet too! Should you find yourself on one of those anytime soon. 😉

Red carpet or not, for a formal look, you can pair your dress with nude heels for an elegant ensemble!

As a wedding guest, a black dress is a great way to look put together for this happy event. Pair with black shoes (like heels) and a black handbag for a formal black-tie event. Or channel Audrey Hepburn and wear ballet flats for something more semi-formal.

Take the time of day into consideration as well. An all-black outfit is better suited for night nuptials, while a wedding (or special event) during the day would call for pops of color. A simple dress can always look elegant, but a black lace dress paired with black pumps is a knockout combo too.

For work, a black sheath dress, sometimes paired with a fitted blazer, is not only an elegant outfit, but it makes you look sophisticated, put-together, and a woman that should be taken seriously. All traits you would want to exude at the office!

Below I’ve highlighted a variety of affordable and stylish black dresses from Walmart Fashion that can work for all your occasions:

Use these outfit ideas for the next time you need inspiration on how to wear a black dress! But to recap these ideas for summer, just remember:

  • Find a dress in a breathable fabric
  • Pair your dress with simple, gold jewelry
  • Add natural materials like straw or wicker
  • Show off your toes in a low block heel

If you’re looking for more summer outfit ideas, then I know you’ll love this next post!
Up Next
: Here’s Your Chic 10 Piece Wardrobe for Summer

how to wear a black dress in summer


Founder and editor of My Chic Obsession, Carolyn is your trusted fashion maven. Carolyn's drive to help others achieve a classic and timeless wardrobe fuels her posts, making a go-to resource for style seekers worldwide. Beyond the wardrobe, she resides in the heartland of the Midwest, dreaming up new ideas and raising her two lively boys - her biggest fashion critics.