What do Audrey Hepburn, Angelina Jolie and Victoria Beckham have in common? If you answered “great style,” you’d be right. And it’s all thanks to one item of clothing they’ve all become synonymous with wearing: the little black dress.
Sophisticated, understated and elegant with minimal effort, the LBD ticks every style box there is. The best part is – it suits absolutely everybody and, in our opinion, can be worn to any event out there.
Then there’s the investment factor: it’s the one garment guaranteed to stay fashionable and trendy year after year, no matter what the season. Think of all the styling options – here is one essential item that can carry you straight from the office right to the club.
Let’s not even talk about the ease of traveling. Just pack a little black dress into your holiday suitcase, and you’re all set for a variety of different vacation outfit options.
We’ve compiled 15 of the best dresses out there to get you started on your journey into fabulous LBDs. There’s something to suit every taste, occasion and price point. Happy shopping!
The Wear-Anywhere Bodycon
Forever 21 V-Neck Bodycon Dress
Buy this dress at Forever21
Black has the magical ability to make us appear slimmer and even taller than we are. How?
Well, the solid slab of dark color draws the focus away from any bumps or bulges on the body. This gives the illusion of a sleek silhouette. Instead, the eye shifts towards the hair and feet.
We can see this basic design becoming a firm favorite in your closet. Dress it up with sparkly jewels and stilettos for clubbing with your girlfriends. Got a last-minute business meeting with the boss? Just throw on a tailored blazer and court heels for an instantly pulled-together appearance.
The Daytime T-Shirt Dress
ASOS Ultimate Mini Tea Dress
Buy this dress at Asos
This LBD was made for those days when you feel like you literally have nothing else to wear.
The universal T-shirt design is flattering on all figures – big-busted ladies get the support and coverage that they need, while those with smaller chests benefit from the definition and structure of the fitted shape.
Then there’s this great A-line skirt which slims down larger hips and bottoms to create a beautiful feminine silhouette. Wear this dress with anything from Stan Smith sneakers to Louboutin heels – your choice!
The Sweet, Playful Date Dress
LookBook Outlet Black Fit and Flare Dress
Buy this dress at Lookbook Outlet
This little black number has a cheeky, mischievous vibe that we can imagine the pin-up stars from the 50s wearing, can’t you?
The sheer mesh paneling along the neckline is demure while still showing a suggestive bit of skin. The fit is skintight and utterly feminine – just perfect for a fun, easygoing day date with that special someone.
Pair it with classic ballet pumps for a cute, sexy look.
The Femme Fatale Date Dress
Black Bardot V Plunge Bodycon Dress
Buy this dress at PrettyLittleThing
Then there’s the va va vroom date dress – no-nonsense, sensual and undoubtedly seductive. This one packs a powerful punch: a sleek, off-the-shoulder neckline that leads to a daring deep V.
The skintight design is sure to get you noticed so keep your accessories light and minimal with your hair and makeup understated.
The All-Season Multi-Tasker
Lulu’s Phenomenal Feeling Black Long Sleeve Bodycon Dress
Buy this dress at Lulus
For those in-between seasons when the weather can’t quite make up its mind, there’s the fitted long-sleeved bodycon dress.
Here is the dress that fits all occasions, from super-casual to all-out formal. This one has the added benefit of suiting urban street styles – simply layer a fitted leather jacket over it plus Converse sneakers, and you’re right on trend.
The Chic City Ensemble
ASOS Double Split Mini Dress
Buy this dress at Asos
We can picture everyone from Audrey Hepburn to Gigi Hadid wearing this classic feminine design.
The slight slits in the front add a playful touch that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s polished and pretty but still easy-going and fun-loving.
Did we mention what an excellent first date dress this would make? Whether he takes you to a fancy dinner or for a picnic under the stars, you’ll be perfectly dressed to impress.
The Classic ‘Audrey Hepburn’ Dress
Promgirl Sleeveless Midi Bodycon Wedding-Guest Dress
Buy this dress at PromGirl
If it’s class, elegance and sophistication you’re after, choose something fitted, midi-length and definitely black. This LBD could fit easily into any era in history – from the formal 1920s to the ultra-modern present-day.
How you style it depends on your taste. But for the ultimate in classic style, we suggest you keep things simple – basic black sandals and barely-there jewelry.
Let the dress’s quiet mystique speak for itself.
The Comfortable Dinner Dress
Bar Front Sheath Dress
Buy this dress at Express
Maybe it’s an impromptu dinner with friends or a first-time blind date. Whatever the occasion, this LBD is as equal parts formal as it is casual.
What makes it a winner is its comfortable, body-skimming shape with just a hint of skin peeking through horizontal bars on the bust. Add a sparkly shawl for some extra star power when the night starts to fall.
The Sparkly Club Outfit
Off Shoulder Velvet Dress
Buy this dress at NA-KD
Full out glamour – that’s the effect that this LBD evokes. You’re sure to stand out in a crowd in this sparkly number.
We love that it creates a statement without exposing too much skin – perfect for colder nights or when the occasion calls for some restraint.
Follow it up with dark, smoky eye makeup and dramatic red lips to complete the vampy vixen persona.
The Fun And Flirty Frock
Cold Shoulder Knot Dress
Buy this dress at NA-KD
Here is an LBD that’s well in line with current fashion trends. The skirt has a definitive A-line shape, making it suitable for curvy and skinny girls alike.
Top it off with an edgy choker and stacked bangles for a truly Instagram-worthy look!
The Sexy Yet Sweet Dress
Black Lace Plunge Bandage Bodycon Dress
Buy this dress at Missguided
So, you want something sexy but still classy? Look no further than a lacy LBD.
A full skirt billows out from a fitted waistline, but it’s the bodice that catches the eye. A daring low V-neck cuts the lace bodice in half while see-through sleeves add a girly effect.
This look is the ideal flirty wedding ensemble – just make sure you catch that bouquet at the end of the night!
The Ideal Office Outfit
Express Puff Sleeve Belted Sheath Dress
Buy this dress at Express
This style is the ideal investment piece for a truly versatile wardrobe. Its fitted shape works on all body types – from the ultra-curvy to the slimmer, more slender physiques.
For a formal office ensemble, wear a structured blazer along with pointy stilettos. Then, for after-work cocktails, slip on a fitted denim jacket and the look transforms into a chic, stylish ensemble.
The New Year’s Eve Winner
Coast Madalina One Shoulder Mini Dress
Buy this dress at John Lewis
Fancy celebrations call for something a little extra. This one-shoulder ruffled style strikes the perfect balance between frivolous and formal.
It’s also perfect for hiding any figure flaws – the paneling down the midriff ensures a tailored appearance as well as extra volume around the hips to tone down larger thighs.
This style is particularly appealing for younger women looking to show off their fun, flirty side.
The Timeless Lace Dress
Adrianna Papell Lace Cap-Sleeve Illusion Sheath Dress
Buy this dress at Macys
Been invited to a snazzy black-tie dinner or even a gala charity event? You won’t go wrong with a fitted lace sheath dress.
This silhouette lightly skims the body while a satin ribbon ties it all together neatly right on the navel. Pretty patterned sandals add a nice, unexpected dash of color to this otherwise monochrome look.
The Must-Have Ladylike Dress
Dress the Population Alicia Mixed Media Midi Dress
Buy this dress at Nordstrom
This one is for the more traditional and demure at heart. Sure, it may be an LBD, but with its mid-calf length, the effect is classic and slightly more conservative.
Maintain that discreet effect by keeping jewelry to an absolute minimum. The same goes for your hair and makeup – a simple low chignon and nude lips provide all the styling that this stunner needs.