Always in style, it’s worth spending as much time and money as you can on your ideal little black frock. The first step to finding the perfect little black dress (LBD) — or any garment for that matter — is to identify your body type in order to understand what looks good on you.
Little Black Dressing Your Body Type
Inverted Triangle or Apple (shoulders wider than hips, often with large breasts): Women with this top-heavy body type benefit from dresses with a draped or even slightly blouson top and a fitted or pencil skirt that hugs the lower half of your body. This counter-balances your upper body by playing up curves where you are slimmest.
Apple-shaped ladies should avoid dresses with fitted tops or plunging necklines that accentuate an already disproportionately large upper half.
Rectangle or Straight (small difference between waist and hips): Women with this shape can run the risk of looking boyish rather than feminine thanks to the lack of a well-defined waist and a flatter chest.
These women need to look for dresses that create the illusion of a more feminine shape by fashioning the appearance of a curvier chest, narrow waist and fuller hips. Good choices for this body type include dresses with a slightly empire shape and details such as a stitched or piped line roughly three inches under the bust, around the bottom of your rib cage. The visual effect is a waistline where there is none and a naturally fuller bust.
Because women with this body type typically do not have ample bosoms, they can get away with deep scoop- and V-necklines without running the risk of looking too risqué.
Triangle or Pear (hips wider than shoulders with round thighs): The typically slim torso of this bottom-heavy shape lends itself to dresses that accentuate the bustline; they help balance out the proportions of the upper body in relation to the naturally curvy lower half.
Dresses with fitted tops and straight skirts – as opposed to tapered pencil skirts – are quite flattering on women with triangle shaped bodies. The skirt should fall straight from the hip, in a pipe shape, straightening out and thus minimizing the natural roundness of the bottom half of the pear shape body.
Hourglass (proportional upper and lower halves; curvy with well-defined waist): Women with this voluptuous shape typically have larger breasts, curvy hips, and a small waist. In a true perfect hourglass figure the bust and hips are equal and the waist is 10 inches smaller than each. Think Marilyn Monroe.
This body type is enhanced most by dresses with V-neck fitted tops structured with darts or panels, and an A-line shirt that flows out over the hips.
Choosing a Dress Hemline
While mini- and maxi-dresses go in and out of style, the most enduring, universally flattering and appropriate hemline is just above or just below the knee. If you only have one little black dress make sure it hovers around your knee.
Invest in Quality Fabrics
The perfect little black dress is not made of jersey; while lightweight stretchy knits definitely have their place in your closet – in with your yoga pants – they won’t stand the test of time or work in as many occasions as a medium-weight the little black dress. Since the little black dress is a fashion investment, spring for luxurious materials like wool, cashmere, silk or linen.
The Little Black Dress is So Versatile
Everyone knows that black is fabulously slimming, but the real reason little black dress is a timeless wardrobe essential for every woman because it can be dressed up or down in a pinch. Now that you’ve found the perfect little black dress for you, find out how dress it up or down.
Now that you know which style of little black dress is perfect for your figure, find out how to wear the little black dress for work, evening, and weekend wear.