Classic, chic, irresistible. Little black dresses are essential to every woman’s closet, the perfect go-to for any occasion, any day when you want to feel effortless yet utterly stylish. Since 1926, when Coco Chanel unveiled fashion’s version of Henry Ford’s T-model, little black dresses have been the modern woman’s best friend. The fashion illustration ran on a page in Vogue, who rightfully predicted the style as “a sort of uniform for all women of taste.”
Audrey Hepburn popularized the look 35 years later, when her BFF and resident designer Hubert de Givenchy created his Breakfast at Tiffany’s masterpiece. Who can forget the exquisite neckline on Givenchy’s little, yet floor-length dress, or how nonchalantly Hepburn wore it while eating a cheese Danish on Fifth Avenue in the early, quiet hours of a New York morning? This iconic film moment solidified the LBD as the timeless staple we now know it as.
Chanel and Hepburn proved to us that it doesn’t take much styling to radiate elegance—just a little black dress. After the former introduced the notion and the latter brought it recognition, the LBD snowballed. For decades, women have been turning to the style for an instant way to elevate their look.
The thing about the LBD is that its a blank canvas with edge. You can style it up, dress it down, pair it with colors, monochrome it, or just wear it alone. Your styling options with little black dresses are limitless.
And this is why little black dresses will be your fundamental to your party styling this fall. The real secret to the ultimate cocktail party look is the little black dress. While the fall season gives us plenty of options as to what can work for a fall party, but really ladies, the sleekest, most elegant evening party looks are LDB cocktail dresses.
Opting for a black cocktail party look shows a fashion-forward, somewhat daring nature, and it makes for an impeccable look. The staple is available in an array of shapes, styles, and sizes, so it’s really a no-brainer. Once you get your LBD styling down to a T, dressing up will be a second nature to you.
Slay the cocktail dress aesthetic with these LBD outfit ideas.
Little Black Cutout Dress
While there’s not much wiggle room for patterns with little black dresses, you can always play with cuts and fits. This long-sleeved bodycon dress gets a major twist through the cut-out midriff. It creates an illusion of a two-piece outfit, all in one playful dress.
To add some extra strappy flare to this LBD, pair it with open-toed heels and a metallic cross body purse.
Little Black Strappy Dress
Want a sultry edge to your LBD? Then this strappy number will do just the trick. This geometric dress is filled with angles and cutouts to create a flattering sheath dress for any wild night out. Intersecting spaghetti and halter straps create a contemporary fusion that’s expected to stun, and the mesh insets along the plunging neckline and back create a fun and youthful finish. This dress is perfect to wear to any downtown outing, or to catch bae’s eye at date night.
For this dress, you can never go wrong with snake print heels. Pair it with a toned-down metallic clutch to create a wild, yet classy, ensemble.
Little Black A-Line Dress
For a more casual day affair, always reach for the A-line dress. It’s simple, and has a form of quirkiness to it. This dress sticks to the basics in terms of cut and fit, and has a true-black tone that allows you to dress it up, or dress it down. The simplicity of this dress creates endless opportunities in terms of styling, so you can easily add a touch of your personality with fun jewelry, layers and accessories.
This dress definitely has a feminine air to it, so I’d pair it with blush pink accessories. These pumps paired with a classic cross body is the best way to pull off this look.
Little Black Long Sleeved Dress
When the temperature calls for covering up, reaching for a little black dress with long sleeves is always the way to go. This long-sleeved LBD stood out to me for the vibrant cuff embellishments, creating an eye-catching look that takes this piece to the next level. It adds a bit of glitz and glamour to this usually toned-down and mature dress, but doesn’t teeter on the line of gaudy or overwhelming. To put it in the simplest of terms, this dress is cute AF.
Just like the dress, choose accessories that stay on the black road while having just a touch of glimmer or silver-tones. These Stuart Weitzman pumps have a subtle glimmer that pairs perfectly with this dress. The shoulder bag stays true-black in its leather material, but packs a punch through the gunmetal grey hardware.
Little Black Lace Dress
For the ultimately sexy LBD, put on this provocative piece. It’s everything you could ever ask for in a little black dress, but completely amplified. If your goal was to turn very head that passes by, this dress is your chance to do so. But, it still has an elegance to it through the simplistic skirt, meshing the best of both worlds seamlessly together.
Let this dress do all of the talking by wearing some toned-down accessories. These open-toed black heels stay simple, but still have an edge through the front feather detail, and this olive-green shoulder bag is a great accessory for adding some subtle color.
Little Black Strapless Dress
When in doubt, you can always go strapless! These LBD’s are a classic, and they’re always a great base for layering and accessorizing. This strapless black dress has an added flare to it through the ruffled neckline and body-con fit, creating a whirlwind of fun contrasts.
To add some sophisticated color to this dress, an intoxicating burgundy is always the way to go. The velvet texture of these Nicholas Kirkwood mini heels are given a meticulous touch through the pearl embellishment, and this Ted Baker satchel bag stays perfectly in sync in the color scheme.
Photos: Shutterstock, Nordstorm, Neiman Marcus