How to Wear Your LBD: 3 Ways to Style a Little Black Dress or Long Black Dress
by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)
Every woman needs a basic LBD (little black dress or long black dress) that fits just right. If you’re young, your LBD can be as short as you can go without flashing your undies. If you’re older or you wear a plus size, you might want your LBD to be midi or maxi length. But, whatever style suits you best, remember that, “the simpler, the better”.
Sure… you should have other black dresses hanging in your closet… things with froufrou ruffles, folklore embroideries, asymmetrical necklines, zigzag hemlines, Dolly-Parton rhinestones, or go-go-dancer-in-a-cage cutouts… but, every woman on earth should have one plain, boringly simple black dress that she can rely on through thick and thin.
Little Black Dresses:
Your dress can be something from Wallymart or bespoke from Harrods. But, if it’s a plain black dress, it will be more versatile. The perfect LBD will take you from the beach to the ballroom to the battle of the bands with a simple change of accessories.
Your basic black dress will be a chic fallback piece when nothing else looks right… sort of like a pair of classic jeans. You want something that’s “nothing fancy”. Boring is best.
A Classic LBD is a Blank Canvas:
Black is not my favorite color anymore because my coloring has faded as I’ve gotten older, but black is still my favorite background color. Think of black as a blank canvas – a chameleon dress that you can wear in spring, summer, fall, and winter… day or night.
Wear Your LBD With:
- A colorful coat and a printed scarf for lunching with your girlfriends.
- A funky necklace and a fringe kimono for daytime festival fun.
- A pair of rhinestone earrings and a statement necklace for clubbing in LA.
- A pair of leopard-print sneakers for a trip to The Tower of London or a vacation to Disneyworld.
- A pair of leopard-print heels for a big date with your special new man.
- An elegant hat for shopping excursions in the big city.
- A whimsical fascinator or doll hat for a cruise formal night when your hair looks like shizzit.
Dress Styles: 3 Ways to Wear a Little Black Dress:
1. Classic and Elegant:
Your little black dress should be so terminally tasteful that only my mother could wear it. My mom is now 82 years old, but she has always worn classic, tailored outfits. Unfortunately, I look dull and ridiculous in my mother’s styles and colors, however I understand “taste” from absorbing my mother’s sense of fashion… and from my formative years… in which she attempted to foist her Grace-Kelly style upon me. First, the perfect length for your little black dress is knee length.
The perfect jewelry for accessorizing your little black dress is a string of creamy princess-length or matinee-length pearls, which should be worn with a pair of small pearl studs. (The earrings should not be pierced… that’s gauche… only gypsies have pierced ears.) If you don’t have pearls, you may substitute a simple gold chain or a neutral, muted-print silk scarf.
To finish off your tasteful outfit, you should wear a pair of black leather pumps with heels (never stilettos) and a black wool or camelhair coat (of the same length as your dress). You may tie a silk scarf over your hair (knotted under your chin) if it’s windy out or you’re driving a convertible.
If you have an apple-shaped body like I do, I will give you permission to adapt this look by wearing a black midi dress or even a… gasp… maxi dress. In a perfect world, your beige coat (or black coat for evenings) would be the same length or slightly longer than your dress. And, since you’re not my mother, I think you can get away with a simple pastel-colored coat if you want to add a bit of color. If you’re feeling really wild, you can try wearing your LBD with a red belt and other red accessories.
Okay. Miss Gregoire’s Finishing School is finished… as long as you continue to practice walking with a book on your head every day. But, never read that book. Men prefer women who don’t come across as too smart. (See, Mom, I listened to everything you told me.)
2. Slinky and Sexy:
The slinky and sexy little black dress is a magical look for all women, but it’s especially good for plus sizes. When my mother and I discussed little black dresses the other day, my mother said, “Women who wear black always look like they just got out of the hospital if they’re too thin.” That’s my mom’s backhanded way of saying black will make you look slender.
Anyway, all little black dresses and long black dresses are considered sexy in our society. And, to ramp up the sex quotient a bit, try showing a little skin, wearing designer stilettos, and/or adding long glittery earrings that sparkle whenever you turn your head. Those are surefire tricks that will keep your date looking at your cleavage, your ankles, and your pretty face, rather than your thick waist or your hefty thighs. These are time-tested ways for fat or homely girls to level the playing field.
3. Funky and Boho:
If you don’t have a personality that screams Grace Kelly or Mata Hari, you can always go for the hipster, festival, or bohemian look. Add things like glasses, funky boots, a fringed shoulder bag, Birkenstocks, patterned tights, giant earrings, or a long patterned scarf from India.
Black Goes With Everything:
According to my mother (and these are her exact quotes), the benefits of black dresses are:
- Black can be worn by redheads.
- Black goes with everything you already have.
- Black can be worn anywhere, even a funeral.
To find the perfect little black dress or a long black dress, my mother suggests you call Nordstrom and ask if they have anything in black. Yes… she actually said that. I kid you not. I wonder what other tips my mother has.
More Articles for Classic, Hipster & Boho Women:
Photo Credits: prshots.com
- Main Photo: Black off-shoulder dress - Love. Maxi dress - Little Mistress. Plus size LBD - Pink Clove. LBD with black boots - LaRedoute. Slinky plus size dress - Asos Curve.
- Perfect Little Black Dress - LaRedoute.
- How to Accessorize a Little Black Dress - LaRedoute, Louise Green hat, River Island scarf.
- LBD with Boho Accessories - Asos Curve.
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