How to Dress Up Your Little Black Dress

A black dress, as we all know, is good for any situation.  If you don’t know what to wear that will fit into an event, choose a black dress.  Then you can dress it up or down, depending on the occasion and your taste.  Age doesn’t matter.  There are so many different kinds of black dresses to suit any age or body type or style.  Choose what you love and then make it yours with the accessories you add to it.  There are infinite possibilities…

The classic way to make a black dress elegant is to add gold!  Add one or more of these:  from gold jewelry to gold hair accessories to gold makeup to gold cover-ups, scarves, shoes and bag.  It doesn’t matter if the jewelry is dainty or bold and statement-making, if you choose one piece or pile them on.  It’s up to you!

Another basic way to give your black dress some pizazz is to add a bright color, especially red.  You could add all red accessories, just a red statement necklace, or just a pair of red shoes.

Simply adding a statement piece to your basic black dress changes it up.  You can add a statement necklace, statement earrings, or even a statement jacket.  A pair of cuffs is a magic maker.  Or make a statement with glitz by adding something that shimmers and sparkles.

metallic black dress
Metallic Long Dress from Venus


You can even create your own black dress by pairing a black top with a black skirt.  Both the top and the skirt must be in the same shade of black.  The texture of the top and bottom should match exactly or else be made of totally different materials.  It makes a good dinner dress for a conservative event!

A little black dress (LBD), or a little colored dress such as blue or red, can create three instant party looks.  For an office party:  the three B’s make it businesslike…black blazer, black tights, black ankle boots.  For a family gathering:  dress it down.  Belt a cardigan over the top and add knee-high boots, or even sneakers.  For New Year’s Eve:  Just add gold accents to make it glam, such as gold evening sandals, gold clutch, gold jewelry.

A not-so-basic little black dress from ASOS

Here are some ideas to inspire you on how to style an LBD (substitute with what you have and what you like best):

  • Add a metallic belt to a little black dress.
  • Add a dressy jacket to an LBD.
  • An LBD + black heels and black sheer stockings.  Add gold hoop earrings + a black fur scarf or a leopard-print scarf.  Put your hair up.
  • An LBD + black satin heels + sheer black stockings.  Add a statement necklace.
  • An LBD + black satin pumps + matching bag + gold cuff + gold drop earrings.
  • An LBD + an ivory blazer.
  • An LBD + a kimono (a jewel-color like teal, burnout-velvet, sheer, semi-sheer, and fringed kimonos work well for evening).
  • An LBD + an animal-print belt + tall black boots.  May add a bold cuff or statement necklace.
  • An LBD + gold heels.  Add shimmer stockings.
  • An LBD + a black cashmere cardigan.  Add a scarf + sparkly shoes or gold shoes + sparkly jewelry.

    shein blk dress
    Contrast Faux Fur Cuff Ribbed Dress from Shein
  • An LBD + a beautiful color cashmere cardigan with rhinestone buttons.
  • An LBD + gold shoulder dusting earrings + black evening sandals.  Put your hair up to show off the earrings.
  • An LBD + black tights + booties.  Add a couple of gold pendants.
  • An LBD + a fringed, printed shawl.  Add beads, earrings, belt.
  • An LBD + cuffs + a necklace + black heels + sheer black stockings.
  • An LBD + a jewel-toned lace scarf draped around neck with ends in front.
  • An LBD + a choker.
  • An LBD + an opulent-looking necklace and earrings set.
mystic fire
Mystic Topaz Ring, Earring, Necklace Set at Amazon
  • A black sheer-sleeve dress + a long turquoise pendant + gold disk earrings.
  • A black bell-sleeve dress + patterned black stockings + black heels.  Add a statement necklace + gold clutch + gold earrings or ones that match the necklace.
  • A black bell-sleeve dress + strappy black & gold sandals + a black choker.
  • A tuxedo jacket + a little black dress.  Add a bright-color accessory + sparkling shoes.  Or, add a statement necklace.
  • A black cape dress + tall, black, studded boots.  Or, add tights and dressy boots.
How to Wear A Cape Dress on
  • A black sheath dress + a double strand of pearls.
  • A black sheath + a string of pearls + pearl stud earrings, or a simple gold chain, or a muted print scarf.  Add black heels + a ladylike coat the same length as the dress.
  • A black sheath + a long chain or more + a chain bracelet or more + a red shawl.
  • A black sheath + a black leather jacket.  Add chandelier earrings.
  • A black sheath + an embellished cardigan.  Add earrings to match the embellishments.
  • A black sheath + a bright-color cardigan.  Add black boots & tights + bold colored accessories to match the cardi (necklace, earrings, bracelets, purse shoes, sunglasses).  Use bold-color makeup, too!
  • A black sheath + multiple short strands of pearls + pearl and/or crystal bangles + stud earrings + sheer black stockings + black heels.  Put your hair up.  Or, use a short crystal necklace + one or more crystal bracelets or cuffs.
  • A black sheath + a fur vest + black leggings.  Add cut-out booties.  You may even want to add black socks.
  • A silk jacket over a black sheath.
  • Throw a scarf over a black sheath.  Add a broach on the dress shoulder.
  • A black lace top or cardigan over a black slip dress.  Add nude heels.

