How to wear a little black dress for your body type

by Sylvia

How to wear a little black dress for your body type |

The little black dress (LBD) is a fashion staple. It’s versatile, working hard from day to night.

And now that the holidays are here, it’s the perfect dress for Thanksgiving or the many Christmas and holiday parties coming up.

Coco Chanel said:

“The little black dress is a uniform for all women of taste.”

I’ve put together some tips on choosing the best LBD for your shape so you can feel comfortable and look fabulous all year. And because the party season is here, I laid out some accessories that could give your LBD a festive look.

If black is too harsh for you, feel free to replace black with blue which is softer for most women. Another fabulous color to consider this year is burgundy or dark green.

Another way to wear a black dress even if the color is too harsh for you is to use colorful accessories close to your face.

Little Black Dresses for Curvy Women

If you’re curvy, a little black dress is one of your best friends. Black is naturally slimming and the right dress can create a sexy, look that shows off your best assets.

Here are some tips for selecting the right LBD:

  • Pick one that brings attention to your chest with a sexier cut or v-neck.
  • Wear a good, supportive bra to lift.
  • Add a belt to your LBD.
  • Or pick an LBD with a belt or waist-cinching detail.
  • Choose a length either right below the knee or slightly above the knee.
  • A sheath or wrap dress is the perfect LBD choice for curvy women.

Here are some good LBD choices and accessories:


Little Black Dresses for Petite Women

Petite women are known as anyone under 5’4″. And just because a woman is petite in height doesn’t mean she is skinny. Many petite women are busty or curvy or plus size. But there are some rules all petite ladies can use when choosing a LBD:

  • Choose an LBD with vertical details that will make you look longer.
  • Add sheer black stockings to your look to lengthen your legs or wear nude shoes.
  • Avoid large details like ruffles which may overpower you.
  • A three-quarter length sleeve elongates your arms.
  • Go with a shorter dress or one two to three inches below the knees.
  • If you’re a big-busted petite, a higher, empire waist dress will lengthen your body.
  • Have your LBD fitted perfectly by a local tailor.
  • Keep your accessories small and simple.

Here are some good LBD choices and accessories:


Little Black Dresses for Plus-Size Women

There is no reason that a plus-size woman needs to wear oversized, flowy clothing. Find which assets are your favorite and emphasize them.


If you love your legs, wear a shorter LBD. If your legs make you self-conscious, wear a longer, flowy black dress. Love your butt? Find a little black dress with a sexy, pencil-skirt cut. Use boldly colored and patterned accessories, bags and shoes to avoid looking too somber.

The most important tip for plus size women in search of the perfect little black dress is that you find the best quality material that flatters and supports. Avoid thinner, tight and shiny materials that will accentuate ‘flaws’.

Here are some good LBD choices and accessories:


Little Black Dresses for Women For Hiding Flaws

I like to use this as its own category because we all, regardless of body shape, have something we want to downplay while accentuating something else. Most of us will want to to conceal is our tummy, while accentuating a smaller waist.

To flatten the tummy and accentuate your waist more, you’ll need an LBD with some good, built-in support. “Bandage dresses” are nice and tight in the tummy area. Kimono dresses are forgiving.

Another ideas is to go with a panel waist and a flared skirt, like the blonde model wearing the Tibi dress below. Good shape wear underneath your LBD will make all the difference in the world in smoothing and tucking the waist and tummy area. You can find some of the best shapewear in the post How to Look Taller and Slimmer.

Here are some good LBD choices and accessories:


Have a look at these fabulous black dresses in stores now. Happy shopping!

Will you be wearing a little black dress this holiday season?


P.S. Nordstrom has a fall clearance sale at the moment. You may like to check it out.

This article contains affiliate links. For more info, check our disclosure policy.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa M

I have a black dress with a few sequins which makes an annual showing at the holidays. It’s been a great investment.


2 Karen

The LBD. Great info but what about the other figure types.
Would be nice to cover all the girls.
Keep up the great site.


3 FunkyForty

Super cute post! Love the tips!

FunkyForty xx


4 Greetje

Most probably be wearing my LBD as it is custom made. It was getting too tight, but as I have lost 3 1/2 kilos it should be perfect again.
I just add a colourful necklace and the black isn’t harsh anymore.


5 beate

dont have a LBD – and i don´t miss it! so much dresses and skirt/top combos in so much colors and patterns out there (and in my closet)…..


6 Dora Parker

As the festive season in Australia is during summer, I personally find black extreme even with colourful accessories. Some very lovely black dresses above though. Definitely got some ideas for next time I’m shopping xx


7 Wendy

I love how the “petite” model is 9′ tall! The black dress is still California 1990s to me. Plus, the older I get, the worse I look in black! Still a good post, though!


8 Shefali

Nice read. I love my little black dress. It’s super versatile and looks quite elegant. There is so much you can do with this dress. 🙂


9 Sherry Edwards

No, I do not wear black dresses during Christmas. I prefer a dark green Christmas tree colour or deep red/burgundy. White is also nice but I can never find any nice white dresses which are dressy and wintery. I find that at every Christmas party it becomes a sea of black and looks more like a funeral. However, if going out or to friends home I will wear a black 2 piece outfit but it needs to be dressy, sparkly and glitzy. During Christmas I really like blending silver and gold assessories (just like the song) but they need to be a heavy bold winter type. Not something I would wear during summer.


10 Shauna

Love the tips for plus sized women. Many feel fuller women either are either super upset about their body or too confident to care. But like all women, most have parts they like or don’t like.

Loving that first little black dress in the plus sized woman image (the first of 3), I’m sure many husbands wouldn’t mind coming home to that. 🙂


11 Christen

Thanks for the great share! I love how you mentioned all body types when it comes to looking for a little black dress. A LBD is perfect for hiding any flaws women may have about their bodies, while also flattering any figure. Papilio boutique has a variety of elegant little black dresses for your next evening occasion!


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