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How To Wear A Little Black Dress In 2018 — The Non-Boring Way

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Karl Lagerfeld once said: “One is never over-dressed or under-dressed with a Little Black Dress.” A telling statement from fashion’s finest couldn’t ring more true, considering the storied legacy of the LBD, which first debuted during The Roaring Twenties. Heralded far and wide as the single most important item in a woman’s closet, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was the first designer to introduce the iconic item in 1926, singlehandedly teaching women how to wear a little black dress in a whole new way. Her revolutionary design concept ignited a wave amongst the fashion set, and gave women everywhere a reason to don black—besides when in mourning.

“The heritage of the little black dress is about the fact that it could take you to any occasion and it was a staple you could always rely on,” says Maggie Marilyn, a New Zealand-based designer who sells quite a few modern, revamped versions of the wardrobe staple. “Now, there are so many ways to approach [designing] the LBD based on the silhouette and fabrication of the dress." This season, fashion’s most formidable designers are steadily churning out modern iterations that feature subtle feminine detailing, bold silhouettes, and don’t belong anywhere near a wedding or a black-tie gala. "Black is such a strong color," notes Marilyn. "I like it to feel feminine, approachable, and less formal.”

The evolution of the LBD has lead to a more relaxed interpretation, but has also broadened the definition of what a Little Black Dress actually is. “What makes the LBD current is that it’s not necessarily so 'little' anymore," says says fashion stylist Rachael Wang. "Modest silhouettes in midi lengths with long sleeves or turtlenecks feel fresh and more appropriate for day. And the great thing about dresses is that they don’t require much styling.” Wang notes that personally, she wears her favorite styles with statement earrings from SVNR and a festive animal print bag.

Rather than donning your tried-and-true LBD for a formal occasion, it’s time to bring the classic mainstay into the daylight, as delicate ruffles, voluminous puffed sleeves, and streamlined silhouettes are sure to be the season’s key players. Below, you’ll find four ways to incorporate the newly reinterpreted LBD into your everyday style routine.

On A Date

Find Strength In Your Identity Dress

$880

Maggie Marilyn

This is a dress you can easily pair with heels or sneakers.

Lausanne Leopard-Print Bag

$590

A.P.C.

A pop of leopard compliments sleek black.

Dharamsala Earring

$110

SVNR

Try adding a pop of color with a statement earring.

V-12 Sneakers

$133

Veja

Simple sneakers are both comfortable and cool.

To The Museum

Asymmetrical Dress

$550

Tibi

This asymmetrical dress is a fun statement-maker.

Hai Knee Boot

$200

Sam Edelman

A black dress is made to pair with a statement boot.

Spira Hoops

$128

Laura Lombardi

These cool hoops are an updated take on the classic.

Danse Lente's artful bags will be a hit at the gallery.

To A Weekend Dinner Party

Lace Panel Dress

$80

Mango

For a slightly dressed-up take, try a style with lace details.

Wing Sleeve Trench Coat

$395

Low Classic

A classic trench goes with everything you own.

Slip-On Cowboy Boots

$550

Ganni

Add a fashion-forward twist with cowboy boots.

Ate Flip Earrings

$150

Double Disco

Vintage-inspired earrings are the ideal finishing touch.

To Work

Studded Midi Dress

$540

Helmut Lang

For the office, try something sleek and streamlined.

Slingback Pumps

$395

Mercedes Castillo

Instead of going for head-to-toe black, try a contrasting pump.

Cole Earrings

$169

Trademark

Pearls will always be office appropriate.