I hate summer. There, I’ve said it. I hate the heat, I hate the sunshine and I just want to sit in a fridge all day; but that’s also because I’m middle aged, overheat at the drop of a sixpence and burn rather than tan, even though I’m naturally dark haired. It’s about the only time I ever say that I’d much rather be pale and interesting and mean it.
The thing I’ve really noticed over the years is the number of people saying “Aren’t you hot in that?” just because I’m wearing black. They seem fixated on the idea that just because it’s black, my outfit will suck all the heat from the atmosphere and turn my body into a molten core. Look, it feels like that anyway, so whatever I’m wearing isn’t going to make a blind spot of difference. Besides which, have you seen the number of Saudi women who wear head to toe black? It isn’t the colour that makes the difference – it’s the fabric and the cut of the outfit that determines whether you melt or not.
For example, velvet is, as far as I’m concerned, a cool weather fabric. Cotton, linen and lace are warm weather fabrics. Silk is the fabric to wear for those “oh my god its thirty degrees in the shade and I’m on fire” days. Looser, less fitted clothes are cooler than tightly strapped in corseted to the hilt outfits. Heels if you must, but I refuse to give up my black sequinned flip flops because they don’t “look Goth”. Listen, sweetie, it’s too bloody hot for that nonsense. They’re comfy, they keep my feet cool and they’re black which are the three things that bother me most.
Thinking about it, Goths could really revitalise a summer trend that has gone out of fashion – the parasol. Designed in the Victorian era to keep the sun off a lady’s skin (as pale skin was considered more attractive because it suggested you didn’t have to work for a living), many Goths still use parasols and I think in weather like this they are an essential accessory. They also double up as a useful prod in the tube station to make sure the Sweaty Betty doesn’t get too near you! The only reason I don’t have one is that I don’t possess an umbrella either, but that’s just reverse vanity on my part.
So, my advice is to enjoy summer as best you can and bring back the parasol. Being Britain, chances are it won’t last.