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Little black dresses: how to choose the perfect LBD, how to accessorize and where to wear it

In theory, the little black dress is simple and classic, sleeveless and midi, with a straight or A-line cut and a discreet neckline, round or V-neck style.  The ideal length ends at the knee or just above. Longer little black dresses must have ¾ sleeves and light fabrics, in order to avoid the unaesthetic  “tube effect”. It goes without saying that these days the LBD comes with various styles, cuts and lengths, therefore one must know some styling tips when looking for the perfect little black dress. 

How to choose the perfect LBD for your body type

Hourglass silhouette.  If you’re blessed with ideal physical proportions, your goal is to highlight the beautiful shapes you already have: well-defined waistline, shapely hips and feminine bust. Choose your ideal little black dress from: pencil dresses, corset dresses, wrap dresses, V-neck dresses, halter dresses and LBDs with sweetheart and scoop necklines.

black waistline mini corset dress

Rectangle (androgynous) silhouette. If you have a straight trunk, no waist and small breast, your goal is to highlight the waistline in order to create the illusion of an hourglass body shape. You must focus on adding volume on both your upper half and lower body, while defining your waist. Choose your ideal little black dress from: A-line dresses, shift dresses, empire or simple straight line dresses.

black A-line mini shift dress

Pear-shaped silhouette. If you have pronounced thighs, but small waistline and torso, your goal is to add volume to your upper body and create a harmonious balance with the thighs. Choose your ideal little black dress from: A-line dresses, wrap dresses, empire line dresses, tapered knee length dresses, mid-calf and between the knee-length dresses.

wrap black mini dress for pear shaped women

Apple-shaped silhouette. If you have fullness in the tummy area and a rather generous bust, you goal is to hide the weight around the tummy and avoid any bulk around bosom, waist and tummy. Choose your ideal little black dress from: A-line dresses, V-neck dresses, one-shoulder dresses and dresses with box pleated skirts (with pleats starting below the tummy).

black v-neck short sleeve dress


How to accessorise the little black dress

When not properly accessorised, the LBD can look dull and monotonous. But the big advantage is that this type of dress can be easily dressed up with just a pair of right shoes or piece of jewerelly. The classic way to accessorise the LBD is to pair it with a belt and a refined necklace with white pearls, just like Coco Chanel, the LBD creator, used to wear it back in the 20’s.

When looking for the perfect accessories to glam up your LBD, keep in mind these two golden rules: choose precious sophisticated jewellery for evening outfits, loose necklaces or statement jewellery (big, shiny, colourful) for day outfits. If you are looking for the ultimate elegant look, pair the little black dress with a wide-brimmed hat and gloves (black satin long gloves for evening, embroidered white short ones for day).

If necklaces don’t suit you well, you can always pair your LBD with beautiful earrings (long, chandelier earrings for evening, simple and delicate ones for daily outfits), statement brooches or colourful hair accessories.

When it comes to shoes, little black dresses look great if paired with sexy stiletto heels, whether sandals or pumps that draw attention and glam up your evening outfit. With the right pair of shoes, there’s no need for any other accessory! For casual day outfits, you can choose some delicate flats, while at the office, classic black or neutral shoes with mid heel are most appropriate.

As a basic rule, don’t pair a little black dress with two black accessories at the same time. For example, if you wear dark-coloured shoes, choose something lighter for your bag, belt or jewerelly. 

Where to wear the little black dress

Not only the LBD is so easy to mix & match, but one can wear it anytime and anyplace. At the office, at parties, when you go out for a walk or to have lunch with friends, when you go to a job interview or to a birthday party, the little black dress is always there to answer your clothing dilemmas. You can wear the LBD even at weddings, as long as the cut and length is appropriate with the formality of the occasion.

Elegant, classy and sophisticated, the LBD is always a perfect choice for evening occasions, especially when paired with precious jewellery such as pearls or diamonds, while during the day it’s best to add a splash of colour to your LBD outfit by wearing accessories in warm tones. 

The classic LBD and pearls combination creates the perfect outfit for birthday parties, business meetings or casual gatherings with your work colleagues. If you need something to keep you warm, opt for silk scarfs at day and pashmina shawls at night.

Choose the little black dress that best suits your body and start experimenting the great variety of styles this magical dress can embody!

© Molly 2012-2015