Four Ways: Little Black Dress

Dec 30, 2019

It’s the day before New Year’s Eve and I have nothing to wear.  A common problem when you get invited to a party that you were not anticipating.  So what do you do?  You grab your little black dress and jazz it up.

Dress. J.Crew Stretch Silk Faille Sheath

This simple black dress from J.Crew is best styled for cocktail, but could be styled for work in a pinch.  The knee-length and simple shape make it easy to layer when necessary (like when you under pack for a work trip).  Plus-size?  Try this Eloquii square neck dress. If you prefer something with a wider strap or in a sleeveless style, this Reiss draped dress and this Reiss sheer inset dress.

One. Splendid Black Pearl Studs // BR Cashmere Mockneck Sweater // Edelman Dori Kitten Heels

Layering a boxy sweater over the top is the easiest way to make a narrow-strap cocktail dress work for the office.  This Banana Republic sweater in a vibrant green is a nice choice.  I also like this cropped lilac sweater from Alexander Wang or this Madewell Ruffle-Neck Sweater.

Add a simple heel and a pretty earring to finish the look.  With a mock neck or turtleneck sweater, I like a slightly unkempt updo.

If you’re concerned that you need tights, try a micro-fishnet instead.  It’s a nice alternative to a flesh-toned nylon.

Two. Rivka Friedman Amethyst Drops // N. Peal Pashmina // McClintock Floral Clutch // Journey Suede Sandal Heel

Adding color to a black dress is challenging.  The trick is to treat the dress like a blank canvas, and make all of the accessories as if they were their own creation.

For this look, I paired a dark purple pashmina with an autumn-hued clutch.  Adding an amethyst drop earring pulls the look together.  I chose these colors because I thought the clutch was an interesting piece for an NYE party or cocktail wedding.  But you could choose any palette you wish.

Looking for tips on how to wear a wrap with a cocktail dress?  This YouTube video has some ideas.

Three. Halogen Double-Breasted Tweed Blazer // Stuart Weitzman Wren Sock Bootie // Spanx Tight-End Tight (also in plus) // Saks Fifth Ave. Gold Circle Studs

I bought this blazer, and I am inpatient for its arrival.  I think it’s going to be a great piece for professional, business casual, and weekend wear.  Here, I layered it over a simple dress.  It’s a heavy tweed, but has a trendy look to it.

To complete the look, I added a sock bootie and an opaque pair of black tights.  Because the jacket is such a statement piece, I chose a simple pair of earrings.

Prefer a more traditional, classic blazer?  Try this heavily discounted Rebecca Taylor tweed jacket or this Anne Klein fringe-trim jacket.  Plus-size or petite?  This Talbot’s jacket is available in inclusive sizing.

Four. Coach Trench // L’Autre Chose Studded Heels // INC Frame Clutch // Starburst Earrings // Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips

For our first party look, I decided to keep things simple.  A chic heel, a red lip, a simple clutch, and the right coat.  Why mess with a classic?

I’m besotted with this Coach trench.  The leather details are just fantastic.  Sadly, it is sold out in my size.  If you’re looking for a classic trench for under-$200, this Boden Whitstable Trench is on sale and this Oasis Martini Mac.  Plus-size?  Try this Land’s End trench.

I added a feisty earring to bring a little sparkle to the look.  If you want something simpler, try this Majorica gold pearl drops.  This brand makes lovely pearl jewelry.

{image by Unsplash; this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author}

How To Wear It, Style, Three Ways

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  1. Monica T says:

    Admittedly, I spend my NYE at home these days but Iove these ideas for multi-purposing a party dress! For we who go out rarely sometimes it can feel wasteful to own a dress that can only be worn to a specific type of event, but putting a crop sweater over the top of a strappy dress is a GREAT idea!

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