Simplifying the Holidays: The Little Black Dress, Five Ways
Audrey McClelland of Mom Generations is one of these women who is insanely busy and has a bajillion people in her life, but when you’re with her, you know you have her warm and loving undivided attention; she's a wonderful friend and I feel so fortunate that we overlap with some regularity at blogger events (I'm also sort of hoping Laurel marries one of her lovely sons someday...). Audrey’s charisma and keen eye for style have transformed her into a top fashion blogger, and I’m thrilled that today – for the third in my Simplifying the Holidays guest blog series – Audrey shares ideas for getting the most mileage out of your favorite little black dress.
Holiday dressing is here! Invitations to parties and events and socials will start pouring in soon, so it’s a good time to get ready for the "What am I going to wear?" question. Most women automatically think they must run out and buy a bunch of new outfits, but ladies, I'm here to tell you to STOP. Put the outfits down. That's right...put them down.
I want to show you how you can take a basic black dress, otherwise known as the Little Black Dress (or LBD) and multi-task it. A simple, well cut black sheath serves as an excellent base (my pick is a DKNY Black Sheath Dress), and I'm going to show you how to rock the same LBD from a holiday gala, to a holiday work party, to a neighborhood holiday party, to a holiday party at your kids' school, to a night on the town with your partner or special friends.
Here's the DKNY LBD heading to a gala. Toss on something glittery and sparkling with it; I recommend a fabulous sequined shrug or blazer. Pair it with a stunning pair of high black heels and silver jewelry that picks up the sequins in the blazer. Then have some holiday fun with a festive bag, such as an adorable ruffled clutch.
Holiday Work Party
Now, let's wear the same LBD to a holiday work function:
Find a fabulous velvet blazer; I chose a maroon one because it looks very festive. High tall black boots keep the look feminine and dressy. And I decided to go with gold-colored jewelry; nothing too fancy, mix and match what you want... I chose a gold cuff, coin drop earrings, and a gold hoop necklace. (Note, all of this jewelry can be found at H & M and Torrid.com.) I found this beautiful black leather tote from Piperlime.com; it’s a functional work bag and classic tote for a mom.
Neighborhood Holiday Party
Stopping next door for a more casually chic neighborhood holiday party:
For a neighborhood holiday party, you want to look good but be comfortable. I suggest a mid-heel; something a little bit more functional for a neighborhood holiday party. And on top? Well, I went with my staple piece, a DKNY sweater wrap. There's nothing more cozy than a sweater wrap and you'll be able to twist and tie and turn it as you see fit. Jewelry-wise, nothing is more classic than pearls, which add to the casual festiveness of this outfit. A simple black leather hobo is all you need because, after all, you won’t be far from home!
School Holiday Party
Heading on over to your children's school:
I wanted to keep this outfit for a school holiday party classic looking. If you're heading to a school event for your child, it's most likely a holiday concert or a class party. I started by adding simple black ballet flat from Payless to my LBD. The cardigan shawl gives the ensemble an academic look and feel. Hip, chic, and elegant. Gold-colored jewelry works very well with the beige sweater, and the handbag is the same as that from the holiday work party ensemble. It’s a perfect bag for mom to toss everything (and anything for the kids) into.
Night On The Town
Bringing you over to a night on the town with the special partner or friends in your life:
OK, now you're "allowed" to be sexy! In my opinion, there is nothing more chic than the combination of black and brown. Find some fabulous high brown boots and a delicious sheer black blouse. A sheer blouse over the DKNY LBD adds such a fun dimension to the outfit, and then pair it with an amazing beige kimono wrap for a stunning finish. All eyes will be on you, believe me. The diamond studs are the perfect addition to this outfit; nothing flashy, just that statement piece. And for your handbag, carry a simple brown leather clutch.
Keep these different styles in mind as you're getting ready for the holiday party circuit, and work with what you've got -- it will save both your stress and your budget! Add on, layer up, feel beautiful...and work that LBD over and over and over again.
Audrey McClelland is the founder/editor of Mom Generations, where she uses her fashion background to offer moms online fast and easy fashion advice and beauty tips. Audrey also is the Beauty/Style editor on Lifetime Moms and the co-founder of Daily Dose of Style. You can follow Audrey on Twitter at @AudreyMcClellan.