20 Ways To Wear The Little Black Dress

The first little black dress was designed by Coco Chanel and appeared in Vogue in the 1920s. Fast forward to 1961 and Audrey Hepburn was rocking the little black dress with pearls, a crown, and a trendy pair of oversized sunglasses. The little black dress is timeless, an essential piece in every woman’s closet. It always looks good and you can wear it every day if you want to! The little black dress comes in many styles—cap sleeve, one shoulder, spaghetti strap, long sleeves—and you can wear it in many different ways. Here are 20 ways to wear the little black dress:

Have Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Audrey Hepburn rocked the little black dress with layers of pearls in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  Inspired by this classic beauty, take the little black dress and pair it with a fabulous set of pearls. This is perfect for any fancy occasion including formals or fancy dinners.

Make It Casual – Want to wear the little black dress to class or out to lunch with the girls? Dress the little black dress down with a scarf. Wear bright colors like this season’s teals and pinks, or go neutral with a sand or grey color. This outfit will go perfectly with a pair of broken in boots or flats.

Sparkle It Up With A Vest – Afraid that the little black dress may be a little bland for a party or concert? Put a little sparkle into your little black dress. Accessorize it with a sparkly vest to transition your black dress from plain to fabulous.

Make it Professional – Wear a blazer with your little black dress so you can wear it to your internship or to an important interview. Go with the season’s bright colors like yellow, light blue, or purple, or go with a neutral color that won’t attract a lot of attention.

Color it Up – Want to make your little black dress more exciting and new? Wear the little black dress with colorful tights! Urban Outfitters has a great selection of tights. Choose any pattern or color and your dress will have more pop. 

Layer It – There are many ways to layer the little black dress. You can go casual and pair it with a Hanes Tee Shirt (You can also check out my 20 Ways to Wear a Plain White Tee!) or if you want to make it more formal you can layer your little black dress with a button down shirt or a turtleneck. Going with a neutral grey or white would probably be your safest bet when choosing colors for layers.

Pair it With a Fabulous Pair of Heels – Let’s face it—the little black dress isn’t quite as fabulous without a pair of gorgeous heels. Wear a pair of outrageously colorful heels or go with something simple. It all depends on your personal style. But make sure your heels are extraordinary. 

Make it Comfy - Want to be comfy in your little black dress? Wear your little black dress with a heavy knitted sweater. It’s perfect for dreary days or cool nights.

Throw on a Tweed Jacket – This outfit can also be great for interviews and for an internship. Go with colorful tweed or black tweed.

Belt It – Want to add a little touch of color to your look? Add a belt to the outfit. It can be skinny or thick, neutral or colorful. A belt can add a little fun color or pattern to the outfit and break up the black. 

Add Embellishment – Adding a brooch is the perfect way to add just the right amount of sparkle to your outfit.  Just pin it close to your shoulder and you have the right amount of flicker.

Pair it With a Bolero – A bolero is an adorable short-sleeved jacket that’s perfect for the summer months.  Whether it’s floral, patterned, or a solid color, almost any bolero will match perfectly with your little black dress.

Bangle it Up – This outfit is simple. Just take a lot of eclectic bangles and wear them with your little black dress. They can be chunky bangles or thin bangles; you can wear one or five. It’s all up to you.

Add a Floral – Florals are perfect for almost any occasion. Just pin a flower to the side of your dress and you’re ready to go. You have the option of matching your flower with your heels, or you can choose a flower color that doesn’t match the shoe color. This outfit is perfect for a graduation or garden party.

Make it Flashy – Accessorize your little black dress with a cascade of long necklaces. Whether they’re chains or heavy links, they add a little bit of dazzle to your little black dress.

Be Daring – Wear a hat! Many women are too intimidated to wear hats, but try something new. This season’s hats include tailored hats like the ones seen in the Marc Jacobs Spring 2010 show and sun hats featured on the Christian Siriano runway Spring 2010 show.

Wear a Clutch – A clutch can go a long way putting together an outfit. With the black dress, you can wear any accessory and carry any clutch. Pick out a bright clutch or even a sparkly clutch. 

Wear a Magnificent Headband – Want to keep your little black dress plain and simple? Wear a bedazzled headband, a headband with a bow, or a double headband. There are so many to choose from.

Layer With a Shawl – Going to a wedding or religious ceremony? Wear a shawl with your little black dress. When it gets chilly you can have your shawl and then take it off when it gets warm. It’s that simple.

Wear it Plain – Just wear your little black dress plain and simple! It looks just as good without any embellishment or accessories.

Sophie Jasinski is a sophomore English major and Arts and Society minor at Mount Holyoke College. Originally from North Jersey, she spends most of her time in New York City. When Sophie isn’t studying in the library she loves to dance ballet, drink chai lattes, dig through vintage clothes, hang out with friends, and play tennis. Sophie is also a staff writer for the Mount Holyoke News. Last summer, Sophie interned with Donna Karan and hopes to intern for a fashion magazine in New York this summer. Sophie aspires to be the next Anna Wintour. Watch out world!!