Black Cocktail Dress

"The Number 1 Wardrobe Essential: The Little Black Dress"


A black cocktail dress, known as the little black dress (LBD) - is versatile to wear for all occasions, from formal events to your aunt's birthday bash and for going out clubbing. In fact, it's hard for it to look inappropriate because it will fit in no matter what.

Black cocktail dress from MANGO
Courtesy of MANGO

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A black cocktail dress might not be the first thing on your mind when planning a party outfit, but if you think about it, it is the only option when you're out of ideas and have to come up with something fast. If black isn't your best color (which I assume it's not if you're either a Spring (except for Clear Spring), Autumn (except for Deep Autumn) or Summer ) then you might want to really make an effort in selecting jewelry in your best colors as well as your makeup to counter the aging effect of black.

Or you can also consider buying it in dark navy blue which is the closest thing to black and the most versatile neutral to wear with almost anything.

How to Select the Perfect Little Black Dress

Keep it at knee-length or shorter

Jennifer Aniston wearing the Little black dress
Courtesy of Photo Agency
This is the best length if you want your legs to look lean and long - as other lengths that are close to or hit the calves overpower most body figures.

It's definitely a must-follow rule if you don't want to attract attention to a pair of short or thick legs. If you're shy about showing them off - a pair of black sheer hosiery or tights will conceal them but in a stylish and non-dowdy way.

The correct length is crucial to looking great, especially if you're a petite. There aren't many online stores who specialize in black dresses for petites so you might want to make sure you have the hemline altered or perhaps choose a regular short black dress to fit your short height.


Select the right finish

Take note of the finishing of the fabric. If you want to look slimmer then choose matte and jersey finishes for a slimming effect. On the other hand, shiny textures are rather "expansive" and are best for those who wish to create curves and look bigger.

    Tip: The best way to add interest with a black cocktail dress and drop the plain jersey, is to select a fabric with an unusual texture, such as chiffon, leather and lace.


Choose the right black cocktail dress style for your body shape

Black wrap and V-necklines flatter most body figures - because of the cut that graciously folds around your waist and "plumps" up your chest.



However, you might want to look at other dress styles to really select the right one for your body figure and clothing personality - so you need to determine you body shape to figure out what type of black cocktail dress styles complement your unique body contours.

Like for example, if you have a Pear body shape and want to minimize your big hips, then you should balance out your shape by adding more width at the top. The perfect dress would be strapless or a have sweetheart neckline to draw the eye upwards away from your bottom.

Click here to learn more about dressing your body shape.

fashion tip Note: For variation you should consider buying several versions of knee-length/short black dresses! But make sure to secure at least one or two of the most universal black evening dress - so that you can easily style them into various fashion looks. Like for example, a knee length v-neck with three-quarter sleeves with a simple neckline.

Also have the right fabric in mind when selecting a versatile black dress. For example, a dressy chiffon fabric is more suitable for special events or office work. However jersey fabric is something you can wear for all occasions and as a part of your everyday daily wear.



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How to Wear a Black Cocktail Dress

Now the black cocktail dress might not be the most exciting piece in your closet. But it's definitely the best piece you can ever own if your budget is tight, because you can style it many ways that can take it from a day at the office to a late evening party.

There are plenty of ways to spice it up and turn it into something that is totally you. Also keep in mind that you can choose from hundreds of gorgeous black evening dress styles, from ruffles, tiers to lace to complement your personal style and body figure.

Here are some of the many wonders a little black dress can do for you:

Little black dress outfits


Let me give you some outfit ideas:

Cocktail wear: Glam it up with sexy sky high black pumps, evening clutch purse and dangling pearl earrings/or large sparkly cubic zirconia chandelier earrings.

Tailored: Go semi-casual with cute ballerina flats or heeled oxford shoes and throw on a blazer. And maybe add a trendy leather bag and stacked bracelets.

With trendy tights and shoes: Consider embellishing your legs with sexy hosiery such as lace tights for parties, high-gloss pantyhose for special occasion, etc. Sheer black pantyhose looks incredible with the black dress and creates a slimming effect, And maybe you should throw on a pair of eye catching trendy ankle booties.

Leggings & boots: Look casual by combining the little black dress with black ankle leggings, flowy wrap cardigan and brown knee high leather boots.

Turtleneck & tights: Wear it on top of a turtleneck sweater for a stylish layered Fall/Winter look. You can also update the look with a wide belt or a double strap skinny belt around the waist

Punk chic: Create a trendy-casual look with a bright colored scarf, denim leggings and studded gladiator sandals.


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Now for the exciting part, I've gathered stylish black evening dresses from different gown and dress shops online:

Shop a Black Cocktail Dress Online

Mini globe Shopping tip for international readers: Expensive worldwide shipping? US store doesn't ship to your country? Save up to 50% off retail price in your home country and gain access to the goodies. Try a mail forwarding service!

Shop guidelines Stores offering black dresses at the bottom of this page


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Store Directory

Macy's | $ - $$ | Offers affordable designer black dresses.

ASOS | $$ | Nice selection of on-trend black dresses.

Lulu's | $$ | Unique Junior's short black dresses.

Frederick's of Hollywoodicon | $$ | Here you'll find several sexy but tasteful little black dress styles

eDressme | $$ - $$$ | They offer some of the hottest and affordable designer dresses online.

Prom Girlicon | $$ | An online prom store providing affordable black dresses.

Kiyonna | $$ | Quality classic plus size black dresses.




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Related Content:

Shop the latest Lace Dresses - How to wear a lace dress Shop the latest Wrap Dresses - How to wear a wrap dress Shop the latest Formal Evening Gowns - How to wea a long gown Shop the latest Sweater Dresses - Fashion tips on how to wear a sweater dress
Shop the latest Red Cocktail Dresses - How to wear a red dress How to select the best jewelry styles for your personal style Guide to Outfit Ideas - How to Put Together Stylish Outfits How to Buy and Wear Fashion Hosiery



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More Shopping & Chic Inspiration at the TCF Blog:
The Chic Fashionista's Latest Trends Picks - Chic Runway Looks and Must-have Trends and Trendessentials The Chic Fashionista's Chic Inspiration-blog - Outfit ideas, celeb style and trend styling tips The Chic Fashionista's Stylish Finds - Latest trends and shopping picks, sales & discounts, link round-ups and featured posts & blogs/sites Learn more about the fashion basics on how to look your best and dress stylish

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