The little black dress is one of the essential staples you need for both your casual and your workwear wardrobe. It’s a foundational piece of clothing that is easy to mix and match with other items from your wardrobe and great to have when you’re rushing out the door and just need something to throw on. Best of all, you can use your accessories to create a host of different looks in your LBD, depending on your needs. Here’s how to accessorize your little black dress:
1) Define your look
Are you aiming to look chic? Going for all business no play? Demure? Eclectic?
Start with the statement you want to make and build from there. This will help to ensure your look is cohesive. Obviously, this is assuming you aren’t sprinting out the door and throwing on your LBD to save time. If you are, skip this step and just aim to wear ironed/steamed, clean clothes. We’ve all been there before.
When you have a plan in mind about the look you’re aiming for, your accessory choices will be easier. When I appear in court, I’m aiming for low key and professional. I err on the side of caution and choose items that won’t distract. When I have my ultra-professional look in mind, it’s easier for me to rationalize leaving my favorite orange tassel earrings behind and opting for simple pearls instead.
2) Have a statement piece
A little black dress is a perfect item to accompany a statement piece. This could be a standout jacket, an eye-catching shoe, or a bold jewelry set. Obviously, you wouldn’t want to wear more than one statement piece at a time at the risk of cluttering your look. Instead of reaching for your normal grey blazer or forest green sweater, reach outside of your comfort zone to an item that you haven’t considered combining with your black dress. You might be a little uneasy about the switch, but the risk is worth the potential return.
3) Make intentional jewelry choices
Your jewelry can include a great statement piece, but sometimes you need it to blend in with the rest of your outfit, too. We all have jewelry sets or pieces that seem to go with every outfit, but you don’t want to get into a boring pattern of wearing those same pearl earrings with that one black dress that you like (I’m talking to myself here, actually).
Really though, one of the secrets to making great choices of accessories is going for something unexpected. Instead of just wearing one pop of color with your LBD (let’s say you chose a gold blazer), try using two different colors in your look by wearing pink or coral earrings. Make bold choices and *gasp* break a few rules.
4) Don’t always go for a black or a nude shoe
Yes, I realize I am wearing black pumps in the photos below. BUT…I already had on a statement piece (hello BOMB Zara blazer), so I needed a neutral shoe.
Try mixing up your look every now and then by avoiding your typical go-to shoe when you’re wearing your LBD. It’ll be a refreshing relief from your normal look and will add some interest to your outfit, especially if you choose a shoe with a unique pattern or a bright color.
5) Don’t be afraid of all black
Yes, I realize I just told you not to always go for a black shoe right before telling you not to be afraid of all black. You’ll be wearing your LBD more than once, which will give you ample opportunity to use all of these pieces of advice at least once.
I love wearing all black. Something about it makes me feel powerful and chic. The problem lies in trying to avoid looking like I’m heading to a funeral. You can avoid this by adding texture (hello black tweed), fun jewelry, and shying away from elbow-length black gloves (yes this is a given, but I like giving examples in sets of three). Experiment with different hair styles too to lighten your look if you’re going for all black. For example, maybe stay away from a sleek bun and go for bouncy curls instead.
The key takeaway for this article is to mix things up and make bold choices that will yield interesting outfit combinations. Try it and share your results with me here!