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Dressing up and down your little black dress for all occasions
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The little black dress is an iconic staple in every woman’s closet. The beauty of the piece is it doesn’t have to mean stilettos and pearls a la “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

From the first little black dress designed by Coco Chanel to the ones we see today, the timeless piece comes in many styles and can be worn many different ways.

To help get the most out of your little black dress, here are some tips on how to dress up and dress down the infamous LBD by simply accessorizing:

Dress it down

If you’re rocking a little black dress during the daytime, wear neutral colored flats or sandals if you will be out running errands or on your feet for a long time. Pairing boots (ankle or riding boots) and tights with a black dress is also a great way to dress down your LBD, especially for fall.

And speaking of fall, when the temperature drops, grab a knitted sweater or cardigan to wear over your little black dress. It’s great for rainy days or cold nights.

Avoid a lot of makeup or jewelry that’s too sparkly if you’re trying to dress it down; a fresh face with a simple pair of earrings and ring or bracelet is enough without appearing too flashy.

Dress it up

LBDs were meant to be dressed up, it’s a fact. But you can take it up a notch past the usual pairing with stilettos and pearls.

Be bold and layer a cascade of long necklaces with your dress to add more shine and sparkle to your ensemble.

If you want to continue the bold look, add a colorful belt to your dress. Skinny or thick, a belt can add a fun pattern or color to the outfit to help break up the black.

If you’re going on a date, a job interview or an important meeting, wearing a blazer will add the perfect amount of polish your outfit needs. Choose fun colors like light blue, purple, yellow or a neutral color such as gray or white.

Chelsea Tench is a columnist for the national fashion and women’s empowerment magazine DISfunkshion. She is a part-time columnist for the Times and can be reached at

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