The LBD has always been your best friend. The Little Black Dress is such a staple in a woman’s wardrobe it’s almost become a cliche. Except that’s the whole point: It can’t. The right LBD is so versatile it can take you anywhere from the office to the dance floor. Dress it up, dress it down, pair it with your diamond-soled shoes or your biker boots, your grandma’s necklace or your glitziest costume statement. The Little Black Dress can handle it all. Just to be sure, we test-drove the concept.

Situation No. 1 – You’re going to a Holiday party at Hotel Monaco.

You’re going to meet your date in the chic lobby of the boutique hotel and you want to make a first impression that lasts all night. Start with the LBD.

Little Black Dress

Kenzo Faux Fur Coat, Bastille ($995); Valentino Clutch, Nordstrom ($2145); Pomellato 18K Rose Gold Earrings ($3,960) and Bracelet, O.C. Tanner Jewelers ($13,200); Fred Leighton White Topaz Necklace, O.C. Tanner Jewelers ($8,800); Picchiotti 4.54 Carat Expandable Diamond Ring, O.C. Tanner Jewelers ($12,800); Sheer Tights, Target ($10); Sam Edelman Silver Pumps, Nordstrom ($99)

Situation No. 2 – You’re meeting an old friend for dinner at HSL.

You’re going straight from work but you don’t want to look like a West Wing extra—this is not a buttoned-up occasion. And you’re not that kind of girl, anyway. A chunky boot and a belted glen plaid jacket, over the LBD.

Little Black Dress

Olivaceous Blazer, Katie Waltman ($60); Bravo Leather Belt, Habit ($110); Chanel Navy Handbag, The Lady Bag ($2295); BC Footwear Shoes, Flight ($80); Natalie Wynn Earrings, Natalie Wynn Design ($68); Katie Waltman Choker, Katie Waltman ($98); Picchiotti 4.54 Carat Expandable Diamond Ring, O.C. Tanner Jewelers ($12,800)

Situation No. 3 – You are shopping for some high-end bling at O.C. Tanner jewelers.

The boots are made for shopping and layers keep you feeling warm and looking chill as you peruse the sparklies you’re going to buy and wish you could. The LBD takes you through the store and out to lunch.

Little Black Dress

By Together Shearling Coat, Habit ($138); Chanel Vintage Velvet Handbag, The Lady Bag ($2795); Dries Van Noten Sweater, Nordstrom ($970); Sam Edelman Boots, Nordstrom ($200); Pomellato 18K Rose Gold Concentric Circle Earrings ($3,540), Collar Necklace with Diamonds ($5,800), Nudo Ring Stack; Pavé Diamond ($5,700) Citrine ($2,350) Lemon Quartz ($1,750) O.C. Tanner Jewelers

Situation No. 4 – This is Theater season, you’re taking in a show at the Eccles.

No one dresses up to be part of an audience anymore, even on opening night at the opera. But showtime is a special occasion and it’s no fun to make it drab. Slip on some sexy stockings and your highest heels (remember, you’ll be sitting) and you’re the subtle star in the middle of the orchestra section. To get you there from here: a cashmere coat over your LBD.

Little Black Dress

JUST Female Camel Coat, Mary Jane’s ($335); Gucci Vintage Handbag, The Lady Bag ($2495); Jeffrey Campbell Satin Pump, Nordstrom ($120); Polka Dot Sheer Tights, Target ($10); Ole Lynngaard Copenhagen 18K White Gold Leaf Pendant with Pavé Diamond, Grey & White Moonstone Charm Necklace ($5,000), Rutile Quartz Pendant with Pavé Diamond Charm Necklace ($7,950), Leather Bracelet with Moonstone Charm ($1,715) Roberto Coin 18K Yellow Gold Ring with Diamonds ($2,400) O.C. Tanner Jewelers

Situation No. 5 – Solo Cocktail at Post Office Place (it’s totally cool)

The hat says it all—it takes certainty for a woman to don a man’s hat. Just a slight angle to the brim and you’re totally cool in your snakeskin boots and moto jacket over your LBD.

Little Black Dress

BlankNYC Faux Leather Jacket, Flight ($138); Lack of Color Fedora, Habit ($99); Saint Laurent Pyramid Minaudière, Nordstrom ($1450); Paige Snakeskin Boots, Nordstrom ($350); John Hardy Sterling Silver Spear Cuff ($1,295), Lahar Cuff with Grey Diamonds ($2,695), Twisted Chain Bracelet with Pavé Diamonds ($1,795) Classic Chain Coil Ring with Black Sapphires ($895), Asli Classic Chain Ring ($495) O.C. Tanner Jewelers

  • Art Direction: Jeanine Miller
  • Photography: Adam Finkle
  • Styling by Farasha: Vanessa Di Palma Wright
  • Assistant Stylists: Kyler Thompson & Harly Richards
  • Hair and Makeup: Tricia Snow
  • Model: Cardin McKinney, NIYA Models

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