How to Get the Most Out of Your Little Black Dress

Are you stacking up the invitations for the festive period? Panicking about what you’ll wear to everything? Sometimes it really is easier to have one fabulous dress you know makes you feel great – a ‘go-to’ number for which you already have shoes, tights and a coat you know all work together. Because after all who has time to plan outfit after festive outfit? Remember the days when you could take a whole evening out of your schedule to experiment with different make-up looks? Yeah well, that’s about as likely to happen as me making my own mince pies. Everyone should have a little black dress which fits them well, a piece that can be relied on when you only have ten minutes to get ready and be out of the door. Take one such dress and then add an accessory with wow factor.

Little Black Dress from Reiss £149

Little Black Dress from Reiss £149

Take one lovely but very simple little black dress with side panels for an ultra slimming look and long sleeves for those who hate bare arms. Reiss does great tailoring and their dresses are cut beautifully for curves. This is such a classic style, it’ll work year after year and with just a few additions you can make it the hardest working piece in your wardrobe. Here’s what to look out for:

The Statement Jewellery

Necklace from Coast £35

Necklace from Coast £35

Hair clip from Coast £20








There has never been a better time to buy amazing and eye catching bits of sparkle on the high street. Pearls are having a moment but the jewels are endless. Everywhere from Accessorize to Zara you’ll find pieces that will instantly transform a plain dress, usually for under £30.

The Belt

Belt from H&M  £12.99

Belt from H&M £12.99

Jewelled belt from Accessorize £22

Jewelled belt from Accessorize £22








This  season belts are fairly understated and skinny which means they are the ideal addition to a stylish black dress. Wear something a little more glitzy for evening and a simple metallic belt for daytime.

The Collar

Faux fue collar from Oasis £35

Faux fur collar from Oasis £35

If you want a smarter more subtle update to your LBD then go for one of the many collars around currently. There are plenty of jewelled versions but an alternative is a faux fur ribbon tie one, all very ’50’s glam.

The Clutch

Faux fur clutch from & Other Stories £19

Faux fur clutch from & Other Stories £19

Gold bag from H&M £14.99

Gold bag from H&M £14.99








This year a clutch is the only way to go. You probably won’t be able to fit much into it but who needs more than a lipstick, a debit card and a phone anyway? Don’t match your shoes to your bag, that’ll date your look, but do pick something fun that’ll give your outfit a bit of a lift.

The Jacket

Sequin jacket from H&M £34.99

Sequin jacket from H&M £34.99

Zoe Ball has been giving a masterclass on how to dress up a simple black outfit on Strictly’s It Takes Two. If she hasn’t worn this H&M jacket already, then she should. Snap it up quickly as it’s already featured in British Vogue and it really is just as fabulous in the flesh and is a guaranteed head turner.

The Shoe

Shoes from Kurt Geiger £270

Shoes from Kurt Geiger £270

Last but not least, the killer shoe. With a black dress anything goes but you might as well make it something high and sparkly. This pair from Kurt Geiger are jaw dropping but a little pricey, if you can’t wait for them to come down in the sale (and they’re bound to before Christmas) then check out Aldo and Office for cheaper alternatives.

One dress, six ideas – that’s one a week from now until the end of the year. This season there is so much choice, you’ll be tempted to throw it all on – please don’t…

About aftercarrie

I help people refine their wardrobe to suit their shape, colouring and lifestyle. I am a style consultant, personal shopper and colour analyst working in London. Be the loveliest possible you. My first book SHOPPED was released on 5th July 2016 (September Publishing).
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