Back to black

The party season is almost upon us and the wardrobe classic takes centre stage this month with our guide to black dresses in this season’s collections.

Most people automatically choose a black party outfit, which is understandable as it’s a colour anyone can look good in. Coco Chanel introduced this now style essential in the 1920s. The classic little black dress is considered to be always in fashion and it will always looks sophisticated. It can move you seamlessly from the office to a party, all with the addition or removal of the right accessories.

There are several simple ways you can change the look, which is especially helpful if you have more than one event to attend this festive season. But first, make sure you have selected the right dress for the right occasion. If the dress is daywear avoid anything that clings to the body, instead opt for styles that skim your curves (i.e. shift dresses that fall just below the knee). For evening events the dress can be longer and more elegant but it should still remain structured and well shaped.

Consider the following when accessorizing your LBD:

  • Hosiery. The right tights can even out your skin tone on your legs and provide the finishing touch to the look. For eveningwear, sheer black or grey tinted tights are a good choice. Colored tights could also work with a black dress provided the color matches with other accessories and suits your skin tone.
  • Colour. Although the LBD is a staple favourite, adding colour and texture to your outfit can give you confidence and ensure you stand out from the crowd.
  • Shoes. Shoes can provide contrasting colour or style to the LBD and as a result become the feature piece of your outfit; people’s eyes will be drawn to them with your black dress as backdrop.
  • Dazzle in diamanté costume jewellery. Statement jewellery is such a strong trend for Autumn Winter that [paired with simple necklines] earrings and necklaces can really stand out. Instant glamour!
  • Bags. The bag is going to stand out against the black backdrop so treat it as part of the overall look. Try a dazzling or sparkling colour to dress it up for the evening.
  • Belts and scarves. Provided the style of the dress can handle the addition of a belt or scarf, it can provide an effective contrasting feature.

Invest now and the right LBD can be worn again and again…

Top row (from left): All items Accessorize, Black beaded angel dress £135, Mary Portas at House of Fraser, Black mesh dress £220, Shubette at House of Fraser.
Middle row (from left): Oversized Sequin Knit Dress £250, Markus Lupfer at, Monsoon Lolita Dress £149, Elektra Collection 8 Dress, £275, Phase Eight.
Bottom row (from left): Sunset Firework range by Laura Orchant (, Black embellished body con dress £300, Gestuz at House of Fraser (Nov issue front cover), Limited Edition Black Dress with white detail £35, F&F at Tesco.

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