Little Black Dress Shopping Guide

We’ve all been there, last minute invitation to an activity, wine may or not be involved and you search your closet for a little black dress. Looking for something not too casual, not too dressy but that yet accentuates your features and makes you look amazing. I know, this has been me on several occasions. Whether for a night out with the girls, work, or just a simple date night, having the right Little Black Dress is a necessity in every girl/woman’s wardrobe. Here I have gathered some ideas of different little black dresses perfect for any occasion and how to find the best style for you.

LBD Guide


First you must figure out what you want it for, casual, formal, or versatile. This will greatly influence the style, cuts, and fabrics you consider for your dress. For example, if you want a more casual dress then simple tank dress from Nordstrom is perfect because the fabric, crepe, is more casual and thus it will be more comfortable to wear. Cotton blend and Modal like these from Nordstrom and Revolve are also a cool alternative for more casual pieces. These fabrics will also allow you to wear the dress with sandals or sneakers and will look good with a cross body or a backpack. A more versatile dress, like this one from Express and this one from Barneys will serve you many different purposes, from a casual outfit for a lunch with friends, to a work outfit, and take you into an evening out after work.

These dresses will have a fabric like rayon, nylon and sometimes polyester that can be dressed up depending on the accessories you combine it with. A more formal piece will serve you for work, cocktails, and even fancy events like weddings and dinners. These will tend to be longer with fabrics like polyester and lace, and they can look very dressed up even without accessories. An example would be this XOXO piece from Macy’s that is similar to a dress I own from WHBM. That dress I have used for work and for events and I always get compliments on it. So recapping, the first step when buying a LBD is figuring out the main purpose you want to use it for, now let’s combine use with style.

body shaped for dress

The Perfect Fit:

Next you must figure out what cuts work best for your body frame. I am tall, thin, and curvy, like many Hispanic and mixed race women and although I have grown to love my body shape, I accept that not everything looks great on me. Not only knowing what looks good, but also what I am comfortable in. For example, I really like the look of this sexy party mini dress, but I know that even though it might look good, I would never feel comfortable in it. On the other hand, this dress is more my style, but the cut of it does not work for me because it hides the curves that balance me out. For my body shape Ponte and sheath style dresses tend to sit better on my wider hips while still hugging my waist and accentuating my curves in a balanced way.

So you see, it’s not only knowing what fits your body better, it’s what you are comfortable in too. To some, I dress like an older woman, because I like more conservative styles, especially in the bust area. But it’s not necessarily the case when I combine that style of top with skirt styles like this which gives it a more modern and younger feel. Up to this point we are talking about these dresses on a more general scale and this can be enough for some to make a decision, for others it’s all in the details.


The Perfect Dress:

If you prefer having a plain black dress and you do not care for necklines and trims, then you probably have enough information by this point to make your decision. If you prefer to add some oomph to your style, then this final part I hope will help you out. These details are going to depend a lot on whether or not you like having them, and on how they can enhance your LBD or make it more versatile.

First off details like necklines and straps can influence the style of the dress and can also have an impact on your comfort while wearing the dress. For example, this strapless dress can be the dress of your dreams, but if you are more on the busty side, or if you have a broad back that you do not want to enhance, then that neckline is likely not going to work for you. On the other hand, this simple spaghetti strapped dress can give you a similar look yet give you support in the bust, and tone down the broad shoulders. Cleavage is another important one and that will depend a lot on your comfort level than anything else.

The Details:

Another detail to consider is whether or not to have different color trims, or different fabrics. For example, this black dress with white trims is definitely a statement piece or another option is to have lace details on trims like the shoulders/back or hem. Other details to keep in mind a trend specific details like tassels, cold shoulder, off shoulder and sequins that will influence all the above characteristics of the dress like versatility, formality, and comfort. Always remember that the simpler the dress and the more versatile the cut and fabric, the more use you will get out of your dress and the more creative you can be when styling your new little black dress.

I hope this guide helps you when shopping for a LBD, that is truly a staple in any wardrobe. If you have any other tips or advice for when shopping for a LBD leave a comment below to let me and others know about it! We’ve all got to help each other out.

Thanks for reading!



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Little Black Dress Shopping Guide

4 comments so far.

4 responses to “Little Black Dress Shopping Guide”

  1. Wow…so much detailed information. Great post.

  2. ayrgalaxy says:

    Love this. You really went out of your way to give a detailed shopping guide. The body shapes thing is still kinda new to me, and like you, not a lot of styles look good on me. I often find that trends fit taller, skinnier women. I also recently bought a LBD that I plan on wearing for graduation. I would like to find cute accessories like a necklace or a bracelet, I’m thinking a choker but I have seen lots of guides on Pinterest on what jewelry to wear based on the necklines. Lol.
    Anyway, going off a tangent here. Great post doll!!

    • Jani V says:

      Yeah!! I am still trying to learn about that too, necklines/body shape appropriate accessories but it’s all very confusing. But thanks!! Means a lot really, I went out on a limb doing this but I just wanted to help others out there because I remembered ny struggles lol. Chokers are pretty in trend and they look good with most looks so I think you should be good! 👌🏻👌🏻

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