4 things to look for to find the perfect little black dress

This post is all about how to find the perfect little black dress to add to your capsule wardrobe.

Photo credit: Vogue

It was 1993 and the Gap was still the place to shop. 

I purchased a jersey material with a little sheen, a-line, cap-sleeved, short little black dress from there that I wish I still owned. That dress was worn out to dinner, to the clubs, to the grocery store, every place imaginable. I could even do my signature party move in that dress, the splits. Only if I was wearing tights of course, always the lady.

And yes I can still do them, but not lately due to a back injury. Getting older has its downside. 

The point of all this is to say, nothing beats a good little black dress. This dress had its hay day almost 30 years ago, but here I am still talking about it. There is nothing better than finding the perfect little black dress.

As part of my series on building up your capsule wardrobe essential 8 pieces, today we are going to focus on the little black dress.

The history of the little black dress

The little black dress was made famous in the mid-1920s by a young designer named Coco Chanel.

Heard of her? 

When she created her first sketch of the little black dress (shown above), it was dubbed by Vogue as Chanel’s Ford, comparing it to the Model T. Vogue also predicted that the little black dress would become the uniform of women with taste.

The little black dress became wildly popular in the 30s and took on a life of its own after Audrey Hepburn wore one in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Eventually becoming ubiquitous in our wardrobes. It has stood the test of time as a basic that every closet needs and most women wear on the regular. 

Capsule wardrobe or not, a little black dress is the most versatile garment you can own. You can change the look, dress it up or down all with accessories, scarves, purses, and shoes. A few style shifts and the same dress can look completely different.

How do you find the perfect little black dress

There are a few things to consider when looking for the little black dress of your dreams. Here are some tips on how to choose wisely when searching for your LBD.

Select style and fabric for your perfect little black dress

Take into consideration where you’ll be wearing it. Work, running errands, to the park, etc. If it’s a little of everything, that is important to note as well. This will dictate which style of dress is best suited to your everyday activities.

Then of course you have personal preference. Do you prefer to wear a short, long, loose, or form-fitting dress? While the true capsule wardrobe calls for one little black dress, you may need 2 or 3 (okay maybe 4) to round out your wardrobe and give you tons of variety.

The fabric of the dress is also something to think about. If you’re spending time doing casual things, you may lean towards cotton. If you have a dressier lifestyle perhaps it would be silk, or if it’s a piece for work maybe wool is the right choice. There is no wrong answer, only what works best for you.

Be sure to factor in your body type

The allure of a little black dress is that it can be flattering. Even more so when you take your body type into consideration. Here are some suggestions for dresses that work with the various body types. 

Bigger in middle and/or Bigger on Top: Fit and flare or wrap dress

Straight, no curves: Sheath or strapless dress

Curvy or Hourglass Shape: Wrap or v-neck dress

Bigger on bottom: A-line dress


I know we are talking about the perfect little “black” dress here, but this color doesn’t work for everyone. If this is the case for you, choose a neutral color that does (navy, olive green, etc) find something in this color and use that as your stand-in little black dress. Many of the options I share below do come in other colors. The point is to find a versatile dress that you can wear over and over again. 

Help to find the perfect little black dress for you

Today I’ll share a few little black dress options for you. I tried to provide variety in style and pricing so that there is something for everyone.

If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that I love a good dress. It’s a 30-second outfit, you don’t have to match the top to the bottom and if you find a dress you like, you can wear it one hundred different ways. 

Take a look at what I pulled together for you this week.

Short Little Black Dresses

Long Little Black Dresses

As always, I encourage you to rummage through your closet to see if you have a little black dress in there already that you can use in your capsule. If you don’t or if it needs to be replaced, then I hope these suggestions help you find the perfect little black dress.

Tell me in the comments below what is your favorite place or way to wear a little black dress? 

Share this with a friend who could use some style love (and the perfect little black dress).

Be sure to come back next week when we discuss a white blouse, black pants, and pencil skirt as part of your essential 8 capsule wardrobe pieces.



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P.P.S. Some of these items are affiliate links (this is new for me). This means I get a small commission if you buy from the link. There is no price difference to you, and this does not affect what I recommend. Only the best for you.



I show women over 50 how to get noticed, stay relevant, and be connected through their wardrobe. Getting dressed is something you have to do each day, why not make it fun.



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