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The 'Black Magic': How to wear black and stay cool

Kimono cover-ups are the trend right now and can brighten up any outfit in a jiffy.


"Pair a printed floral kimono with a monotone outfit like a pair of black shorts and a white strap top and instantly dress it up a notch!


Kimonos mostly come in free sizes and suit all body types," says designer Avni Aneja.


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You can also go for bell-sleeve tops. Similar to crop tops, these have exaggerated sleeves for that extra flair of drama. You can pair them with shorts, pencil skirts and even fitted trousers. It is extremely versatile and, therefore, can be worn by most body types in different styles.


For example, if you are conscious about your thighs and prefer wearing jeans to shorts, you could pair a bell sleeve top with a plain or printed jeans and if you want to dress it up a bit, you could pair it with a pencil skirt.


People with broader shoulders and heavier arms can also wear this.


*Go sheer


The coolest way to wear black as the temperature reaches its peak is to go sheer.


"Black, as you know, absorbs the most amount of heat and traps it in leaving you feeling hot and uncomfortable. Sheer fabrics are breathable and are available in lots of gorgeous varieties in georgette, lace, net and other fabrics," says Tamanna Singh.


Pick net outfits if you want your look to be edgy - floral, lacey maxi dresses for boho-chic and flowy georgettes for an ultra-feminine look.


Aneja says, "Pair a sheer skirt with a printed crop top and a pair of stilettos for a fun evening out or dress it down with a plain white shirt and a good watch for a more formal look."


*Less is more


Make it a thumb rule to pick short clothes while opting for solid black in this heat. If too short is not your style then try a length that suits your comfort level. You can try shorter sleeves and higher hemlines than usual.


Ditch your pair of staple black pants for the cool and comfy culottes and make them your new staple for this season. Lightweight cotton and linen are the perfect fabrics to choose for solid black. Even black culottes worn with a crisp white shirt can be a classic look to carry in the office.


"All said and done, a head to toe black look is a complete turn-off. Pair it up with something colourful. For instance, if you are wearing a shirt dress, break the monotony with a printed scarf. Steer clear of black body cons," says designer Chhaya Mehrotra.


*Get playful


Playsuits and jumpsuits are staples. You can dress up or dress down a floral playsuit as you like. Pair it with a cute pair of metallic shoes for the day and with ankle strap heels and a light blazer in a solid colour for an evening look.


For jumpsuits, go for the ones which have lace details.


Aneja says, "For a bohemian look, pair it up with a lace or Aztec printed headband. To dress it up, wear a pair of statement earrings, wedges and a sleek clutch. Just remember, all your jumpsuits/playsuits should be grazing the ankle."


How to wear black according to body type


Black tends to make you look slimmer so focus on the area you are trying to balance out. Pick black tops and shirts if you are top heavy and black shorts, skirts and culottes, if you are bottom heavy.


Singh says, "Maxi tops and dresses will suit lean figures. Flare dresses will look great on petite frames. Hourglass shaped can go for shift dresses. Overlays and kimonos work for all body types and particularly well for round body shapes."


Saiba and Maneet of Voiix say, "A black A-Line skirt for the leggy bombshell can do wonders. If you have a heavy bottom then a black tunic top or black shirt worn with colourful tights or pastel pant would look amazing. Just make sure your shirt is not tucked in. Women with heavy top can go for black off-shoulder top or a kimono top. Both will make your upper body look slimmer."

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