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How to Style a Classic Little Black Dress for a Dressy Occasion

July 6, 2023

There’s just something about a little black dress that’s so alluring, isn’t there? Think Princess Diana, Audrey Hepburn, Coco Chanel, and Marilyn Monroe. Each of these stunning women has had a memorable moment in history wearing an LBD (little black dress) that perfectly complemented their personality, style, and fashion sense. This dress is perfect for any event in which you want to impress, especially when it’s done right. Here are some tips for styling a little black dress for a dressy occasion that will have you feeling like the belle of the ball.

choosing the right black dress

An LBD is the perfect outfit for when you want to feel glamorous and make a statement. The first thing you should look for is a dress that fits your personal style, not something that you’re not totally comfortable with just because it’s trendy. Some of this may depend on shopping for your body type so you can feel amazing and wear your dress with confidence. Identifying your body shape can help you pick features and silhouettes that are the most flattering for you. Some popular styles include:

  • Mini
  • Midi
  • Slip
  • Maxi
  • Wrap
  • A-line

LBDs also come at a variety of prices. This can depend on the brand, fabric, and embellishments used to make the dress. You can find great deals on simple black dresses, but something more elegant will probably come at a higher price point. Consider your budget when investing in a black dress, especially if it’s something you only plan to wear on special occasions.

accessories for a dressy occasion

The classic LBD can be a star of your closet since you can style it in a number of ways with different accessories to continually give it a fresh look. While your accessories should reflect your taste and personality, there are some things that work better than others with an LBD. You also need to consider the features of the dress, including the length and the neckline, to pick the right accessories. Statement earrings work well with a high neckline, while a nice necklace accentuates a V-neck nicely.

When picking jewelry, either silver or gold works since black is a neutral color. Colorful gemstones can make your pieces pop without being too overwhelming. Your bag can also have a pop of color, especially if you coordinate it to match your jewelry. As you’re dressing for a snazzy event, you can never go wrong with a statement clutch. Don’t be afraid of color and embellishment as long as it doesn’t clash with your other accessories.

hairstyles and makeup for a dressy occasion

Your dress is the star of the show, but your hair and makeup should make a statement, too. A bold lip and smoky eye combo are a great way to do just that. Red lipstick and a little black dress are a classic combo that will never go out of style. Even so, bright pink would be a fabulous choice if you’re not feeling red. As for your eyes, you could try a classic smoky eye or play around with warmer tones that aren’t so dramatic, like gold and brown.

When it comes to hair, sleek is chic when it comes to the LBD. A low bun or ponytail is both quite effortless but stylish, or go for a sleek updo à la Audrey Hepburn if you want something more intricate.

outfit ideas for a dressy occasion

In need of some outfit inspiration? Look no further as these little black dress outfit ideas hit all the high notes.

outfit #1: little black dress with heels and a statement necklace

If your LBD has a high neckline, a statement necklace with coordinating heels is the perfect way to finish off this look. A statement necklace, especially in gold or silver, pops nicely against the black fabric of your dress. If you want your necklace to really shine, choose a muted pair of heels to keep the attention on your top half.

outfit #2: little black dress with metallic shoes and earrings

Black and gold look stellar together, so why not play around with that? A pair of big, bold earrings in either gold or silver looks great with your hair pulled back so they can be the center of attention. To really let the metallics take the wheel, pair your earrings with a pair of pumps or booties in the same tone.

outfit #3: little black dress with a bold clutch and bracelet

An eye-catching clutch is an excellent accessory to style with your little black dress. Choosing a clutch in a bright or metallic tone offsets the color of your dress and adds a pop of color to the look. To go with your clutch, pop on a cuff, bracelet, or bangle on the wrist of the arm that will be carrying it. Coordinate the tones and colors of your clutch and the jewelry to make sure your overall look stays sleek and polished.

dos and don’ts of styling a little black dress for a dressy occasion

If you’re styling your LBD for a dressy event, don’t be afraid to have some fun with accessories that you normally wouldn’t wear during your day-to-day. Sparkles or metallics keep the look fresh and fun, while polished makeup and sleek hair will have you looking like a million bucks without breaking the bank.

The thing that you don’t want to do is go overboard with the accessories. If you have a statement necklace, keep the rest of your jewelry simple. Bold lips? Don’t go crazy with your eye makeup. You don’t want your makeup and accessories to be competing for attention over your dress!

find your next LBD at cabi

If you’re looking for your perfect little black dress or the right accessories to go with it, check out cabi’s latest Collection of hot fashion pieces. To help you get more bang for your buck, each of our items was made to mix and match and be worn in different ways. This means that you can save more and get the most out of each item.

Our Stylists work with cabi shoppers to learn their personal style. When you shop at cabi, your Stylist will make recommendations for you and find out what you love so you’ll always have your finger on the pulse as to what’s trending for you. Ready to shop? Check out cabi’s Collection now and start styling!