8 Ways To Style Your Little Black Dress

Style experts Afiya Francisco and Kristjan Hayden inspire us with eight great ways to dress up a versatile wardrobe staple.

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All women know that having a little black dress in the wardrobe is a must. But wearing the same dress over and over again can get a boring fast. Now thanks to our fashion expert Afiya Francisco and hair expert Kristjan Hayden, here’s how to get the most mileage out of this classic piece 8 different ways, for every occasion on your calendar!:::8 Ways to Wear 1 Little Black Dress.::: /stevenandchris/content/images/__common/_slideshow/_fullslide/lbd-sandals.jpg:::This Little Black Dress is a great canvas since it’s simple and clean (no embellishments or complicated details), with a length that is universally flattering. Plus the material and shape provide a nice balance between casual and dressy.

Shapewear is important with this dress. No matter what your shape or size, shapewear under this silhouette will smooth any lumps and bumps and give you that extra boost of confidence (plus hide any panty lines).

Oak + Fort Black cotton dress as a base, priced at $78

:::LBD with sandals::: /stevenandchris/content/images/__common/_slideshow/_fullslide/lbd-fringedt-top.jpg:::LOOK: HOLIDAY PARTY
HAIR: Side bun with a bling accessory

Finding something different to wear for all our holiday parties can be expensive and tiring. A way to get more mileage out of your LBD for the holidays is to treat the dress like a skirt, with a bold top placed over the dress- something unexpected for the holidays. So even if you have something from another dress (a sparkly blouse, a top that matches another skirt, a crop top), try it over the dress to bring new life to both pieces. Anything that is too tight won’t work over your LBD, otherwise it looks misplaced. Because the dress is fitted, a boxy shirt over a tight skirt balances the silhouette. Rule of thumb: tight on bottom, loose on top.

The inspiration behind this holiday hair look was the red carpet! Side buns/pony tails/braids are popular on the red carpet because you can see them from the front-really important for red carpet photos — in this case, your friends at the party can see your fun hair while talking to you!

To achieve this look, start with a side braid, then roughen it up to add more texture. Finally, twist up the braid into a bun. Fast, easy and really secure way to put hair up!

GET THE LOOK:

Plaid top with feather detail- Mendocino
Snowflake statement necklace- COCO Jewelry 
Velvet and embellished clutch- Mendocino
Crystal pumps- ALDO

:::LBD with fringed top::: /stevenandchris/content/images/__common/_slideshow/_fullslide/lbd-greenscarf.jpg:::LOOK: VACATION
HAIR: Clip on pony tail (clip on over a bun)

This little black dress makes the perfect vacation outfit because it’s very packable, and because of the fabric, it takes no room in a suitcase. This outfit shows how easy-breezy this dress can be on vacation paired with comfortable sandals and a scarf. Plus it also works as a great beach cover-up over a bathing suit. You don’t want to worry about getting too hot in this dress, since the fabric is cotton, this LBD is very breathable for warmer temperatures.

When we are on vacation, we want a hairstyle that is effortless. This must-have hair accessory is a drawstring pony tail ($20) that attaches to any bun, transforming your look in no time.

GET THE LOOK:

Lime green silk scarf- BCBGMAXAZRIA
Tan perforated large tote bag- Stella + Dot
Multiple bracelets and bangles- ALDO
Sunglasses- BCBGMAXAZRIA
Sandals- TopShop

:::LBD worn with scarf at waist::: /stevenandchris/content/images/__common/_slideshow/_fullslide/lbd-motorcycle-jacket.jpg:::LOOK: DATE NIGHT
HAIR: Take out braided style for textured waves (worn down)

Women want to look their best on a date but don't want to look like they're trying too hard, so this look is all about looking sexy but still comfortable, by paring the LBD with a moto leather jacket. The leather jacket is edgy and offers an unexpected colour, rather than always pairing black on black (many women can wear this shade of green).This look is also the perfect example of mixing feminine and edgy (current trend, while also offering a bold look). Don't be afraid to mix metals, in this look both silver and gold accents are highlighted for a very updated, current transformation.

This hair look did not need any hot tools and is super easy to create. The trick is to put your hair in a braid in the morning (works best with damp hair). Let your hair air-dry, then let out the braid when you're ready for your date, add texturizing spray and separate your waves for a tousled sexy bed-head look, perfect for a date!

GET THE LOOK:

Green leather moto jacket- Joe Fresh
Statement necklace- Mendocino
Gold and Black strappy heels- BCBGMAXAZRIA
Grey/gold clutch- Marshalls

:::LBD With motorcycle jacket::: /stevenandchris/content/images/__common/_slideshow/_fullslide/lbd-sleeveless-sweater.jpg:::LOOK: SCHOOL CONCERT
HAIR: Volume style up

At this time of the year, we're going to a lot of holiday school functions for the kids! Since this occasion involves meeting other parents and teachers, you want to look put-together, polished but appropriate (not taking the attention away from the kids), so it's about balancing dressy and casual.Layering a chunky sweater over the dress, creates the illusion of separates, but it's still comfortable for those long hours sitting in an auditorium. Also, belting a sweater is an instant way to create a waist, while also adding some bling with the hardware (adding the dressy to the casual).

