• Joan Kosmachuk

Seven Steps to Rocking The Little Black Dress

Most style books will give you a list of Wardrobe Basics that every well-dressed woman needs. Top of the list will be a "little black dress". This is great advice except for three things. It doesn't need to be little. It doesn't need to be black. It doesn't need to be a dress.

The purpose of a "little black dress" as a wardrobe staple is to have an outfit on hand that can be dressed up or down to fit almost any occasion. (note, this in not the same as a "special occasion dress, although you may choose to wear it for a special occasion).

Once you get this wardrobe staple sorted out, it will help you immensely to be prepared for spur of the moment invitations. So how do you choose your version of a little black dress?

1. Make it Personal: For most, the "little black dress" will, in fact, be a dress. But it is okay if your version is a skirt with matching top or a dressy pant suit. The key is that it works for your Body Signature, matches your Personal Style and is suitable for your Lifestyle.

2. Make it Neutral. Ideally your "little black dress" should be in your most formal neutral. That could be black but it may be navy, eggplant, gray, brown, taupe etc. The most important thing is that it's the color that flatters you and lends you a certain air of formality.

3. Make it Non-descript: This is not a dress or combo that is memorable on its own. You are looking for basic clean lines, smooth all-season fabrics, and a neutral color. It serves as the supporting cast rather than the star of the show.

4. Make it Flattering: Choose a style that will work for your body signature. Do you look best in a shift dress or an A-line or wrap dress? Knee length or mid-calf? A straight leg pant or a wide leg? V-shaped or scoop neck? Short sleeve or long? This wardrobe basic should be a very flattering fit on you.

5. Make it Expensive: Choose the best quality fabric/designer dress you can afford. Think about "cost per wear" when budgeting for your "little black dress". If this is truly a dress you can wear anywhere for every occasion by dressing it up or down, it will be worth budgeting a little more to get a truly amazing fit in a classic style and fabric that will stand the test of time and serve you for years to come.

6. Make it Yours: Now that you have your "little black dress" you can begin to figure out all the various ways that you can dress it up or down to make it reflect your personal style. What jackets can you pair it with for business or casual? What shoes and bags will you pair with it and how will they change the look and feel? What glittering jewels or wraps will make it suitable for an evening out?

7. Make it Simple: Spend the time to figure out at least a week's worth of day to night combinations for your version of your "little black dress" and take photos of each look so you'll be able to quickly reproduce them as an occasion arises.

Have you struggled to find your version of a "little black dress"? I can help. Let's talk.


Joan Kosmachuk

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