Dressing Up The Little Black Dress

Dressing Up The Little Black Dress

Dressing Up The Little Black Dress

Tue, 2000-11-14 06:00

Joseph Ungoco

As the Opera season and the endless swirl of holiday parties begins, many of you may be fretting over how to stretch your fashion dollars and still maintain a full schedule of fashionable winter frivolity. After all, you don’t want to be that woman wearing the exact same thing in every party page picture. For longtime LBD aficionados and an aspiring accessories editor or two, the answer is simple – accessorize, accessorize, accessorize! I’ve taken some of the guess work out of weaving the season’s hottest trends into your holiday wardrobe and I’ve assembled my top picks here.


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If you’re wondering what’s new in LBDs, the answer is “everything”. Just about any look you might want is available in a short black cocktail version. Go for the classic Givenchy for Audrey Hepburn style if you want to invest in a classic. Choose a blousy one-shoulder version from Halston Heritage if you your style is a little more boho or vintage. As for my personal opinion? Why not combine two of the season’s hottest trends into one? Jean Paul Gaultier‘s one-shoulder coat dress combines the bare shoulder with the tuxedo look and will be just as jawdropping up close at a little downtown soiree or from afar at an uptown red carpet event.

Dressing up the LBD has never been easier. Start with the statement necklaces, bangles, and supersize cocktail rings you’ve been collecting since Sex and the City: The Movie. That alone should get you through a half dozen events! Next, “merchandise” it up with bags, shoes, and gloves. If you’re an animal print or exotic skin fan, you probably already have this season’s Miss Lady satin clutch by Dolce and Gabbana or a metallic crocodile clutch from Nancy Gonzales. Alexander McQueen‘s blood red patent leather evening clutch features a gilt skull knuckleduster handle. For the girly-girls out there, Valentino’s lace bow clutch is the must-have of the season. My personal favorite is a little more esoteric. Maison Martin Margiela, purveyor of luxury goods coveted by fashionistas worldwide, offers a feathered shoulder bag – that doubles as a muff!

Now, on to the shoes! So many of my otherwise headstrong fashion-confident female friends have been reduced to wobbly masses of indecision of late. Why you ask? Because of the over-the-knee boot! Those who blithely ignored the sky high Stella McCartney version last year now find themselves unable to maneuver their way around going above the knee this year. I suddenly find myself saying things like “No – you do NOT look like Julie Roberts in Pretty Woman!” and “Just don’t wear it with a peasant blouse and you won’t look like an extra from Pirates of the Caribbean.” My honest advice? Kick the flat to the curb and stick to the wrapped wedge heel. The extra lift will give an even longer leg line and keep the shape totally modern and utterly eye pleasing – if a little bit toe pinching. Rock these boots from Sergio Rossi and you’re LBD will be instantly up-to-date!

OK, OK, if you really can’t rock the thigh high boot, then opt for a killer pair of booties or a drop dead pump. If you already missed out on the YSL Palais platform pump with the goat fur Mohawk, then drop the fur trend altogether and go for the glitter! Giuseppe Zanotti’s peep toe with the contrasting glitter platform is the perfect pump partner for your LBD or Tory Burch’s glitter booties will help you dance the night away.

Finally, invest in a pair of Kate Spade’s intarsia knit taxicab-yellow gloves and you’ll be able to hail a cab 5 blocks away with a simple raise of your right palm. Of course, after a long night of social events and after parties, that may not be quite so “easy”…

So, today’s lesson is – it’s OK to rely on your trusty LBD, but help keep it looking current with the latest accessories. Here’s to a happy – and super stylish – holiday season!

1. Alexander McQueen Patent Leather Long Clutch $1785
2. Valentino Day Lace Nylon Bow Clutch $845
3. Jean Paul Gaultier One-Shoulder Coatdress $1685
4. Sergio Rossi Over-The-Knee Wedge Boots $1320
5. Giuseppe Zanotti Glitter Peep-Toe Pump $595
6. Margiela Maison Martin Margiela Feather Clutch $1415
7. Kate Spade Taxi Mittens $65
8. Tory Burch Corbet Glitter-Covered Leather Ankle Boots $395

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