Little black dresses - or LBDs if you know your fashion - have been a wardrobe staple long before Audrey Hepburn wore her Givenchy to have breakfast at Tiffany's (don't believe me, read the history of the little black dress here). Go on, admit it, how many have you got lurking about in yours?
They're the ultimate fashion go-to and look great whatever the occasion. So whether you've got a last-minute dinner date or want a slightly more understated party look, we know what makes the top of your sartorial list.
How to style a little black dress
For a casual daytime outfit they look perfect teamed with an oversized rollneck jumper, an a pair of chunky walking boots. For a date, dress them with barely-there sandals or mules and layered gold necklaces. And if you want to go all out looking super-glamorous for a night out or even black tie event, dress up with statement jewellery, an embroidered clutch bag and of course, a party shoe for total opulence.
When to wear a little black dress
One of our favourite things about the LBD is that you can wear them time and time again, the key is to update your accessories. A pair of new season shoes will always look sensational with whichever little black dress you choose, and never underestimate the importance of a beautiful bag or a pair of eye-catching earrings. When it comes to colour, from brights to nudes, anything goes!
Little black dress trends
For a new buy this season, if you're looking for something a little extravagant, then invest in the puff-sleeve trend, as seen on the catwalk everywhere from Shrimps to Rejina Pyo and Saint Laurent. For something a little safer, velvet and sequins might not be groundbreaking, having been around for a few party seasons now, but you know the saying, if it ain't broke...
I've edited the coolest little black dresses online now, so you've got the perfect excuse to update your collection.
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Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.
Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).
Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.
However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.
Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.
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