Thursday, April 21, 2011

HOW TO: Dress Up and Dress Down an LBD (Little Black Dress)

     Nothing is more timeless than a Little Black Dress thanks to Coco Chanel. But even though a Little White Dress is very on trend right now for the spring season, an LBD will forever be a staple in a woman's wardrobe. Nothing solves your nighttime affairs more elegantly than a fabulous black frock. But thanks to the equal rights movement and the onset of powerful and very successful public figure women and those women in the work force, a modern woman's wardrobe also needs to be able to multi-task [and fast!] The most sought after pieces these days are the ones that the modern woman can take from work to play, from day to night, and can be worn a multitude of ways. So in today's very first segment of Fashion Blog How To, I'm going to demonstrate how a simple LBD can be dressed up and dressed down by using the right pieces and accessories. 

     This season, I'm obsessed with my new Erin Fetherston black, tiered dress that she designed for Target's 5 year anniversary of their Go International designer collaborations. The dress combines all of my favorite dress features: bows and layers and layers of tiers! So let's start with the easier option, which is dressing up your LBD. First of all, if I haven't emphasized it enough, accessories are your friends, especially during these fiscally responsible times. Accessories can completely transform your look into something new and interesting without having to spend more money on a new outfit. What's more is that they're so affordable and available in various colors and styles! [think accessory section in Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, and H&M] With the right accessories and transitional pieces (like cropped jackets and cardigans) you can wear your favorite pieces over and over again without making it obvious that you've just pressed the replay button. 

Dress Up your LBD
     If the words Coco Chanel are synonymous with the words, Little Black Dress, then I guess it's safe to say that a black and white combination with some costume jewelry is ultra Coco Chanel. Nothing helps dress up an LBD more than your favorite formal pieces like blazers, sequins, costume jewelry, and a classic black pump. Even the addition of a cocktail ring and an evening clutch completely makes the look appropriate for any formal, nighttime affairs. This doesn't necessarily mean that you have to spend hundreds, and even thousands of dollars on an expensive cropped or tuxedo blazer and costume jewelry bearing that coveted interlocked C's logo. I'm an ardent believer in looking like a million bucks without having to spend a ton of money. What's the key? -- the correct fit, glitz, and glam. I despise nothing more than ill fitting clothes. If you're out rocking your $45 LDB that looks like it's been custom made to fit your body, you will instantly look and feel like something straight out of Vogue. I highly recommend looking into finding a fabulous tailor near you and just know that alterations are very inexpensive. And when it comes to costume jewelry, purchase ones that have a classic and timeless design as opposed to anything overtly trendy. Oh and also, if you don't know already, mademoiselle Chanel loved pearls. Just a hint. 

Dress Down your LBD
     Now here's the tricky part. How can you dress down your LBD for more casual events? First off, black is a very tricky color to play around with and make it look casual, but with an open mind, some enthusiasm, and the right pieces and accessories, it's completely do-able! In our world filled with elements of duality, if synonyms means the same then antonyms means the opposite. So the first step in dressing down your LBD is thinking about the opposite of black, which is color! You can easily dress down your LBD by incorporating a lot of lively colors that makes it completely appropriate for daytime affairs like lunch dates and morning classes. Another way to dress down your LBD is by thinking about casual fabrics like denim. In this situation, given that we're working with a dress, your best bet with denim is by making use of your favorite denim jacket. Add your favorite spring/summer appropriate necklace, and viola'! You've just turned this strictly nighttime frock into something that will look equally as chic during the day. And if sky high Loboutins, Blahniks, and Atwood are your shoe options for dressing up your LBD, the opposite choice for dressing it down would be ballet flats, strappy gladiator sandals, and oxfords. Changing your footwear can also easily make your LBD a fabulous daytime ensemble. 

     So whether you are going on a girl's night out with your girlfriends or going shopping on a Saturday morning, consider your favorite LBD when getting dressed! Who says that this timeless dress is only restricted to martinis and champagne hour? I say wear it even when you're having a bloody mary for a sunday brunch. Just as long as you drink responsibly and in moderation that is! Cheers. 

Love, KB

Little Black dress by Erin Fetherston
(dress up) 
1. sequined jacket by Sparkle and Fade 
2. cropped white blazer by Pins and Needles / necklace by Urban Outfitters 
3. necklace by Forever 21 
4. necklace by Erica Lyons / white cardigan by Twist by Forever 21
(dress down)
5. necklace and denim jacket by Hollister
6. necklace by Charming Charlie / cardigan by J.Crew
7. red grandpa cardigan by BDG / skinny metallic belt by Forever 21 
8. red cropped plaid jacket by Forever 21 / flower chain bag by Antonio Melani 

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