There is nothing quite like the Little Black Dress (LBD). Anyone of any size and any shape can wear it and look great in a version of this dress. Probably the most popular shape is the A line but the dress is made in all styles and in a variety of fabrics. The only defining feature of the LBD is that it be all black fabric and at knee (or higher) length. Any long than that and we’re in maxi length territory.
Today I wore the iconic LBD with a pop of color in the form of a cardigan, animal print (leopard?) heels and some accessories. But first, the dress. I love the way it falls on my body; it’s form-fitting but the fabric has enough spandex in it that it’s comfortable to wear all day. The seam at my natural waist highlights my hourglass shape and the peekaboo split at my thigh is sexy without being revealing. Banana Republic knocked this one out of the park.
I’m wearing a size 16 Tall and for this style (where the waist needs to fall exactly on my waist) I needed the height for my long torso. I can occasionally get away with a 16 regular in dresses if the hem is slightly longer but otherwise they end up looking like mini dresses on me…and when I sit down, I’m playing the cover-up game.
Black is such a flattering shade. It camouflages so much and has this great way of making everything seem just one size smaller. Also, it’s universally accepted that black goes with every other color including other shades of black. It’s win-win all around for the LBD.
Ok, now on to the shoes. Let me just say that I got these babies for $20 on eBay. Used, yes, but seriously like new. Probably worn once by its previous owner. They’re from Franco Sarto’s Artist Collection. I have a soft spot for Franco Sarto and I almost always love (read: buy) his shoes. When I was in high school, online shopping was non-existent or in its very very early infancy and size 12 in retail shops was so so hard to find. It’s still hard to find.
Unfortunately I can’t just walk into a retail shop, see a pair of shoes I love and buy them. But Franco Sarto saw beyond size 10 and made shoes for women up to size 13 like 20 years ago! It was one of the only brands I could find women’s shoes that were style appropriate for my age. Otherwise, it was orthopedics, Birkenstocks or men’s running shoes.
I completed my outfit with a coral 100% merino wool cardigan from Banana Republic. It’s a BR day today! This cardigan, or a variation of it, is part of their permanent collection so you can pretty much walk into any Banana Republic at any season and find it in various colors and sizes. Every time I see it on sale in different colors, I buy it because it’s the perfect office cover-up.
This string of pearls is considered rope length (48-60″ long) and was a gift from my parents. Pearls pair so well with most clothing but I find you get the best contrast with white pearls against black clothing. The rope length can be worn as a single strand or, as I have done, wrapped around your neck several times to create the cascading effect. I know pearls have always been associated with “old lady” outfits but I’ve worn pearls since my 20s and I think they’re the most feminine jewelry without aging the wearer at all. I’m happy the trend towards younger women embracing pearls is finally here.