10 Tricks To Update Your Little Black Dress

The problem: your social calendar is booked solid, yet acquiring a new frock for every night isn’t quite in your budget. The solution? The little black dress already hanging in your closet. Not the exciting answer you were hoping for? Hear us out: there’s a reason the LBD is a closet MVP—its possibilities for reinvention are limitless. 

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  • So go on and save yourself a shopping trip, and check out our ten fresh and easy tricks that will transform your boring old black dress into the life of the party.

  • Laura Bailey
    Photo credit: Nick Harvey/WireImage

    1. Slip On Swiss-Dot Tights

    A pair of patterned hosiery is an inexpensive and seasonably sensible way to add visual interest to an LBD. Notice how, at an Alice Temperley store launch in London, Laura Bailey added a pair of swiss-dot tights to play off the pattern of her Temperley London Lily Graphic Dress ($1,355).

  • 2. Add An Embellished Collar

    Kiernan Shipka is no stranger to all things adorable, so its no surprise she picked one of the most darling ways to dress up a LBD at the Los Angeles premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Although the actress’ collar is part of her Miu Miu dress, we love the idea of adding an embellished detachable collar to any of the high-neck dresses you own.

  • Chiara Ferragni
    Photo credit: The Blonde Salad

    3. Top With A Printed Bomber

    Leave it to Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad to make a dress usually reserved for evening events, street style-appropriate. Her secret to pulling it off? Pairing her Styligion dress with a trendy printed bomber jacket.

  • Mr Gugu & Miss Go Snake Printed Bomber Jacket ($97)

  • Georgia May Jagger
    Photo credit: David M. Benett/Getty Images for Thomas Sabo

    4. Accessorize With A Statement Necklace

    It may seem like a no-brainer, but the addition of an eye-catching bauble can give your LBD a new lease on life. For a more dramatic effect, try layering two Thomas Sabo necklaces like Georgia May Jagger did at the jewelry line’s collection launch in London.

  • Mango Ethnic Style Necklace ($24) in Silver

  • Michelle Dockery
    Photo credit: David M.Benett/Centrepoint/Getty Images for Centrepoint

    5. Style With A Metal Belt

    There’s no better way to show off your figure than to add a belt around the smallest part of your waist. The Stella McCartney gown Michelle Dockery wore to the Winter Whites Gala in London came with the metal accessory attached, but the effect would be a cinch (excuse the pun) to recreate on your own LBD.

  • Atlanta de Cadenet Taylor
    Photo credit: Shanae Nae/BFAnyc.com

    6. Try A Button-Down Underneath

    For a schoolgirl-inspired look, layer a button-down underneath your trusty LBD. A Topshop heart-print top lent Atlanta de Cadenet Taylor’s Rag & Bone Geneva Sleeveless Textured Knit Dress ($325) a bit of quirky charm at the SATYA Jewelry store opening in New York City.

  • Alicia Vikander
    Photo credit: REX USA/IBL/Rez

    7. Wear With A Colorful Coat

    Have a less-than-impressive LBD hanging in your closet? Take the focus off the frock by pairing it with bright outerwear, like Alicia Vikanders’ emerald Minimarket Starship Coat ($515) the Swedish actress wore to the Stockholm premiere of Hotell.

  • Minimarket Long Wool Coat ($306)

  • Stockholm Street Style
    Photo credit: Stockholm Street Style

    8. Pair With Sneakers

    Wearing a cocktail-appropriate LBD with tennis shoes is a bold move, but for those daring enough, it can provide a delightfully unexpected contrast. See more ways to wear it here.

    Image courtesy of Stockholm Street Style

  • Nike Air Max Defy Run Sneakers ($95) in Distance Blue/Chambray Blue/Armory Navy

  • Stockholm Street Style
    Photo credit: Stockholm Street Style

    9. Layer A Fishnet Dress On Top

    Here’s a fresh idea with a little edge: top your favorite tank or spaghetti-strap LBD with a sheer fishnet or mesh dress for a downtown effect.

    Image courtesy of Stockholm Street Style

  • Riller & Fount Todd Fishnest Sweatshirt Mini Dress ($113) in Black

  • Stockholm Street Style
    Photo credit: Stockholm Street Style

    10. Tie A Flannel Around Your Waist

    The ‘90s throwback look is definitely still having a moment, and plaid button-downs tied around the waist are a major part of the vibe. It looks particularly cool when paired with a slightly edgy LBD and chunky boots.

    Image courtesy of Stockholm Street Style

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