A little black dress, or LBD, is a staple in every woman’s wardrobe. Perfect for after-work drinks, nights out with friends or more formal cocktail parties, you’ll rely on your LBD time and time again. I for one am a sucker for having a line up of LBD’s in my wardrobe that I save for various occasions – day or night – because they are so versatile to style up.
If you’ve already worn your little black dress to more events than you should, you’re probably ready to change things up a little. Before you hit the shops and start searching for something new, take a look at these alternative ways to wear your LBD.
With a little variation, you can create exciting new looks, embrace the latest trends and maximise the mileage you get out of your favourite LBD:
1. Pare it Down with Pumps
If you usually save your little black dress for formal events or special occasions, you could be missing out. A casual belt and pumps can turn an LBD into the perfect attire for brunch, lunch or a relaxed dinner. Styling your LBD for less formal occasions will allow you to get maximum use out of it and give you a whole range of new options to add to your casual looks.
2. Add Cut-Outs
If you don’t mind making permanent changes to your favourite LBD, cut-outs could be the way to go. They can make any LBD look a little sexier and give you the chance to show off some skin. If you’re not feeling confident enough to rock cut-outs, then inset sheer panels instead. You’ll still create a stunning, sultry look but have a little extra coverage too.
You can modify your LBD with panels or cut-outs relatively easily yourself. However, if you’re never modified your clothes before, you may want to practice on an old T-shirt first. Alternatively, a quick trip to a tailor will allow you to get your LBD professionally modified and fitted to your exact shape.
3. Upgrade Your Accessories
If you always tend to wear the same accessories with your little black dress, changing them up can transform your appearance. Swarovski jewellery is an excellent way to add an elegant sparkle to any LBD, while a new clutch bag, wrap or stole can make your little black dress feel brand new. Accessories can radically transform any item of clothing, so be as bold as you dare next time you’re styling your LBD.
4. Throw on a Leather Jacket
We’ve all got a biker jacket somewhere in our closets and, if you don’t, one of your friends certainly will. As well as being the perfect addition to jeans, a biker jacket can look sensational when it’s worn over an LBD. Whether you’re hitting the town or going shopping, wearing a biker jacket over your LBD can create an edgy look for nights out or a give off a more casual vibe for daywear.
5. Add a Little Lace
An easy way to upgrade your LBD is to add a little lace. While you could replace cut-outs with lace panels, there are even simpler options if you’re not ready to make such drastic changes. Adding lace to the hem, neckline or sleeve will give your little black dress more detail and create a whole new LBD for you to enjoy.
If you don’t have a needle and thread to hand, there’s no need to panic! You’ll find pre-prepared lace trims that can be affixed to your LBD with fabric glue. Many trims already feature fabric glue, so it’s as simple as applying it to your dress, heating it (depending on the product you choose) and giving it a few minutes to affix itself. If you’re looking for a simple way to upgrade your LBD, this is it!
6. Wear Tights
A little black dress looks great with bare legs but wearing tights with your LBD gives you a new look to explore. What’s more – it’s the perfect look for autumn and winter when the temperature gets a little chillier.
Wearing tights with your LBD creates a sophisticated and sleek look, so it’s perfect for formal events, office functions and nights out with friends and family. Choose a sheer denier and you’ll retain the sexy style of your LBD while combining the increased functionality your new look offers.
7. Rock a Statement Coat
When you go out in a little black dress, there’s no doubt that it’s the showpiece of your outfit. However, if you choose to wear a statement coat, your LBD can take a backseat. There are some stunning options when it comes to outerwear, so you’ll never run out of styles to experiment with.
From an oversized faux fur to a lightweight trench coat, you can maximise the impact of your LBD when you pair it with a statement coat. Whether you opt for designer wear, a high street purchase or you scour the thrift shops for a vintage classic, you can find exceptional statement coats in a variety of locations. What’s more – you can choose a style that’s perfect for evening wear or day wear, so you’ll really be able to make the most of your LBD.
8. Try Long Sleeves
Many LBDs are sleeveless, strapless or feature cap sleeves. However, there are other options out there if you want them, although you may have to search a little harder for them. An LBD with long sleeves can enhance an elegant silhouette and really give you a new look. Alternatively, try cape sleeves if you want to add volume and experiment with different shapes and silhouettes.
Of course, you don’t have to stop there, three-quarter length sleeves, lantern sleeves and petal sleeves can all look fabulous on an LBD. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in-store or online, take your LBD to the tailor and have bespoke sleeves created just for you.
Make the Most of Your LBD
A little black dress might be something every woman owns, but no two are ever alike. When you experiment with different types, combinations and accessories, you can create a whole new look while making the most of your trusty LBD.