Adding Color and Style to a Basic Little Black Dress


basic little black dressThe basic little black dress (LBD) is a wardrobe staple. But if you’ve got the same dress or two in a rotation, wearing them over and over can get a little dull. Thankfully, adding some pizzazz to your LBD is super simple and can take your look from “been there, worn that” to chic and pulled together. So break out your favorite LBD, or splurge on a new one, and jazz it up for any type of event.

Bling It Up

Use gemstones to add sparkle to your night look by pairing a diamond necklace with your LBD. Costume jewelry works just as well as the real deal and costume pieces are an inexpensive way to make your classic dress trendy for a night.

Go Glam

Play with color and use emeralds, sapphires and other colored gems (or their artificial equivalents) to bring a loud splash of color to your ensemble. You can also use gems in bracelets or oversized rings to tone down the immediate effect but still look trendy and on point.

The Statement Necklace

Statement necklaces come in so many shapes, sizes, and colors that they deserve their very own designation as complements for your LBD.

Bold and Beautiful

A yoke necklace paired with your LBD can transform the dress so significantly that it looks completely made over. Choose a colored necklace that coordinates with your bag and shoes to add a sophisticated touch of style to your look.

Take Cover

LBDs are the perfect sexy single layer for summertime and indoor events, but they shouldn’t stay hidden in the closet all winter long.

Season-Spanning

Instead, use jackets and cardigans to add a layer of warmth and style to your classic look all year long.

Bold Leather

Play with the look of colored leather by pairing a smartly colored leather blazer or cropped jacket with your LBD.

It’s Chic

Think more chic rock, rather than biker girl, to really stand out in something trendy and toasty any time of the year.

Asymmetrical Cardigan

Cardigans are popular in so many styles and finishes that you can add a look a week to your LBD and never wear the same thing twice.

Visual Interest

Try pairing your LBD with a patterned cardigan with asymmetrical fronts to add a layer of texture and visual interest to your look.

Choose Your Shoes

The shoes you wear with your LBD will set the tone for your entire look. Whether you’re dressing up for a daytime fundraiser or a night at the gallery, choose shoes that complement your look and your venue.

Flat-tastic

Flats are a great option when you want to look feminine and pulled-together. Black or neutral flats are a more conservative option and work well for daytime or summer events. Add an accent, like a brooch or pin, to your tips to give your look a little color and texture.

Pump Town

Similarly, neutral pumps are a conservative option that let you get away with your LBD in settings that require a more polished conservative look. Choose heels lower than 3 inches to keep your look consistent.

Heel Thyself

When you want to own a night on the town or just add a little extra fun to your ensemble, pick a pair of heels that matches your mood or the style you’re trying to achieve. Stilettos add an obvious visual appeal to combine with the look of most LBDs. Choose a colored heel or a pair that has interesting cutouts or design to add another element of interest to your look. Bright turquoise heels, for example, are an awesome choice for a night on the town.

DIY Design

If you’re feeling particularly ambitious and have an LBD that doesn’t quite fit your look anymore, break out the sewing machine, hit up your favorite fabric store and put your DIY skills to use to give your dress a modernizing makeover.

Have Fun with Fringe

Adding some pre-made fringe to the hem of your LBD will add a retro, boho vibe, that works well in casual or club settings. It can take a stuffier black dress and give it a great playful and feminine second life.

Get Waisted

Adding some interest to the waist of your dress can do surprising things to the way it wears on your body. Remove existing shaping and add princess darts that better fit your shape. Or get clever with belting (either sewn in or not) and cinch up your look for a whole new style.

There’s nothing like that perfect finishing touch to take your LBD from ho-hum to fabulous. A well-chosen scarf draped around your shoulders can add a touch of elegance. The perfect silver clutch can give you a pulled together look that lets your dress speak for itself. However you style it, your LBD is a timeless piece that will make you look tip-top for any occasion. Have fun and get creative with dressing it up for the nights you’ll never forget.

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