“You can never be over – or underdressed in a Little Black Dress.” – Karl Lagerfeld
As far as I’m concerned, truer words have never been spoken. When Coco Chanel invented the Little Black Dress (aka LBD) in the 1920′s she had no idea what she was opening the fashion world up to. And with that brilliant idea the color of mourning was transformed into the chicest color of them all and the cocktail dress became the epitome of style and elegance.
In the years since its origination the LBD has come in many guises – formal, informal, short, midi, strapless, long sleeves, cotton, velvet, silk, lace, satin…
The original LBD was intended for an evening out on the town and that tradition definitely lives on in this day in age.
Short, sassy, chic.
Perfection! It's fun and sexy and one-of-a-kind. What more could you ask for in a cocktail dress?
Kristin's look is everything you want from a LBD - Fun and eye-catching. The fabric makes it unusual and catches your attention when she walks by and her accessories perfectly add that needed zing to the look. Also, the tights make it warm enough to wear year-around.
This is the perfect example of showing some skin in a LBD but keeping the look chic rather than tacky. She looks sexy as hell, but classy and tasteful.
And of course, we’ve got to discuss the 2012 red carpet It Girl who wore LBDs almost exclusively for her Girl With The Dragon Tattoo appearances and premieres…
If you want to up the drama for evening try cut outs, lace, or panels of sheer fabric. They give the illusion of showing more skin than you really are and give a dress a unique and one-of-a-kind feel. I love that despite the modernity of this Prabal Gurung dress, she still looks like Audrey Hepburn!
The quickest & easiest way to make a dress evening-ready is to add jewelry and killer heels! Just keep them in your day bag and pull then out when cocktail hour arrives.
Wearing a LBD for work is all about length and appropriateness. You’ll want to stick with a drama-free dress, something sleek and approaching knee-length would be ideal.
A slinky sheath dress is the ultimate LBD for the office. The clean lines and chic silhouette are perfect for work and depending on the neckline and sleeves all you may need is a blazer to be meeting-ready.
Obviously Cara's boots aren't the perfect office shoes, but this is a really cute dress that could easily fit into a business-casual office with the addition of tights and a pair of basic pumps in either black or a fun color.
A wrap or criss-cross front dress is a great option for the office. Depending on the formality of your dress code you may need to add a blazer, cardigan, or closed-toe shoes to this beautiful Bottega Veneta dress.
A LBD with sleeves is an easy choice if you're heading into work, virtually any hemline below mini skirt level will balance out with sleeves. And a dramatic shoulder like this gorgeous velvet Nina Ricci dress will make it stand out all the more!
And the best part of wearing a LBD to work? Take off your blazer or tights and switch up your shoes and you’re ready for a night out on the town!
Wearing a LBD during the day is a breeze, it’s all about picking one that suits your plans since they come in all shapes, sizes, and styles these days. Brunch, sight-seeing in a new city, traveling – You can easily add a little class to these activities with the perfect frock, dressed up or down.
You'll stand out in a crowd in a dress like this one! This type of dress could easily go from day to-night and she did a great job of keeping things casual by adding low-key accessories. Great platform t-straps and I like her decision to add the faux fur and leather jacket to stay warm. And that purse!
You can easily add a boho feel to your LBD with a cardigan or duster and layers and layers of funky jewelry. These boots are a great, unexpected way to finish this look off.
Adding brightly colored or patterned tights to a LBD is a great way to spice it up and make your look wholly original. I love love love the little white Peter Pan Collar on this Asos dress, it's definitely something I would wear with ballet flats!
Such a cute dress! The oversized pockets show you how little details can set a LBD apart from other dresses. And those shoes! Too cute - A fun, interesting alternative to ballet flats.
In my Real Girls Need Real Closets post I discussed the basics that a well-rounded wardrobe should contain - including the LBD. Similarly you can check out My Ten Essential Closet Pieces from Wendy’s Lookbook.
So what do you think? Are you ready to try adding a Little Black Dress to another part of your life?
Have a great weekend, I’ll be back from sunny Sea Ranch on Sunday with some great vacation clothes shots! If you’re interested in real-time updates, photos, and reading links that I’m loving, follow me on Twitter or Facebook.
While I have a couple great everyday looks to share with you this week, there were also some great ideas for holiday dressing - for both men & women. If you need some inspiration for your festive frocks this season definitely take a look.
