Black Lace in Tropics

If I were to name the best material for tropical clothing, I would be choosing between cotton, linen or silk, and I would be looking at it from the point of the comfort of wearing it in the heat and aesthetic. But, as I discovered, in the beginning of the last century there were serious debates in the Great Britain on that subject from the prospective of health and hygiene in tropical climates. People were writing serious articles in the Journal of Tropical Medicine arguing pros and cons of those fabrics that I mentioned above plus wool, about which I wouldn’t even think despite the existence of the term “tropical wool” (now I actually know what it means). The best color for tropical clothes was also widely discussed: wearing less heat-absorbing white/light colors was supported by one camp, while the other one advocated the idea of mimicking “black” skin (for the health reasons).

Also, it was interesting to learn that Burberry was producing and advertising clothes for working and traveling in the colonies, and that those weren’t cheap back then either.

Burberrys' Tropical Clothing Ad

From when I was a child, I knew that skin doesn’t “breathe” in clothes made from synthetic fiber (one of those wisdom that is passed from the older generation and usually isn’t questioned). A couple of years ago I had a chance to actually prove it to myself: as I was using a steamer on the clothes I had with me on a trip, I noticed how great it worked with my wool sweaters and my vSO’s cotton shirts but was completely useless for my blouse made of one of rayon’s variations.

It pains me to see that more and more summer clothes are produced from the synthetic or semi-synthetic materials. I understand that it’s cheaper than natural fabrics but how greedy are those companies that charge $100+ for a “summer” dress made of polyester?!

So why would I bring a black lace with me on my tropical vacation? I wouldn’t have if it hasn’t been … a lipstick.

Lipstick Queen Black Lace Rabbit

When I read about the upcoming release of Black Lace Rabbit, which was “playing on the idea of “going down a rabbit hole where nothing is what it seems” (a nod to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), I immediately felt drawn to it. And since I love Lipstick Queen‘s Hello Sailor (I’m finishing my second lipstick and plan to buy the third one), I ordered Black Lace Rabbit online without trying to find it in a store first.

In a tube Black Lace Rabbit looks solid black with golden flecks but on lips, unlike those cheap Halloween makeup lipsticks, Black Lace Rabbit is just a sheer and slightly shimmering tint – like a veil over the natural lip color. It seemed very appropriate for the tropical evening attire.

Lipstick Queen Black Lace Rabbit and Hello Sailor swatches

As I was taking pictures of Black Lace Rabbit, a perfectly color-coordinated with my photo session local cat visited our lanai. I think that with his third eye he perceived how much by that time in our vacation I was missing Rusty…

Maui Cat

Images: Burberrys’ ad – from the article referenced above; others – my own

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19 thoughts on “Black Lace in Tropics

  1. I just love the idea of a lipstick that is black when you look at it but barely adds any color when you apply it to your lips. Completely surprising effects. Like a peel off face mask I once had. It was blue when put fresh on your face and it turned transparent when it was ready to be removed. And that cat really looks like he has 3rd eye

    • That’s what I like about their lipsticks: fun color and very sheer on lips.

      With the cat it was interesting: I was so in a hurry to take a picture of him that I didn’t even notice that white spot until I was looking at the pictures later.

  2. Although I didn’t read the article that you linked to in its entirety, what I did read is quite interesting, Undina. I had no idea of this theory of wearing black in the tropics … the thought is practically giving me a hot flash as I type this!

    I like both the name and the shade of your new lipstick … and your description and photo of your kitty visitor with the third eye. What perfume did you pair with Black Lace Rabbit?

    • I didn’t think anybody would read the article, it was just a reference :) But I must say that I was somewhat amazed how serious they were discussing clothing.
      Perfume… After you asked, I realized that even though I record perfumes I wear, I do not track clothes or make-up… My best guess is: Ormonde Jayne Frangipiani.

  3. Love that Burberry advert! it is frustrating how many (expensive) summer clothes are made of sweaty synthetics.

    It’s amazing how dense that lipstick looks in the bullet but how sheer it is in practice. A lot of fun. I really like the packaging too. I’m yet to explore Lipstick Queen but I’m sure it won’t be long :)

    My most “out there” lipstick so far is Mac’s Rebel, which again looks very purple in the tube but goes on sheer unless you build it up. These berry colours are nice for autumn/fall as well as tropical evenings.

    • Lipstick Queen has more of those … unusual colors, and I plan to investigate at least some of them :) You should too!

      Even though I do not oppose all synthetic clothes, I draw the line when it comes to something that I wear in +30C weather.

  4. I smiled at the ad for the Slip-On in particular – ‘the finest Colonists’ over garment extant’, haha. I bet you look great in your black lace dress teamed with that lipstick and agree with Tara that you would never know it was very sheer. A bit like Clinique Black Honey in that regard, maybe? And it is so true about how synthetic fabrics make you hot. A lot of cotton tops are reinforced with Lycra these days to give them a particularly stretchy texture and they can be every bit as sweat inducing as full blown synthetic fabrics.

    • No-no-no! I didn’t say “if it hasn’t been for a lipstick” – it was “if it hasn’t been a lipstick” :) Black Lace Rabbit lipstick was the only black lace anything I wore in Hawaii.

      I liked Clinique Black Honey but I didn’t think it was still in production.

      While in Northern California climate I do not mind a little of “stretch-y” something in my cotton, in tropics I’m a purist! :)

  5. Aw, the third eye of that cat. Cute.
    Anyway, I would have loved to see a picture of how that black lipstick wears on you :-) it looks very tempting.
    As for synthetics, I’m completely with you. I truly dislike wearing 100% synthetics, at least close to the body. I do have a shirt-blouse or 2 in rayon/ polyester, because I loved the pattern so much, but they are made to have something underneath. Also, a bit of synthetic fibre to keep the shape of the garment is usually a good thing, unless as you say it’s for summer clothing.

    • I’ll see what I can do about that lipstick demo on my lips (it doesn’t even matter how it looks since I enjoy the idea of wearing it so much; but I like the look as well).

      As I wrote above in reply to Vanessa’s comment, I do not mind a little of “shape-supporting” Lycra or something similar but in Hawaii I prefer to have it mostly in my swimsuits.

  6. What a fun lipstick name! I have a fear that wearing black lipstick, no matter how sheer, will make me look like I’ve been eating squid ink-based foods and didn’t bother to wipe my lips. As to fabric, I usually get attracted to the patterns first, then a consideration of how the item would need to be washed and dried, how it would go with what I may need to wear over or under it and then finally, the fabric.

    • Funny thing is that I’m not even a health nut: I do not go for all-natural, organic, etc. in either my food, or cosmetics. I can wear synthetic fabrics without a problem in suitable weather. But the heat and artificial fibers just do not sit well with me (on me? ;) ).

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