The Perfect Little Black Dress

Invest in Your LBD with Smarts

Perfect Little Black DressOne Dress; 5 Ways

By now you’ve likely learned the fashion rule that says, “every woman’s closet must contain an LBD (Little Black Dress).”  What fashion magazine hasn’t told you this?

Here’s the thing, though: wouldn’t you rather buy the LBD that’s an investment, rather than just a purchase?  The one that you can wear in multiple ways for multiple occasions in your life?  I’ve photographed just that kind of LBD.  It’s all in how you style it.  Check it out.

(Note:  The LBD below is a Little BROWN Dress because, for some of us, brown is more flattering.  Your LBD might be red, fuchsia, tangerine,… whatever the color, the concept is the same.)

little black dress - cocktail party1) Cocktail Dress. The most common place you’ll see the Little Black Dress is at cocktail parties.  Here’s one adorned with a beaded collar to take it from “basic” to “bling,” in just one step.  Add earrings, an evening bag, and patent pumps and you’re good to go.  ‘Ready for a cocktail reception, elegant dinner, or holiday party.

LBD adornment

Tasha sparkling web collar,

Tip:  Choose an LBD with a clean neckline for versatility in accessorizing.  Add a collar with bling temporarily, when you want the dress to do “party” without commitment.


Hobo Forrest bag,

Little Black Dress - date night

2) Date Night Dress.  The animal-print makes it sassy; the flare keeps it feminine for just the right balance of tough-‘n-tender.  A statement ring, cross-body bag, and boots complete the package.

Tip: Choose a dress in a fine knit fabric so it can go casual when you need it to.  Too elegant a fabric means it’s cocktail-appropriate only.

3) Workday Dress.  Little Black Dress - workdaySwap out animal for an understated tweed jacket and your LBD is now boardroom ready.  A long-strand beaded necklace and simple earrings keep in check for a tasteful and professional wardrobe choice.  (Read more about jackets that go to work here.)

Tip:  Invest in a dress with a to-the-knee hem.  Its office-worthy length will transition to work easily.

Little Black Dress - Sunday brunch

4)  Sunday Brunch Dress.  A full-coverage jacket and multi-strand pearls take the LBD to brunch (or afternoon tea, a grad party, or theater matinee).  The jacket’s flirty details keep the discreet outfit from appearing stuffy.

Tip:  A sleeveless version of the Little Black Dress allows layering of just about any jacket, cardigan, or shrug.

Little Black Dress - GNO

5) Girls Night Out Dress.  Whether a concert, club, or at-home party, this variation of your LBD has “fun” written all over it.  Belted and chain-draped, with a vegan leather jacket for finish, it’s ready for you to Rock.  All.  Night.

Little Black Dress - belted

Cheetah print belt,

Tip: Whether sheath or fit-and-flare, choose a silhouette that’s plain through the middle so you can stamp it with your own signature styled belt.

How do you know if it’s the right dress to invest in?  Visit my blog post Clothes Worth Splurging On to know if it’ll earn it’s price.

Have a comment?  Question?  Let me know your thoughts in the comment box below.  I read them all.  (You just might be the inspiration for my next blog post.)

Patty Buccellato Image CoachPatty Buccellato, is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups. Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Rochester Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls!   To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit or contact Patty.

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