I’m sure you’ve read somewhere about black dresses and how important they are and how they should be in every girl’s closet. I’m also sure that it has led you to accumulate at least 5 little black dresses over the years, and yet you have no idea how to style them. Yes, I agree they are a staple, but sometimes they can be a little bit boring. We tend to wear them a couple of times and then move on to the next. That will not happen again after reading this post! That’s why I decided to put together a blog post on how to style a black dress and give you all my best tips to maximize every little thing you have in your closet.
I read somewhere that the girl wearing the LBD will never stand out, but I disagree. If you know how to style a black dress properly, then you can just have one or two and do so much with it. I’m going to show you exactly how by sharing ALL THE BLACK DRESSES I’ve had over the past 6 years and show you exactly how I styled them and which one I decided to keep when I started living out of a suitcase last year.
It’s funny because a black dress is so classic that it even has its own Wikipedia article. I thought that was interesting. The origins of the little black dress date back to the 1920’s and we can all thank Coco Chanel for it. You can read the whole article here if you are interested.
Ready to learn how to style a black dress? Lets go!
No time? No problem! Go straight to what you are looking for!
- How many black dresses do I own
- Black dresses I’m styling today
- How to style a black dress – 35+ looks
- Black dress #1 – A black midi dress
- Black dress #2 – A button down black dress (or shirtdress)
- Black dress #3 – A wrap little black dress
- Black dress #4 – A black maxi dress
- Black dress #5 – A simple little black dress (the one I styled the most!)
- Other LBD’s – Bonus looks!
- Final thoughts
- Related style posts you may also like
Estimated reading time: 22 minutes
How many black dresses do I own?
Believe it or not, I only have one. It’s a little black midi dress from Ann Taylor. I love it so much because it fits like a glove and it’s so comfortable. I’m wearing size XSP. I recommend ordering Petite if you are shorter than 5 ft 6′ (I’m 5 ft 4′) because of the length, otherwise it will be too long in my opinion. (it also comes in gray just FYI)
This is the only black dress I have right now. Why? Well I was forced to. Last September me and my husband sold everything we owned and started living in Airbnb’s full time, so for the past 8 months I’ve been living out of a suitcase. I basically had no choice LOL. But hey, it has been fine too! I really don’t miss having many outfit options.
Black dresses I’m styling today
For today’s post, the midi little black dress is not the only one I’ll be styling though. I’m showing you how to style all kinds of black dresses I’ve had and loved over the years, hopefully to inspire you to take out all the black dresses you have in your closet and have fun making cute looks with ALL OF THEM! I’m here to help you maximize every single piece.
Today I’, pretty much sharing all the black dresses I’ve had over the past 6 years, so enjoy the throwback photos! Honestly, I always share old photos to show you how, if you invest in classic pieces, you can build a minimalist wardrobe that’s timeless and easy to put together. You can save so much money for things that actually matter if you are not constantly shopping for things.
*I apologyze in advance for not being able to link all of these black dresses, but as I said, some of them are very old and are not available anymore. I will link similar options just in case.
How to style a black dress – 35+ looks!
(Different styles of black dresses for every taste)
Black dress #1 – A simple LBD (This is the one I styled the most!)
I had this dress for God knows how long… I think maybe 10 years? Even more. I wish I had photos of all the times I styled it, but before having this blog I didn’t use to take many outfit photos. However, I do have xx different ways to style it, so here it goes: (this is the same LBD every single time!)
(not at all the same, but really simple ones that you can style in many different ways!)
Styling my LBD for Summer:
It’s super easy to style a black dress for Summer and yet, a lot of people stay away from black this time of the year. Just accessorize it with neutrals or colorful accessories. That’s really it! Pair it with Summery pieces and you will be good to go.
How to style a black dress for Fall:
Add some layers and boots. The right way to transition classic pieces into new seasons is to add accessories for the season. For example, in Summer I add pieces like espadrilles, hats, neutrals and for Fall I add tights, jackets, trench coats and OTK boots.
Always remember that you can add a belt or add layers! Not only above the dress, but also under it like I did with the lace top.
Styling the same LBD for Winter:
Think outside the box with the layers and incorporate warmer pieces like a faux fur vest or a cozy scarf. I always wear double jackets during Winter because I had no choice. Winters in Chicago are not joke! I don’t know if a lot of people do this, but what I found out worked for me was to dress the same way I did for Fall, incorporating warmer pieces when possible and just add my Winter coat on top. That’s why I buy my Winter coat one size bigger. Maybe try it too and see if it works!
How to style a Black dress for Spring:
You guessed it! Add Spring pieces :)
Sneakers, denim jacket, hats, booties, long vest, espadrilles, florals, etc.
See why I was so excited about this little black dress? I need to get a similar one honestly because I got so much out of it. I only got rid of it because it was very old and worn out. If you find an LBD like this one, make sure to buy it and then try recreating some of these looks.
(not at all the same, but really simple ones that you can style in many different ways!)
Black Dress #2 – Ann Taylor Black Midi Dress
I’m sharing this Ann Taylor black midi dress first because it’s still available and I don’t want you to miss out in case you are in the hunt for a cute classic little black dress. I love the length and how it feels. It’s also super easy to style casually like I did here or for a more formal occasion by just adding heels, some makeup and a statement necklace.
Black Dress #3 – The shirtdress black dress (or button down black dress)
This one also survived my closet cleanup! But I don’t have it with me because it’s packed for our trip around the world already (even though we don’t know when the trip will actually happen LOL).