This hair look is perfect for the parents who are on the go and are attending school functions straight from work (it started out almost completely done with the hair half up and half down in the morning- 9 to 5 look). All that was done was the hair that was down was braided into two braids then pinned up and finished with hairspray, literally done in 3 minutes.

GET THE LOOK:

Sleeveless cream sweater- Aritzia
Gold metal belt with a stretch band- BCBGMAXAZRIA
White and black snakeskin flats- ALDO
Gold purse- Marshalls

:::LBD with sleeveless sweater::: /stevenandchris/content/images/__common/_slideshow/_fullslide/lbd-green-skirt.jpg:::LOOK: WEDDING
HAIR: side braid

In a recent article, wearing black was declared not the best option to wear at a wedding because black is considered a mourning colour, so wearing the colour alone is a NO NO! This transformation is treating the LBD as a top, and the key for wearing it to a wedding is adding lots of bright colour (also a chance to incorporate different pieces in your wardrobe, and give them a new look). This dress works under a skirt because it's form-fitting and seamless, so it can go underneath things like a skirt without adding bulk. Don't tuck in your LBD if it's baggy or has a lot of volume, it won't look as polished. This look is also a great option for a winter wedding because you're completely covered head-to-toe, so you stay warm, especially when taking photos outside.

For a side braid like this, any texture works great, however shoulder length and longer look the best with a side braid, so it doesn't look too short or too skinny. You want enough hair so you can pull the braid out and make it wider and softer.

GET THE LOOK:

Green accordion pleated skirt- Mendocino
Jewelled belt- BCBGMAXAZRIA
Studded open-toe pumps- BCBGMAXAZRIA
Hot Pink silk clutch- BCBGMAXAZRIA

:::LBD with green skirt::: /stevenandchris/content/images/__common/_slideshow/_fullslide/lbd-coat-shawl.jpg:::LOOK: SHOPPING WITH GIRLFRIENDS
HAIR: Bun with volume

This look is treating the LBD as a tunic, styled over leather legging-style pants so that legs are covered. Plus pants under dresses was a look that was huge in the 90's but is coming back with a vengeance. Plus it's a NO spend way of transforming your LBD, everyone has pants or leggings in their wardrobe. Comfort is key when shopping, so flat shoes is a must. Also, addition of layers is important in case you need to shed them as the day goes on (in and out of stores, varying temperatures). An oversized cardigan acts like a jacket, keeps you warm but not bulky. Just remember to have your hands free, so a cross-body bag is best (this version has multiple zippers to keep your essentials handy and safe).

To keep your bun looking fabulous all day long, texture is key, especially in slippery hair. Textured hair styles are easier to put up and will hold longer. For better grip in your hair pins, try hairspraying your bobby pins before putting them into the hair, and always put the bumpy side of the pin against the skin.

GET THE LOOK:

Oversized Oxblood sweater Cardigan- Oak + Fort
Oversized scarf/shawl- Aritzia
Faux leather leggings- Aritzia
Cross-body bag- ALDO
Booties- Roots

:::LBD with layers for outdoors::: /stevenandchris/content/images/__common/_slideshow/_fullslide/lbd-blazer.jpg::: LOOK: 9-5 WORKDAY
HAIR: Volume style down

This little black dress works for the office, by introducing some appropriate classic work basics that cover up and remove attention from the dress’ tight fit. Inject some personality through the accessories like this purse and the belt. Lastly, the covered leg makes it appropriate for winter and a professional environment.

This hair look takes only a couple minutes- backcomb at the crown and add a couple bobby pins. This look is polished and can be a great refresh to hair that is days out from shampooing. Also, backcombing and pinning is easier in hair that isn't freshly washed.

GET THIS LOOK:

Tweed Blazer- Mendocino
Oxblood Purse- Aritzia
Silver Metal Belt- BCBGMAXAZRIA
Black pumps- ALDO
Tights- Secret

:::Pair your LBD with a blazer for a classic 9-5 workday look.::: /stevenandchris/content/images/__common/_slideshow/_fullslide/lbd-pinkdress.jpg:::This pink cape blazer is a very unique, and is a great piece to add to the little black dress because it creates a cool unexpected version of a tux or a cocktail dress. Plus, the arms are free and unrestricted for holding drinks! The counterbalance of the necklace with the pink feminine shape of the cape blazer shows a powerful stance but still sexy and cool (something Samantha from Sex and the City would wear).

This hair look ties the look together, because upstyles always dress up any look, and instantly creates a special occasion kind of feel. A loose braided version feels a little more relaxed and a bit edgier, perfect to add a bit of sex appeal for a cocktail event.

GET THE LOOK:

Pink Cape Blazer- BCBGMAXAZRIA
Necklace- COCO Jewelry
Ankle-strap heels- ALDO
Clutch- Banana Republic

:::The classy party LBD:::

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