Julie Bowen spiced up a great fitting sweater dress by finding one with metallic stripes. If you're going to try a similar look, definitely keep the shoes & accessories minimal so the dress does the talking.
Camilla Belle looked striking in this sparkly pink number. The black belt & shoes keep it from being too Holiday Barbie, which is good to keep in mind if you're in the mood for a bright frock.
If you're bored with traditional ties and want a standout look for your holiday office party, try a contrasting bow tie like Justin Timberlake showed off at the GQ party.
Anton Yelchin looked great in a muted plaid suit. This is a great option if you're bored by the solid black & navy suits in your closet, try out a plaid or pinstripe this season.
Kerry Washington looked chic & festive in this shiny shift dress, a great way to get a head turning look for the season without showing too much skin.
(for all GQ party pics)
Nicole Richie stunned in silver Halston at her House of Harlow launch. The bright clutch is the perfect way to spice up this look and compliment the dress.
Need some street style inspiration for between your flirty party frocks?
Parfait pour Paris! I love their jackets and overall put together-ness. She's a little bit hippie chic in her floppy hat and slouchy boots and he's a little bit hipster in his slim jeans and scarf.
This is a great Fall look captured by The Sartorialist, I especially like the ruffle-collared blouse with the pounded gold necklace combination.
This Parisian look from The Sartorialist shows you a chic and simplistic way to wear various shades of brown, black and grey. Layers layers layers!
Have a great Monday, I’ll be back tomorrow with a Holiday Dressing Style File you wont want to miss!
Let the good times roll…
Whether the occasion is a romantic night on the town, cocktails after work, a bachelorette party in Vegas or Girls Night Out, we all have evenings that call for the perfect cocktail dress. Yes, the LBD is classic and will always be in style, but why not step out of your comfort zone and throw on a stylish new frock this Spring? Sequins, feathers, draping, vibrant jewel tones, nudes, understated elegance, glitzy glamour… Whatever you most desire, there is the perfect dress out there for you.
Here are a few party dresses that have caught my eye for the Spring/Summer of 2011. They range in price and in mood, and regardless of your age, height, budget and event, we should be able to find you something!
The three dresses below can easily go from the office to drinks with the removal of a blazer and/or tights and the addition of just the right pair of heels. They’re sophisticated, fun and chic, but demand that you still be taken seriously despite an out-of-the-office setting.
Kay Unger - $210 @ Bloomingdale's
Rachel by Rachel Roy 24/7 Dress - $100
BCBG Natalie Color-Blocked Sheath - $200
Vegas baby, Vegas!
Nothing says “Let’s Party” quite like sequins and shimmer, so throw on a sparkly mini and head out for a night on the town, whatever the cause of your celebration.
Winter Kate Nicole Dress - $400 @ Shopbop.com
Aqua Silver Sequin Tank Dress - $100 @ Bloomingdale's
BCBGeneration Metallic Jacquard One-Shoulder Dress - $130
Hot summer nights call for low-key and understated glamour. Try pairing a flirty, floral frock with nude heels or booties, or a maxi dress with strappy sandals.
BCBGeneration Printed Asymmetrical-Hem Dress - $130
Patterson J. Kincaid Cerise Jersey Long Dress - $110 @ Shopbop.com
Trina Turk "Playa Vista" V-Neck Dress - $300 @ Bloomingdale's
For date night you need something flirty and fun, something that hugs your curves in just the right places and reminds him why you’re the only girl for him. Whether you want to show some skin or keep it covered up, the key is to find a form flattering dress that makes YOU feel amazing.
Tadashi Shoji Bandage Cap-Sleeved Bandage Dress - $330 @ Bloomingdale's
BCBGeneration One-Shoulder Open-Back Dress - $120
Cut 25 Drop Needle Jersey Shift Dress - $270 @ Bloomingdale's
And what does the descriminating and experienced woman wear for an evening on the town? A sheath, darling, what else?
Diane von Furstenberg Bateau Silk/Cotton Dress - $285 @ Saks
Eileen Fisher Organic Linen Sequin Dress - $250 @ Saks
Donna Morgan Belted Linen Sheath Dress - $140 @ Nordstrom
Take a new style or a shorter hemline for a spin this Spring and remind yourself just how much fun fashion can be!