I’ve been wearing an all black wardrobe on and off since puberty. There are some things I wish people had told me early on in the journey about wearing black in the summertime. Maintaining your dark wardrobe in warm weather is easy and possible! Most of these tips are also useful for non-goths too. 🙂
1. Sunscreen- Whether you are maintaining your deathly pallor or just don’t want skin damage sunscreen should be part of your routine. It’s a must year round but especially in the summer when the UV index climbs. No matter what hue your skin sun exposure will make it look really bad very quickly. Ageing is not a bad thing but having sun damaged skin is, and sun exposure can also contribute to melanoma cancers (in all skin colors). A good rule (year round) is to always wear spf 15 or 30 on your face- always. Most good moisturizers have it in them, many foundations do also- look for one that’s both UVA and UVB protective (UVB causes burns, and UVA is what damages your skin).
In the summer if you are a goth, lolita, mori girl, or anyone of any tribe here are some helpful facts about sunscreen you might not know already (I confess they were new to me until fairly recently):
SPF coding does not mean that a 30 grade protects you from 30% of UVA/UVB…
For example a sunscreen with an spf value of 15 blocks about 94% of UVB rays; an spf 30 product blocks 97%, and an 45 blocks about 98% of rays. Past that the differentiation is pretty pointless. No product offers true 100% protection from UVA/UVB so stick to shade and use some of the additional tips below to increase your skin safety and keep you happy and stylish this summer!
Ingredients to look for: titanium dioxide or zinc oxide or Parasol 1789/avobenzone. (big fat article on these ingredients and their purposes here).
And you have to reapply the stuff when outside about every 2 hours to maintain efficacy.
2. Hats! Hats are great. I have an enormous black floppy straw hat I wear lots in the summer. The bigger the brim the better! A big hat looks instantly classy and awesome no matter what your outfit. Look for hats made of dyed straw or woven fibers, they won’t overheat you like wool of felt will on hot days. Remember how stylish Lydia Deets looked in her big black hats?
3. Parasols and Umbrellas! I am also a big fan of umbrellas when the UV index is high. If I am walking somewhere (and I live in Toronto- I walk practically everywhere) I carry an umbrella tilted to block as much sun as possible. Those little old ladies you see carrying umbrellas on bright days- they are onto something! Not only does it feel quite a bit cooler underneath, you’re also shielding your skin from more harmful rays. Frilly parasols are cute, but I prefer the waterproof quality of umbrellas as who wants to be caught in the rain with just a silly lace thing? (Hint- try ebay for waterproof and frilly umbrellas from countries who’ve been diligently doing this for ages!)
4. Natural Fibers Want to wear black and it’s 30 degrees out plus humidex? Easy. Go for natural fibers, cottons and linens breathe! They allow air to pass through the fabric to your skin to keep your cooler and dryer. Polyesters and synthetic fabrics don’t breathe, and this can lead you to feeling overheated. Blends with the higher percentage being a natural fiber are also a great choice (our regular polycotton fabric is breathable). Our unbleached fabric is 100% cotton and awesome for summer also!
5. Loose Fit Clothing! When choosing outfits for hot days pick clothes that don’t cling to your body. Take a hint from cultures of hot regions and their gorgeous cotton traditional clothing- loose and light. Soft dresses with belts, bloomers or shorter skirts and loose fitting tops are all great options. Cotton peasant skirts are a hot day staple for me! Flowy and witchy is a good motto for summer, for the darker sort. 😉
6. Sunglasses! I am terrible about remembering to bring mine but am trying to be better about it. Your eyes can become damaged from sun exposure, it contributes to cataracts later in life (and sometimes blindness). Yixes. Get some spooky shades and add an air of mystery to your dark summer ensemble.
7. Water! Here’s a word that irritates me “hydrated”, it’s become such a nonsense buzzword barked by cosmetics advertisers and gym teachers. Remember to drink water all the time, but especially in the summer. You sweat- you lose water. Water keeps your body happy and helps with pretty much every function. It’s also a great (and free) way to keep cool and refreshed on hot days. It contributes to healthy skin too!
What are your gothic style tips for summertime???