4 Ways To Dress Up Your Little Black Dress (LBD)

Just because the LBD is ubiquitous, doesn’t mean you should rely on it when you can’t find anything else to wear. The real value of the little black dress is it can easily morph into any style you want to exhibit. Try shifting your perception of this under-respected staple, and use it as a source of inspiration—rather than as a last resort.

Take a few of these tips from Senior Stylist, Marie-Caroline Moir, and see the vast possibilities this humble, but elegant garment has to offer. With Armoire by your side, get access to thousands of pieces with which to style what is essentially the sartorial equivalent of a blank canvas. Get your monthly clothing subscription box and dress up or down your LDB.

Styles by: Diane Von Furstenberg, Equipment, John & Jenn, Nicole Miller

1. Weekend Cool

Pop a striped or bright knit top under your dress, and add tights and clogs, plus a big shoulder bag. Make sure your top is slim enough that it doesn’t look lumpy under your dress. It may sound funny, but tucking it into your tights is actually the best option. Up the style ante by topping your look off with a denim jacket.

Styles by: Alice + Olivia, Parker, Diane Von Furstenberg, Paige

2. Dinner Date

Try a bold, visually interesting blouse under your dress — either bright, silky, patterned, or tie-neck — for an elegant, feminine vibe that’s still a bit edgy. Make sure to experiment with your collar; the bigger the collar or bow, the more you’ll have to splay it out like butterfly wings over the neckline of the dress. Slingback kitten heels or pumps are great choices for finishing off this understatedly sexy style.

Styles by: Ministry of Supply, Marchesa Rose, Scotch & Soda, Helmut Lang

3. Office Hours

Put the LBD to work in your professional wardrobe. A super-simple, white button-down creates an appealingly stark contrast of shapes and shades when worn under your black dress. To avoid feeling too girlish, lean towards the mod mood and complete this ensemble with opaque black tights and white or black patent ankle boots — extra style points for booties with a blocky heel. Since this look is so spare, bust out some of those gigantic earrings you’ve been hoarding since the ‘90s, and have a little fun while on the job.

Styles by: M by Magaschoni, MinkPink, White + Warren, Tayna Taylor, Bagatelle, Rachel Roy

4. Work Trip

A simple black dress is a great foundation for a long, lightweight, cardigan, and it yields a softer look than the traditional dress and blazer pairing — but is sill plenty warm on an airplane. Either knee high or over-the-knee suede boots will make an already sumptuous look that much more luxe and texturally appearing. A classic camel coat or trench coat  tossed over your shoulders will give you that fashion editor vibe that looks so sharp, but seems so difficult to pull off. Sure to impress whomever you meet.


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