An LBD is the kind of closet staple that can sit forgotten on the hanger because it's too wearable (yes, such a thing exists). When an item goes with everything, the pressure of potential choices can make it seem like nothing will work. But, this fall, consider adding a few low-energy black dress outfits to your rotation that you can make your secret weapon for fall. I say low energy because all it takes is the right shoe or layering piece to make a big impact, meaning minimal lift and stress for you.
To play into a few of fall's biggest trends, start first by identifying the black dress that best fits your style — or simply the look you're going for on a given day. If it's a fitted minidress, try adding loafers and tall socks to balance out the dressier feel. If you crave an ensemble that's a bit fancier after all these months in sweats, a cutout dress is the perfect pick to style with a chunky chain and those strappy heels you've left gathering dust. Below, find five winning formulas that will make the simplest thing in your entire wardrobe feel worthy of wearing again, and again, and again.
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Black Dress Outfits: Full Skirt Dress + Chunky Sandals
For a simple summer-to-fall transition, try a floaty full-skirted dress paired with chunky sandals. As temperatures cool off, you can layer on thick socks and a tailored blazer to add a bit of structure and warmth. The combination skews toward casual, but by sticking with a black color palette, it still feels refined.
Black Dress Outfits: Long Sleeve Dress + Boots
To add a more unaffected air to a fancier black dress, try swapping your usual heels for a lug-sole boot. The edgy aesthetic of the footwear can give a typically dressed-up style those before-sunset vibes.
Black Dress Outfits: Tank Dress + Long Sleeve Top
Extend the life of your favorite strappy summer dress by adding layers underneath. A printed long-sleeve top is an easy addition that adds coverage and warmth. You could also try a pair of jeans or fitted flares under the dress for an even more distinctive swap.
Black Dress Outfits: Mini Dress + Socks & Loafers
For a simple high-low fall outfit, try a fitted mini dress with a pair of preppy-cool loafers. Sporty tall socks play into the more masculine feel of the shoes, while '90s-inspired sunglasses tie into the fitted dress' throwback aesthetic. Finish with a trench coat for cooler days.
Black Dress Outfits: Cutout Dress + Choker & Heels
Open backs, hip cutouts, and even a sliced-up sleeve add a sculptural, artful element to a simple black silhouette. The best part about a dress that shows a bit more skin, is that it's made for showing off your favorite jewelry underneath. Try a thick choker necklace and lace-up sandals to stick with the minimalist vibe.