WITH some Christmas parties managing to survive the economic crisis, The Clare Champion looks at ways to reinvigorate wardrobe must-have the little black dress (LBD) and get more than one outing from it this festive season.
The LBD has been around for nearly 90 years and at this stage almost every woman’s wardrobe boasts at least one of these highly versatile numbers. This Christmas with emptier pockets, the LBD has never been more useful. Bringing together consistency and class, it is effortlessly chic and available at prices to suit every pocket.
Not only that but by varying the combination of accessories worn with it, the LBD can become a regular style chameleon.
You got to bag it up
Except for times when they’re being used as a totem to dance around, handbags rarely leave the immediate vicinity of the owner. So why not make them as much a part of the outfit as the shoes. Think cute clutches for the party season and roll out the beads, diamante or the sequins. Metallic and animal print clutches are great for grabbing a bit of attention too.
Bigger bags also look good and are infinitely practical. They work really well for giving the LBD a daytime feel.
Be adventurous with footwear. Few pieces other than the LBD offer as many prospects when it comes to shoes. Anything goes.
Simple black pumps or court shoes are forever classy but when you are looking to add a bit of spirit to the outfit, be creative. There is a huge selection of purple shoes in shops at the moment but the sky is the limit. Try gold, silver, royal blue, red, fuchsia, teal or even yellow.
With platforms making a huge comeback and available in patterns from leopard print to metallic to snakeskin and coming in classic, T-bar and lace-up styles, to name but a few, the possibilities are endless.
Ankle boots are a fantastic way to make an LBD look more contemporary. The little boots look especially good with fitted dresses. Combined with fishnet tights and fingerless gloves and you have a real rock chic feel.
Knee highs are so practical when there is surface water around. (They really have the advantage over peep toes in that regard.) They keep the feet dry, or at least they should, and they look great with tights.
There is so much fun faux fur in the shops at the moment. Almost all the high street shops and local boutiques have fur boleros, stoles or capelets. For the bravest though, there is always the faux fur coat. There are lots of mid-length cream and white ones on the market in a huge variety of shapes and they are probably among the easiest to wear.
The collarless, boxy, leopard print or stone-wash effect fur jackets and coats require a slightly different attitude and are ideal statement items.
Even if fur isn’t your thing, jackets and coats are highly practical and there is no reason why they shouldn’t add to the outfit rather than just cover it up. Biker jackets are everywhere this season and will give any LBD a very cool edge.
Wraps, pashminas and scarves are another great way to keep the shoulders toasty and to change the appearance of the little black dress. Velvet look, silk, cashmere and crochet all give very different finishing touches to your LBD.
According to Littlewoods.ie, leggings are a great way to update the look of your LBD.
“Ditch the fake tan ladies. Leggings are all in this season. Not only do they add a bit of individual style but, they have the added bonus of giving much needed warmth to cold legs on a frosty December night,” the online fashion retailer advises.
Tights too are always a winner and the diversity of patterns and styles available at the moment in legwear means that there are great opportunities to mix it up and stand out from the crowd. Think bright colours, bold patters and various textures. Wet- or leather-look leggings are all in and available almost everywhere.
Ladies, take a bow
Whether it is the thin belt teamed with satin gloves giving a 1940s effect or a wide one creating a defined waste and an hourglass figure – belts make a huge difference to a dress.
As with other accessories, the safe colours look good but if you want to get a few wears out of the dress, you might have to be a bit more adventurous. If you decide to go black-on-black, a studded belt will give a rock feel, a lace one a more goth reference and a wide patent one will give a retro look.
Detachable bows and sashes can be taken off other dresses and added to LBDs to give them a really fresh feeling.
Bling it on
Christmas is really a time when bling is basically expected. Statement jewellery, oversized necklaces, bangles, brooches, rings, there is not much you can’t get away with, especially combined with a little black dress. While traditional diamante, crystal and pearl look brilliant, bright colours especially emerald greens, sapphire blues and rubies look have a great wow factor.
This Christmas give the little black dress a new lease of life. Dress it up with bright accessories and bling or dress it down with a long cardi and a tote. For those who have yet to find their perfect LBD, maybe now is the time to have a look around the shops for something that will earn its price providing night after night of stress-free style.