I’ve always had button down black dresses (also known as shirt dresses) in my closet, or at least for the past 15 years or so. They are great for traveling and for when you need to dress up fast. It’s a great go-to option for those days when you feel like you don’t have anything to wear.
This one is an oldie from Ann Taylor as well and I love it so much. I have to admit that last time I tried it on, it was a little bit too tight LOL and that’s also why you haven’t seen much of it, but scroll down to learn how to style a button down black dress when it doesn’t fit.
As you can see you can style it with neutrals and have fun with the accessories OR just pair it with white sneakers. Either way works. It just depends on your mood, what you have in your closet and the occasion of course!
Other styling ideas for a black shirt dress:
You can also wear your button down black dress with a denim jacket and espadrilles or even add a blazer and pumps and style it for the office. Get creative and think about the pieces you already have in your closet and find a way to put them together. I hope you do leave this blog feeling inspired to try new things and to maximize all the little black dresses you have in your closet.
Pro Styling tip:
If your button down dresses don’t fit, wear them as a cover up! (this applies for ANY button down dress you have)
You are welcome. Those COVID pounds are no joke!
Black dress #4 – The wrap little black dress
A wrap little black dress is a great option if you have a very classic style. A dress like this will never go out of style. There are a lot of things you can do with it and you can wear it all year round too.
I styled it in 4 different ways and they are all timeless, which is very important to me. Take note of these looks because they will teach you how to dress up a little black dress for pretty much any occasion:
Notice that you can layer it, wear it with booties and a moto jacket for Fall, or just simply wear it as it is with some fun accessories.
Other wrap dresses I’ve had over the years:
I’ve had these other 2 black wrap dresses and I honestly didn’t get much out of them, but I still wanted to share them and explain why.
When I first saw this first dress, I thought it was super cute and don’t get me wrong, I think it is. However, because of the white stripe, it’s not exactly super versatile and that’s why I got rid of it.
Last year, I went through my closet, piece by piece in order to see what was worth keeping and what wasn’t. I tried everything on and really sat down to think which pieces I could style in many different ways without getting bored (I wrote a detailed guide on how to do this in this post). That’s why this one didn’t make the cut and if you are too, trying to build a minimalist wardrobe, then my advice is for you to get a little black dress that you can style in at least 4 different ways and that it sort of looks different every time.
How to style a little black dress for work: (a wrap black dress that didn’t work out for me, buy maybe it will for you)
So, for this one, it’s not exactly that you can’t style it in many different ways, but what happened was that it is very ‘office like’ and I do not work in an office. I’m sharing it because I thought that if you work in an office, this would be a good little black dress to have. I styled it in 4 different ways for the blog and I think I only wore 2 of them in real life because I never really had an occasion to wear it. And that’s why I got rid of it.
As you can see, I styled it very similar each time, I just changed the blazer/jacket and shoes. Again, if you work in an office, this is a good dress to have. It just didn’t work out for me.
Black dress #5 – The black maxi dress
Maxi dresses are so fun! I really had a hard time leaving this one behind when I downsized. I hope whoever has it is taking good care of it. A simple maxi dress like this one is filled with possibilities because you can add any jacket or shoes, a belt or a hat and it will look different every time.
You can also style a black maxi dress for Fall by adding booties and a moto jacket:
Last but not least… a few more options on how to wear a little black dress – Just for fun!
Ok, last but not least, here you have two more black dresses I found on my archives that also lasted years in my closet! If you’ve been following for long enough, you’ve probably seen them before here and on my Instagram. As I said earlier, it’s not like you NEED all of these… or any honestly. This is just to inspire you to maximize every single piece you have in your closet.
I’m sharing these other ones I’ve had just in case you have something similar already. So I hope these looks inspire you to create some more outfits out of some your black dresses.
As you can see, I’ve had my fair share of black dresses over the past 6 years. I’ve always told myself I needed at least 4, but I have honestly been fine with just having one for the past 8 months. That’s why I can attest to the fact that you don’t really need more than one black dress.
I think it’s super important to learn how to style a black dress because they are such a staple and you will most likely have them in your closet, in one version or the other, for the rest of your life. However, you don’t want to look the same every time, that’s why it’s good to know how to accessorize a black dress, what shoes to wear with a little black dress, how to add a pop of color, how to style them for every season, how to dress them up or down, etc. I’m here to teach you all the ways!!
I recommend having a little black dress as part of your minimalistic wardrobe for sure. If you already have one (or a few), please don’t go out and buy a new black dress if you don’t have to. Instead, try to see how you can start using it more and apply some of these styling tips when you are trying to figure out what to wear.
Hope this post inspires you to maximize the things you already have in your closet! Now, go out there take out all your black dresses and start creating some outfits :)
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Did you learn how to style a black dress today? Please share on Pinterest!
Other classic style posts you may like:
- How to build a minimalist wardrobe – Differences between a capsule wardrobe and a minimalistic wardrobe
- How to create a Summer capsule wardrobe with just 25 pieces
- How to build your own capsule wardrobe for Fall
- Outfit ideas for the office – 80 looks to recreate
- 60+ outfits with white sneakers and how to recreate them with things you have in your closet
- How to style a midi skirt + outfit ideas
- On the hunt for leather leggings? Read this Spanx Leggings Review before you spend a dime!
- 8 things you can do with a white button down shirt + 28 outfit ideas for every occasion
- How to wear a jumpsuit – Styling tips for beginners
- How to wear a long cardigan
- How to style a white blazer – 10 white blazer outfits to inspire you