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A disclaimer: from shoes to clothing, about 80% of my closet is full of neutrals—more specifically, black. Maybe I’m going through a Wednesday Addams phase, or I’m just a girl who prefers to keep things a bit classic in a monochromatic uniform. Whatever the case—I can’t resist an all-black outfit. And it’s obvious why we all flock to a black palette when it comes to our clothing and accessories. It’s a total safe bet. For starters, no matter your hair color or skin tone, black makes everyone look chic and put together. Don’t even get me started on the amazing slimming effect it has on our shape. Not only is it elegant, but black is also very versatile in that it goes with just about anything. And if you’re prone to getting a little messy, wearing black can come in handy. Not to mention a summer tan serves as the perfect backdrop for an all-black ensemble. But contrary to how easy it is to wear, black is anything but boring and basic.

I know what you’ve heard about wearing all black, particularly during the summer. And I’m well aware of its heat-absorption quality. But you don’t have to resign black in the summer in favor of bright colors and vibrant prints. Yes, all-black everything now has a longer shelf life, making it easy to transition from fall into spring and summer. Here’s how you can beat the heat in head-to-toe black ensembles, while looking less like an Apple employee and more like the big city style setter you are.

First, elevate your all-noir outfits from drab to fab by switching up fabrics and textures. Trust me. Black is one of the few colors that doesn’t clash with other ebony shades. And don’t just settle for homey cotton fabrics; mix up leather with shiny black pieces. Also, make sure you choose the right fabric based on the season. For example, silk and linen work perfectly during the summer, and wool and leather are great for winter. While black is extremely flattering, don’t hesitate to take things a step further by tailoring your clothes. If you’re weary about head-to-toe black, you can always punctuate your outfit using color in accessories, shoes or lipstick. A bold shade of red lipstick will effortlessly make black-on-black stand out.

Next, pick summer-friendly options and style them using these tips:

Classic LBDs – By far the easiest way to embrace the all-black trend is with a LBD, whether it be a streamlined sheath dress or a fit and flared A-line dress paired with black pumps or sandals. But for a little twist, wear a sporty black camisole dress with black Converse sneakers or gladiator sandals. Reinvent a simple black dress by adding a statement belt or jewelry, or rev things up in a sexy strapless dress with sky-high stilettos.

Crop top and skirt – Part flirty, part feminine—a short-sleeved black crop top and flared midi skirt is totally on-trend. For an edgier look, a leather pencil skirt or mini skirt with a black crop top or tucked t-shirt is totally hip. You can soften things up with a high-waisted or circle skirt paired with a simple crop top.

Jackets – Sport all black outerwear in a leather jacket or fitted blazer. A black embellished jacket with distressed black denim, trousers or leather pants will really kick things up a notch.

Prints – Florals aren’t reserved for springtime vivid hues or pastels. A black floral or patterned dress is a great alternative to solid black.

Leather – Despite the naysayers, an all leather outfit doesn’t have to be a steam fest. For a warm weather approved look at night, don leather shorts with a sheer black shirt and leather jacket. Your footwear should be just as tough as the leather, though. Black denim shorts and a black v-neck or crew neck t-shirt will suffice for daytime shopping or lunch. I personally love a sleeveless leather vest worn with black skinny jeans and heels.

Onesies – My favorite way to wear all-black is with a romper. It’s playful and easy. But jumpsuits are a trendy and fabulous substitute for a romper during a night out on the town.

Menswear-inspired – Keep it sleek and simple in a faux tuxedo look. Fitted black trousers, a tailored blazer and sharp heels or black Oxfords are perfect for formal occasions.

Forget the age-old taboo of wearing black during summer (or white during winter). Go ahead and embrace your dark side, throwing on your blackest blacks without fear of dripping in sweat or attracting stares from the traditional fashion set .

Do you share in my love affair with black? How would you style black clothing?