How Do I Dress Down a Little Black Dress?

by Danielle Crandall ; Updated July 18, 2017

Use accessories to transform a little black dress. Images

The little black dress is a wardrobe staple that is most often reserved for formal occasions. However, there is no need to save the dress for special events when all it takes is a little creativity to dress it down. Capitalize on the versatility of the little black dress by selecting just the right additions to wear with it.

Layer your little black dress with one or two additional garments in colors, patterns and textures that contrast with the dress. Throw a casual tank top or graphic shirt on over your dress. Add a laid-back denim or leather jacket, fitted blazer or oversized cardigan to create a cool and relaxed ensemble.

Accessorize your little black dress with items that have a casual feel to them. Choose a leather belt to contrast the dressier material of the garment. Select a bright-colored scarf or pair of tights to tone down the seriousness of the dress. Tote an oversized purse rather than a clutch for a more informal look.

Select one or two pieces of bold fashion jewelry to wear with your little black dress. Choose an oversized statement necklace, ring or bracelet to add some flair and create an ensemble that is more fun than formal. Avoid jewelry with expensive gemstones and metals that might be too extravagant for your dressed-down look.

Swap high heels for a more informal pair of shoes. Slip on a pair of ballet flats or gladiator sandals for a feminine appearance. Pair canvas sneakers or wedge, motorcycle or knee-high boots with your dress to create an edgier ensemble.

Ditch the perfect updo and wear your hair in a casual style. Pull your hair back into a messy bun or ponytail. Style your hair in loose waves if you prefer to leave your hair down.

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About the Author

Danielle Crandall has been a professional writer and editor for more than five years. Her work has appeared in various online publications and marketing materials for nonprofit organizations, covering topics ranging from beauty and fashion to home decor to education and society. Crandall holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Arizona.