The Little Black Dress

When I shared a picture of my new black dress on Facebook a few days ago, someone posted that they had it too. She wrote that she called it her funeral dress because that’s where she wore it. I took that as a challenge to show you just a few of the many ways you can style this very comfortable dress. I’ll link to similar if not the same items since most of the pieces I used in the different looks are not new.

Bold short necklaceToteShoesSeersucker BlazerInfinity Watch

I enjoy draping a light cotton sweater over my shoulders when wearing a tee or a blouse, so I decided to try it with the dress too.

DressShoesBagCardiganBraceletNative Watch

ShoesBagEarringsInfinity Watch

I still have a few of the fifty-one-inch silk twill scarves. If you would like to see them, send me an email, and I’ll share the details with you. (info@SusanAfter60.com)

Jacket BagShoes

The elements of my looks are rarely new, so I share highlighted links to similar current items. The shopping links in my posts may result in a small commission for me at no additional cost to you.

Jacket/ShirtBagShoesInfinity Watch

The ruanas are handmade and one of a kind. The designer’s email is cybeleboutique@gmail.com. Contact her to order the color you want. She also creates a shorter version. BagShoesNecklace and Necklace

SunglassesToteSandalsBraceletEarrings

The moment I saw this dress, I envisioned countless ways to wear it. I bought it here. If the neckline is a little too low for you, try the fashion tape in the emergency kit here.

Thank you for reading and commenting. It gives me comfort to hear from you as I shelter in place. I hope that you and all those you love are safe and well.

113 Comments
  1. Oh, wow! The Chaus dresses are wonderful! They have a comfortable skirt, an empire waist and . . . wait for it. . .

    SLEEVES!

    I’ve ordered two!

    Thanks for the info and blessings as you stay in.

    Stay cozy!

  2. Love the various ways you’ve styled the dress. The ruana makes it look very special with the lovely red shoes. Keep safe.

  3. Another way to add colour would be with a camisole vest underneath, you get the v as a contrast.
    This can also help with low v neck tops, Tshirttshirt or jumpers.

  4. Just lovely! Little black dress is a must have in every wardrobe. I must say you dressed it up perfectly. I especially love the navy check and blue stripe seersucker jackets. ❤

  5. I wear a LBD every Sunday in the Fall/Winter with a variety of cardigans, long sweaters, jackets (Demin is nice!) and scarves or necklaces. The dress, black tights and usually the same pair or two of shoes makes a nice basic uniform to dress up or down without having to think too much. 🙂 I like this version except for that deep-V (which looks lovely on you but might be too much for me); so I will look for a similar style with a rounded or less-deep neckline. Thanks for sharing this look. And be safe while at home.

  6. Fabulous post! I wear pants, and this gives me great input in ways to make a black column look more like Spring. Thank you,

  7. Love your hair this length! Love the dress too! Perfect length, hard to find dresses for us mature ladies! Everything these days is above the knee, so when I find a cute one like this I usually grab it! Thanks for showing it and your way of styling it!

  8. I enjoy your blog tremendously. Your creativity shines through in the way you dress and accessorize. Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. I love this basic dress although I would require a few tweaks such as fabric type and the depth of the v-neck. Wouldn’t it be grand if a company like Covered Perfectly could take a dress similar to this and create it with different options? Say 3-4 neckline options; sleeveless, these sleeves ❤️❤️❤️❤️, 3/4 sleeves and long sleeves; various fabrics including cotton/linen and a firm-hand jersey; a few different hem lengths; a plain front in addition to the faux wrap as well as a few basic color choices. In my head it seems like a fabulous idea!!!!

  10. I have found a product called Second Base that solves the too-low issue on many dresses. It is a short camisole that just fits over the bra area but that goes across the bust. They come in many colors. I use the plain style in black or navy the most. It’s meant I can now buy more variety in necklines! I bought some online but originally found Second Base (love the cute name, haha) at a boutique in Naples, Fl.

  11. I love your blogs. Most of the time it feels like hearing from a friend, especially now with being self quarantined at home but better still, learning something new or see how, like this post, you learn to use a dress for more than one occasion by accessorising with jewelry, scarves, and jackets. Thanks for the tips.

    Clara from Iowa

  12. I just ordered this dress and it is supposed to be delivered today!! I can’t think of better timing. Now I need that red jacket :). Love all the different ways to wear the dress. Thank you for the inspiration.

  13. Each dress is very elegant. Congratulations. The result is perfect. Tasteful, stylish. Everything you need to appear.