    ffd black dress
    Blogger Debbie of Fashion Fairy Dust in a leopard blouse as jacket over a black dress 
  • A long, black dress + a long gold chunky chain necklace + a gold cuff (push up sleeves if they’re long) + ornate gold hoop earrings or chandelier earrings.
  • A black scoop-neck maxi dress + a long gold chain necklace + gold chandelier earrings + a gold cuff.
  • A long black dress + black and white pearls.  Add hoop earrings + black heels.
  • A black maxi-dress + a crystal-studded pendant on a long gold chain + gold evening sandals.
  • A black maxi dress + a black moto jacket.  Add flat, gold sandals + a wrist full of gold bracelets + sunglasses if sunny.

    anthro blk dress
    Michael Stars Slim Knit Dress from Anthropologie
  • A black maxi dress + combat boots.
  • A black maxi-dress + a statement necklace + earrings + bangles + black heels.
  • A 3/4-sleeve black maxi dress + a long gold pendant + gold bangles + gold earrings + black booties.  Or, style with a long chain necklace + chandelier earrings + a cuff.  Or, just style with matching gold cuffs, one on each wrist.
  • Add an embroidered black duster to a black maxi-dress.  Add a long (maybe a lariat) necklace + flat black shoes.

    fp blk maxi
    Big Star Maxi Dress from Free People
  • A black maxi dress + a golden headband (you may even like to wear it as a crown) + gold bangles + gold rings.  Add sunglasses if sunny.
  • A sleeveless black maxi dress + flat, gold sandals.  Add a gold collar necklace.  Or, Add a gold cuff + chandelier earrings.
  • Date:  A sleeveless black maxi dress showing cleavage + high heels + long, glittery earrings.
boden blk dot dress
Erica Dress from Boden

