The perfect little black dress has been a staple in nearly every woman’s closet for years. A quick search on google garners close to 800 million results–and for good reason. The LBD is one of the most versatile, flattering and accessible pieces of clothing. It all started in the 1920s, when famed designer Coco Chanel first popularized the concept of the contemporary LBD as a uniform for every woman. The style has come a long way since then, but at its core, it’s still incredibly versatile, timeless, and chic.
The perfect LBD can stand on its own for every occasion—or offer a blank canvas for you to personalize with accessories. To help you figure out what to wear to any formal event, we’ve done the work for you and identified 25 fashionable frocks below.
1. Little Black Dress: Girls’ Night Out
We all know that women dress to impress for our best girlfriends. Make the most of your next GNO by experimenting with fashion-forward styles and daring details, all of which prove the little black dress is far from boring.
2. Little Black Dress: Office Party
Whether you’re attending a company holiday party or a networking event, the key is to rent a dress that errs on the side of conservative without looking too boring. For added interest, play up proportions with voluminous sleeves, flared A-line skirts, and structured silhouettes.
3. Little Black Dress: Cocktail Gala
A little black number is always a safe bet for a cocktail party. Look for sleek, stylish numbers with a few intriguing details—like a hint of lace at the sleeves or an off-shoulder neckline—that should help you stand out in a crowd.
4. Little Black Dress: Date Night
A little black dress is perfect for a romantic date night, especially if you don’t know exactly what the evening entails. Going to dinner and a movie? Or checking out a concert or comedy show? The LBD works for all of the above. Just stick with a flattering, streamlined silhouette—like a swingy halter dress or a spaghetti-strap style—that’s open to a variety of interpretations.
5: Little Black Dress: Prom
Hey, you only attend prom once, so whatever you wear that night should be magical and memorable. School dances are the perfect time to embrace festive embellishments. Think feathers, beads, and playful appliques and luxurious textiles like silk, satin, or tulle.
6. Little Black Dress: Wedding
There was once a time when it was considered a faux pas to wear black to a wedding, but that ancient rule is long gone. This wedding season, you’ll appreciate the ease and simplicity of throwing on the perfect little black dress. When you’re attending a friend’s “I dos,” we suggest a silhouette that showcases elegant draping, a feminine sweetheart neckline, or a fluted hem.
Now that you know how versatile the little black dress can be, try renting one for one of the many formal events on your social calendar this season. Whether you like to play it safe or go for an avant-garde look, you’ll find the LBD suits all style sensibilities with ease.