Check the items in your wardrobe. If there’s no little black dress staring back at you, you’ve been missing out on a whole level of style.
Black has always been one color full of symbolism. From luxury to elegance, sophistication, and formality, black has become one of the pillar colors of fashion. And when you rock a short dress with this color, you can only imagine how much class you’ll effuse.
That’s what you want for yourself? Good.
If you read this piece to the end, you’ll see how to style a little black dress to achieve different looks for any occasion.
Let’s get started.
What’s a Little Black Dress for a Fashionista?
Also known as its acronym (LBD), a little black dress is any dress made with black fabric. But as the name implies, the dress is little. In other words, it’s short or skimpy enough to flaunt a woman’s legs or thighs as the case may be.
LBDs come in fabrics such as crepe, sequin, chiffon, duchess, silk, lace, etc. They also come as different types of dresses ranging from bodycon dresses to A-line, flared dresses, mini, sheath, shirtdress, T-shirt dresses, wrap dresses, etc.
Furthermore, these dresses feature any type of neckline. While some may plunge to reveal your cleavage and chest, others are modest enough to conceal the deets on your chest. Also, some feature cut-outs around the waist, tummy region, or back. This adds more sex appeal to the dress.
In addition, these dresses come in handy when attending casual events like birthday parties and (semi)formal events like weddings, cocktail parties, red carpets, black-tie events, etc.
Like everything that has ever existed, the little black dress didn’t just appear on earth magically. Someone birthed it. To find out who was the brain behind this classic wardrobe staple for women, let’s see…
A Brief Origin of the Little Black Dress
We have the iconic fashion designer, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel to thank for inventing this dress in the 1920s.
It was born of the need to create dresses in colors best suited for couture.
Cheryl Anderson, Content Writer at Classic Chicago Magazine, wrote:
“Chanel did not think all the bright colors she saw were suited to couture as did her rival at the time, couturier Paul Poiret. He had flooded the market with flashy colors and flamboyant designs. She felt they were more suited for the stage. In direct reference to her thoughts about Poiret’s fashions that she found distasteful, were that they were not chic saying: ‘…the richer the dress, the poorer it becomes.’”Cheryl Anderson
Chanel found elegance in black. Little wonder one of her quotes goes:
“Nothing is more difficult to make than a little black dress. The entrancing tricks of Scheherazade are much easier to copy.”Gabrielle Chanel
While Chanel invented the LBD, Audrey Hepburn popularized the trend in the 1961 classic film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Ever since then, the LBD has become a top choice for iconic women in history and this present moment.
Though every woman can have a little black dress, not all know how to do what matters most—style it.
And that makes the heading below necessary:
How to Style a Little Black Dress
1. Layer Your LBD
Layering helps to switch up your look. It’s a great way to restyle your outfits without looking like you repeat your clothes too often.
2. Dress Up with Statement Jewelry
For an evening look, wear nice, statement jewelry. This adds a chic feel to your look and helps you exude class.
3. Wear Shoes that Match Your Style Intent
Your style intent is how you intend to look for the occasion. If you want a casual look, dress down with a pair of kicks, sandals, flip-flops, or ballerina flats. If you want a smart casual or semi-formal look, rock a pair of knee-high boots or heels.
Any type of shoes for women suit an LBD. It just depends on the look you wanna achieve.
4. If It’s Sleeveless, Turn it Into a Pinafore
If you don’t wanna layer your sleeveless or short-sleeved LBD, transform it into a pinafore by using it to layer your shirt or tees. Whether it’s a sheer shirt or an opaque one, you’ll love the result.
5. Wear Leggings or Pantyhose Underneath
Don’t wanna show off your thighs? Not a problem.
Just wear a pair of leggings or pantyhouse underneath your little black dress. It gives people something elsoe worthwhile to stare at.
6. Add Some Color with Your Add-ons
Try wearing colorful jewelry or adding a bright-colored handbag to the mix. You can also contrast your little black dress by rocking a pair of colorful shoes, tying a multicolored scarf around your hair or neck, or wearing a bright-colored hat.
This helps you add a pop of color to yur black outfit.
7. Cinch Your Waist with a Belt
This option is a great smart casual outfit when layering your LBD with a nice blazer. A belt makes your dress more fitted and snatches your waist to reveal your curves.
8. Make it a Black Ensemble
Who says you can’t rock your little black dress as an all-black ensemble?
Create a monochromatic look by pairing your dress with black shoes, black outerwear, black handbag, and/or black leggings. You can stick to gold or silver accessories to add a little flash of subtle color.
For more inspiration on how to pull this off, check out our guide on how to style all-black outfits.
Don’t have an LBD? Create one for yourself by pairing a black mini skirt with a black top (tank, turtleneck, or any simple top) and apply all the tips we shared above.