Brave New Girls

SUMMER, ALWAYS LATE TO HER OWN PARTY, may have finally arrived in Boston, but before you go mad with the requisite pastel seersucker and Nantucket Reds, consider this: Fashion has decided that this year it’s fading to black.

It may seem like a counterintuitive choice for our most lighthearted season, but a cadre of labels are challenging the way we look at warm-weather color and bringing back black for spring and summer. From Pedro Lourenço to the ever-approachable DKNY, the shade made appearances on countless spring runways traditionally dominated by paler or brighter palettes.

Peer into nearly any Newbury Street boutique, and you’ll catch it displayed everywhere. You’ll also find it at Boston’s emporium of all things forward-thinking, Louis. “It’s a new way of styling, using color and mixing it with black,” says owner Debi Greenberg. “This isn’t the ‘all black with a touch of color’ of yesterday. Now you mix a coral skirt and a rusk top [with] black to ground the look. It’s a great way of taking your wardrobe and expanding it.”

Which may be the most surprising thing of all about the trend: Sure, it compels us to see something tried and true in a new light. But for once, designers are actually suggesting that you can wear plenty of pieces you already own. And that, in itself, is a revelation worth trying on.

Model is wearing Proenza Schouler lace cardigan, $675, Louis; Comme des Garçons skirt, $855, Riccardi; Anzie gold cuff, $2,650, Saks Fifth Avenue; Raphael Young platform sandals, $845,