How to Accessorize a Little Black Dress

May 6th, 2008

Feeling the love for this set?  Here’s more information about it.

Every woman has a Little Black Dress…or two, or ten.  And they’re great as a go-to outfit for cocktails, dinner parties, and other evening events.  But how many times do you really get to wear your LBD?  If you’re anything like us, it’s not very often.  So let’s get some extra mileage out of our LBDs during the daytime with some clever accessorizing.  Here’s how to accessorize a LBD:

Why does this outfit work?

Visual Interest through Pattern: Both the gingham scarf and the newsprint belt add visual texture to the LBD.  And since the two patterns are in the same color scheme, they complement one another rather than compete with one another.

A Splash of Bright Color: All work and no play make Jack a dull boy–and all black and white and no color can make for a dull outfit.  So we added a splash of bright color for a jolt of energy.  We love bright green as a fresh foil for black and white–but any bright color will do.  Try royal purple for a distinctly elegant look.

A Touch of Mystery: Finish off the outfit with a pair of oversized shades.  The air of mystery the sunglasses creates is a secret ingredient for standout style.

How do you accessorize your Little Black Dress (LBD)? Share your style tips with us in the comments!

Entry Filed under: How To,Ready Made Outfits,Women,Women's

13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jennifer  |  May 6th, 2008 at 12:58 am

    yeah, it is ironic that the LBD is considered one of the most versatile parts of your wardrobe that can apply to any event or style or need…. yet it’s so hard to actually incorporate it!!! so this is very helpful.

    what do you think about shoes to match the outfit? (besides those dark sandals i see) maybe a bright color to match the bag?

  • 2. robin  |  May 6th, 2008 at 1:12 am

    LOVE the newsprint belt. but it’s sold out online! damn you urban outfitters, you always keep pulling me back in.

  • 3. Mimi  |  May 6th, 2008 at 8:44 am

    I’ll always go with a scarf but I don’t wear my LBD often enough because it usually feels too dressy not matter what I wear with it. I’m not sure how to accessorize to make it feel more casual.

  • 4. Trisha  |  May 6th, 2008 at 11:10 am

    Jennifer – A bright color in a complementary color to the bag can work for shoes, as could a metallic color (a tarnished silver color here would be lovely).

    Robin – I know! I was looking to buy it too….maybe they’ll restock in the future?

    Mimi – Depending on the fabric, a LBD may be too formal to wear during the day. If it has beading/sequins/etc, leave it in the closet for nighttime. LBDs in more casual fabrics are fair game though.

    To make a LBD more casual, start with your shoes. If you’re wearing casual shoes, the entire outfit automatically takes on a more casual feel. Try a playful looking flat–or breezy espadrilles. Then add on your primary accessories, things like a statement belt or a patterned scarf. Choose jewelry to complement the casual feel of the outfit, such as an oversized necklace or cuff bracelet.

  • 5. Mimi  |  May 6th, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    Thanks Trisha! Mine’s a linen-type sheath. I’m going to follow your suggestions and wear it tonight for a low-key dinner (husband’s birthday)!

  • 6. Trisha  |  May 6th, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Oh, very nice….your linen sheath should dress down well. Happy Birthday to your husband! Hope you two have a wonderful evening out :)

  • 7. raeesa  |  May 6th, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    I’m in high school, and wearing jeans is the most comfortable and practical thing for me to do. Usually, dressing them up with a stylish tank, or sandals, or big jewelry is enough to keep me from feeling too casual, or too uniform (printed tee shirt and converse), but lately I haven’t been feeling inspired at all. Any help for me?

    By the way, great post :) I never know what to do with my dress to make it fresh

  • 8. Trisha  |  May 6th, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    Good question, Raessa. Since the answer is best shown through pictures, we’ll work on a post on how to dress up jeans!

  • 9. raeesa  |  May 7th, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Thanks :) I can’t wait to see

  • 10. Globalchic  |  May 16th, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Well, here’s one way I dressed up a black dress for Cinco de Mayo based on the print on the bag. :)

    It’s on polyvore much easy to explain:

  • 11. Maxi-jewels  |  June 18th, 2008 at 9:08 am

    Crazy about black and I like large jewelry and a silver bangle watch or a jeweled belt to match with the black out-fits!

  • 12. Hannah  |  March 12th, 2009 at 3:10 am

    hey, i’m only thirteen, but tommorow night i’m going out and i just bought a bubble-style lbd. i cant wear high heels, and i only have a pair of little black flats. I don’t have any cash, so how can i dress it up a bit more without looking over the top??

  • 13. Trisha  |  March 12th, 2009 at 10:04 am

    Hi Hannah,

    Couple of quick ideas to brighten up your LBD:
    (1) Wear a scarf,
    (2) Try a statement piece of jewelry (e.g. a chunky necklace),
    (3) Pin on a brooch.

    Hope that helps,

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