Ways to Combine a Black Top with a Black Skirt to Make a Black Dress

  • A black sequined tank tucked inside a black pencil skirt or a long, black skirt.  Add black evening sandals + a black clutch.
  • A black velvet top + a black velvet skirt.  You may want to add a cardigan, black boots, and/or statement earrings.
  • A black velvet top + a sparkly black skirt.  Add a necklace + earrings.  You may also want to add + a black or charcoal cardigan, boots, sunglasses if sunny.
  • A black lace-edged tank top + a black velvet skirt.  Add evening sandals or heels or booties.
  • A black camisole + matching black skirt + a black sheer blouse.
  • A black camisole + matching black skirt + a gold blouse worn open as a jacket.
  • A black camisole + matching black skirt + a black lacy-knit cardigan.
  • A black camisole + matching black skirt + a black crochet or lace pullover.
  • A black camisole tunic + a long black evening skirt.  Add a black evening shawl + black evening shoes + huge earrings.
  • A black lace tank, short-sleeve or long-sleeve top + a black pencil skirt.  Add black heels.  Or, add special gold hoops + a gold cuff + gold evening sandals.
  • A short-sleeve black lace top tucked inside a black pencil skirt.  Add a black belt with a jeweled buckle + heels.
  • A black lace top + a black a-line, midi or long skirt.
  • A black lace top + a black chiffon, tulle or leather skirt.  You may want to add metallic heels + a metallic bib necklace.  Or, add black strappy sandals + earrings + a clutch, with your hair in a messy up-do.
emb sweater
Embellished Sleeve Jumper over a skirt at JD Williams
  • A black sweater + a black chiffon or tulle skirt.  You may want to tuck in and belt the sweater.  Add black heels.
  • A black peplum top + a black pencil skirt.
  • A black peplum top + a black chiffon or other black skirt.  Add heels + a few delicate gold necklaces + gold hoop earrings.  Or, add a statement necklace + booties.
  • A black peplum top + a long, black skirt.  Add hoop earrings + black heels or booties.
  • A black peplum top + a black trumpet skirt.  You may like to add black cut-out booties.
  • A black sequined top + a black skirt.
black top and bottom
Lauren Ralph Lauren top and skirt at Bloomingdale’s
  • A black tank top + a long black skirt.  Add a long chunky chain necklace + a bracelet + black evening sandals.
  • A long-sleeve lacy black top messy-tucked in a black lacy maxi-skirt.  Add coral & turquoise bracelets and rings + rugged boots.
  • A black crew-neck cashmere sweater + a long, black velvet skirt.  Belt in black and add sequined ballet flats.
  • A long-sleeve black v-neck top + a black embellished maxi-skirt.  Add turquoise jewelry.
  • A black tank top over a black lace-edged maxi-skirt.  Add black bracelets with a slice of color.
  • A long-sleeve, black jersey tunic over a long, black, slim jersey skirt.  Add a long, chunky necklace + a few wide, gold bangles + leopard-print ballet flats.
  • A long-sleeve, black, lace top tucked inside a black lace-edge maxi-skirt.  Add a statement necklace + crystal-studded black boots + rings.
  • A black blouse (perhaps with sequins) + a black skirt.  Add a black cape + flats.
  • A black blouse + a black skirt.  Add a jeweled belt or two + fancy shoes + hair decorations.
  • A black blouse + a long, black skirt (sparkly or not).  Add black evening sandals.
  • Belt a black tunic over a long, black skirt.  You may want to add a rhinestone belt.
  • A black tunic over a long black skirt.  Keep it flowing with flat sandals.
  • A black lace top + black lacy, sparkly or matte jersey skirt.  You may want to add a studded black belt, black earrings.
  • A black cashmere tank top + a long, black, sparkly or embellished skirt = an evening dress.
  • A black sweater with a fur collar + a black skirt.
  • A black, merino wool turtleneck + a sparkly or embellished black skirt.
  • A long-sleeve black t-shirt over a long, black, matte jersey skirt.  Add a leopard-print belt over the top + high-heal sandals + hoop earrings.
  • A short-sleeve black t-shirt + long black skirt.  You may want to add long, black leather gloves.  Add black flats.
  • Dinner:  A black bare t-shirt top + a long black skirt + a gold & black blouse worn open as a jacket.  Belt in gold.  Add flat black or gold sandals.  You can substitute any other silky, satiny, sparkly or special-looking blouse in a pretty color that has a straight hem that can act as a jacket.
  • Theater Big City, or Black Tie/Fancy Evening:  A black blouse + a long black skirt.  Add gold — gold belt, gold or gold & black evening sandals, pretty gold & onyx jewelry.  Or, wear black satin heels, black-toned stockings, black satin belt, and a lot of gold or gold & black bangles or cuffs.  The key:  pretty hair and finished makeup.  Tip:  If you haven’t the time for your hair, put it up, do a super-clean, finished makeup, wear your prettiest earrings…you can then add a red satin cardigan, or a red or paisley shawl.
  • Fancy Evening, Summer, Winter, Anywhere:  A black lacy tank or camisole + a long black skirt.
  • Convention/Business Dinners, Black-tie Dinner at Someone’s Home, etc.:  A black velvet top + a long black silk or sparkly skirt.  Add a black jeweled belt + black satin sandals + a red cashmere or silk blanket shawl as evening cover.
lyn slater
Lyn Slater of Accidental Icon

This is a good article to print out and use for inspiration when you need to get dressed up.  Feel free to do so!

I have so many black dresses, I have to stop myself from getting any more!  Do you have one or more black dresses?  How do you like to style them?  Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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