How to choose the perfect little black dress


The little black dress is a key item in every woman's wardrobe. Fashion reporters Jennifer Goodkind and Jayne Chase, hosts of "A Fashionable Life" on radio, show you how to choose the perfect little black dress for you.

How to choose the perfect little black dress
  • The little black dress comes in many shapes and styles these days. To begin with, Jennifer and Jayne show you how to accessorize a simple, sheer sleeveless dress.
  • Their second choice is a Tory Burch design which can go from work to evening with just a few moderations.
  • Their third example is a sheer, flouncy and feminine dress by Tibi. It’s sexy without showing a lot of skin.
  • The next example is a boucle wool dress by Tory Burch, with a scoop neck that is a little bit sexy. Add a necklace and a little jacket, and you’re ready for evening. But note that this dress is for a taller, slimmer girl.
  • For a curvier girl, there’s a sheer beautiful chiffon dress. It’s timeless, seasonless, always appropriate and in style.
  • The next dress is for a slightly younger woman, a bit of a baby-doll cut, you can wear it with boots, sheer stockings, flats, it’s a Tommy Hilfiger design. Jayne is wearing a little black dress, too. Hers goes from daytime to evening, but she loves it in the daytime with boots. There’s a little black dress for every age and body type.

JEN: Hello, and welcome to a fashionable howdini. I'm Jen Goodkind.

JAYNE: And I'm Jayne Chase, and we're the co-hosts of A Fashionable Life Radio.

JEN: Today we're going to talk to you about the must-have for every one of your wardrobes: the little black dress. Or as we like to call it, the LBD. Today we have brought for you a multitude of options in the way of the little black dress, starting with this black chiffon dress that we love just as it is. Here's the option: If you want to belt it and bring in a little color, what a great way to do that with this dress. This is the dress that actually looks good on pretty much any body type. What we also love about this dress is that it's sheer and chiffon, and it's feminine and flouncy, and it's a great way to go into holiday.

JAYNE: And if you add a little broach up here, you don’t need anything else. It's very simple. It's a no brainer. You have to have this kind of a dress in your wardrobe. Our next dress is really our professional girl. This is a great dress by Tory Burch that really can go from day to evening. If you put on opaque tights and boots, it's great for daytime. If you want to add sheer tights and pumps for evening and a bright-colored little clutch, or an envelope bag — which is also huge this season — you are ready to step out and go to dinner. It really is a great dress. It's probably better for somebody who is a little bit more narrow because the belt is already on the dress.

JEN:  This dress is another one of our favorites from Tibi, another contemporary sportswear designer. This dress is clearly a dressy dress. It really incorporates a lot of the looks that we're going to be seeing for this season. It’s sheer, it's very very flouncy and feminine, and this is the dress you're probably not going to want to wear with opaque pantyhose. We're sort of seeing this more with a sheer type. We focus a lot on the pantyhose because by putting everything in black and monochromatic, it really does a great thinning job; so this is a really good way to make the black elongate if you put it with a pantyhose.

JAYNE:And it's got a little bit of the sexy feel to it because of the sheer sleeves, so you're not really showing everything but a little bit of skin is always nice.

Our next dress really is one of the representatives of the season because it's made out of bouclé, and texture is so important this season. This is a dress also by our designer Tory Burch that we love. What we love about this dress is that it’s got a scoop neck, and so it's got a little bit of the sexiness to it so you can take it from day to evening again. You can add a great necklace to it, and put a jacket with it, and off you go — you're ready for the evening. This also is a dress that might be better for somebody who's a little taller and a little bit more narrow, because it has these slit pockets; so sometimes if you're a little wider in the bottom they can kind of pull. So it's probably better for somebody who's a little bit more narrow.

JEN:  But don't worry, because this dress is great if you're not necessarily a little narrow but a little curvier, and we love curves. This is a great way to have a belt that doesn't emphasize the waist, because it's all built in already, so it really gives an illusion of a waist even if it's not your greatest feature. Again, we've got a lot of chiffon and flounce: very feminine; and this is a dress that's probably going to take you through, party to party, during the holiday season.

JAYNE: And another great thing about this dress is that it's timeless. You can wear it the next year and year after; you'll have it forever in your wardrobe. And again, as Jen says, it really hides a multitude of sins, which you know that we all need a dress like that in our wardrobe.

JEN:  We call this seasonless dressing. You don't really have to buy for the season anymore. You can pretty much wear a lot of things from season to season and just change your accessories.

JAYNE: That's right Jen. The dress that we're going to show you now is probably for a little bit of a younger person. It's got that really cute little baby doll-inspired look which is really big for the season. The great thing about this dress is again it can take you from day to evening, which we've been talking about. And you can either wear boots with this or pumps with this with a sheer pantyhose, or you can wear flats with it and make it very very casual. And if you happen to be a really tall person, you can shorten this and wear this over leggings and wear boots again. It really is a versatile dress. It's by Tommy Hilfiger, another one of our great favorites.

JEN:  And last but not least, my partner Jayne is also wearing a little black dress, if you didn't notice. And what we love about this dress is with the "V" that's in the font, even though Jayne doesn't necessarily need the extra length here, if you do it really really is a great dress for a lot of body types. And we love this dress because it also incorporates a little bit of the accessory detail, so if you don't want to get all bogged down into what to wear, other than your dress, it's already on there for you.
That's true, and I really love wearing this dress for the daytime because it's so comfortable. It's what we like to call a total no-brainer. I don't like to think about what I'm going to put on. I just take it out of my closet, throw it on, put boots with it. And if I'm going to wear it for evening, I'm going to wear a sheer hose with it and a pump just to kind of dress it up.

JEN:  So what's the one thing you have to have in your wardrobe ladies? The little black dress.

JAYNE: And there really is something for every body type out there. It's the basic that you have to have in your wardrobe.

meet theexpert
  • Jennifer Goodkind

    Jennifer Goodkind Hosts, A Fashionable Life Radio Jennifer Goodkind began her successful career as an Accessories Editor at Vogue. She soon became a stylist to the stars as well as clients around the countr. In 2000, Jen started JL ROCKS fine jewelry in Greenwich and Westport, Connecticut. more about this expert »

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