When in doubt, opt for a black dress. Long or short, fitted or loose, lacy or silky; no other piece in our wardrobe has the power to fix nearly every fashion dilemma. Your favourite LBD? Works just as well at your friend’s fancy birthday drinks as it does layered under an oversized blazer for running errands. During a summer heatwave, a linen shirt dress is your saviour; come winter, it’s all about knitted and ribbed materials. Versatility doesn’t mean boring, though. From sexy, backless designs to playful, puff-sleeve pieces, there’s a black dress for every aesthetic out there. The perfect, simple base for making your own style mark.
As a wardrobe staple, there’s no shortage of black dresses out there. But too much choice can prove overwhelming. Where’s one to start looking when a simple Google search returns endless results? To save you the hassle, we’ve done some digging, picking out the best black dresses from our favourite designers. From the classics (midis, maxis and the aforementioned LBD) to designs with a twist, these are the dresses to love now and wear for seasons to come.
The long black dress
Maxis often get overlooked when it comes to the popularity of the LBD but we think that every wardrobe needs a long black dress. Nothing looks more elegant than head-to-toe black and it’s an outfit that doesn’t need much help from accessories. To avoid feeling swamped by fabric, look for designs with cut-outs or details that draw the eye and offer a glimpse of skin. These will look equally great with chunky sandals for day, delicate heels for night and tall boots come autumn.
The little black dress
The LBD is a classic for a reason. Come rain or shine, date night or party, day at the beach or running errands, it works for every occasion. It’s all about the style you choose and the accessories you add. A high neckline and long sleeves instantly refine an LBD (as in this arkitaip dress) whereas a strappy, cami design is more casual.
The open-back black dress
Sometimes you don’t need to show any leg to nail the sexy look. An open-back dress – especially in an inky black – is the ultimate cool girl, date night look.
The black midi dress
Midi dresses really are the lazy girl’s best friend: an all-in-one outfit with a super flattering length that works whatever your plans, made all the more versatile in black.
The black lace dress
Black lace dresses get a bad rap for being dated but brands like Maje Paris, LK Bennett and French Connection prove that black lace can feel fresh and modern. We love this sweet silhouette of nipped-in waist and puff sleeves, especially when toughened up with biker boots and a leather blazer.
The black Bardot dress
A dress style perfectly suited for summer – no need to worry about funny tan lines here. Any one of these off-the-shoulder, Bardot styles works for a day-to-evening event. Add a pair of statement earrings to really take your look to the next level.
The black dress with cut-outs
If there’s one trend to buy into this summer, it’s the cut-out trend. Whether you fancy a keyhole neckline, flashes of skin at the waist or an asymmetric cut, the market is awash with options. Perfect for parties (or dressing up for the pub).
The black linen dress
Lightweight, breathable and easy to move in, linen is a lifesaver in the summer heat. A black linen dress is at the top of our work-from-home wardrobe list.
The black slip dress
When the nights are hot and the last thing you want to do is dress up, a simple black slip is your go-to. Then, as the temperature cools, it’s still a style favourite – layer it over graphic T-shirts and trainers, with knee-high boots and jumpers, or even tucked into jeans.
The smocked black dress
Whether you like them loose and roomy or hugging your curves, there are endless smocked dress options to choose from. We can’t help but fall for the romanticism of a square neckline and puff sleeve, though.
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