  14. Thanks for showing how versatile a LBD is for anyone & for any occasion. Mine is a gem, 15 yrs old, knit jersey that is lined and pops out of a suitcase without a wrinkle. Have even pulled a nice T-shirt over it, added a colourful neckerchief & it passes for a skirt.
    My reading is usually quite heavy and I needed a break, so retrieved this book from my collection: A Guide to Elegance by Genevieve Antoine Dariaux. It’s a classic, published in 1964 & reprinted in 2003 by Harper Collins. It’s fashion and etiquette advice for women of all ages and financial means written by a directrice of the French fashion salon, Nina Ricci. Although somewhat dated, it is timeless and an easy read.

    1. My mother gave me the “Elegance” book when I first started shopping for myself. Though it’s from another era, the advice is great! I heard the costume designer for “Mad Men” used it as her “bible” to create accurate looks for the characters. May I suggest a company called Half-Tees? They offer a way to add neckline modesty/sleeves to sundresses and other items where you’d like a little more coverage. They help stretch your summer wardrobe into cooler weather. The tees are cropped…just below the bra, so they don’t add any bulk/layers/warmth around the midsection. I have several in different colors, sleeve lengths, and necklines.

  15. Thanks for showing the versatility of your black dress. I sometimes get stuck in a rut of black on black on black. You’ve showed me other options.

  16. Each look and style of this dress looks stunning. Appropriate for many different occasions. Thank you for sharing!

  17. Thanks for so many ideas here Susan. The dress really suits you. I have several short jackets and have got many ideas of what dresses to wear them with.

  18. I Love all of the looks you put together.

    Blessing to you and Mr. Mickey as you shelter in place.

    Suzanne

  19. I have a similar dress but with a different neckline. I appreciate seeing the different options with your dress as it’s given me some ideas on how to change up the look of my dress. Thank you!! I always appreciate the links you include as well. You inspire us Susan!!

  20. So many cute ways to wear a black dress. I have a similar one that I can use to better advantage. Thanks and have a good day!
    Jean

  21. I must have missed this dress in the other post but you’ve styled it so many different ways! I may have to get it! 🙂 How tall are you? I like my dresses a little longer (hello white legs and hate self-tanners) so I wanted to get an idea of how long it will be on me.

    Glad to see you are doing well. Thankfully my husband and I have jobs that are allowing us to work from home but my daughters hours got cut and our grandsons (9 and 6) school is out until at least May 1st so we/she are having to do online school with them.

    I pray everyone stays well and safe. During this time of uncertainty, we all need a reminder of where our Hope comes from – our Lord Jesus Christ!

    “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

    Have a blessed day!

  22. Love how you presented all these options. I am 5’3” and feel the length may be long and I should shorten. What is your guideline for the length?

  23. I am always on the look out for a comfortable and versatile dress. So thank you for finding this one! I have ordered it, but in the dark blue. I have several LBD and thought I’d change it up a bit. I’m looking forward to styling it in many of the ways you suggest.
    My husband and I have been self isolating for a month already and I certainly enjoy getting your emails. Stay safe!

  24. You have steadfastly maintained that you don’t look good in dresses, but these pictures are evidence that you look just lovely in dresses.

  25. Wonderful post — love all the looks, especially the gorgeous red ruana, which is lovely on you. Very creative!

  26. I love the many ways you’ve styled your black dress. I also want to tell you that whenever you wear anything red close to your face, it truly brightens your entire look. Red is such a magnificent accent color for you.

  27. I can not tell you how long it has been since I wore a dress! But, if I was going to get one, this
    would be it.

    You are so lovely in all the iterations of this basic piece. Thank you for sharing your inspiring wardrobe
    with us. I must say that your eating and exercising regime are my goals!! Stay safe.

    Warmly,

  28. Hi Susan,
    Love all the looks you created with the black dress. For comparison. what was your size? Glad you and Mr. Mickey have each other. Take good care. Pat

  29. Thank you, Susan. I look forward to your email each day, especially now when we all need a “good news” diversion. You have taught me a lot, and I appreciate your faithfulness!

  30. Hi Susan, love the black dress ! Wish it came in a petite size 2. Do you know where I might find a similar dress in my size? Thanks

  31. You are so classy!

    I thought you would like to know that I tried to pin the images using my phone and was unsuccessful. The message I received: Invalid perimeters. Sorry we could not catch the image.

  32. Susan, you truly are an inspiration! Love all the different looks you put together with a basic black dress. You’re a lovely lady, with so much class! Thank you for your style tips. Hope you,and Mr. Micky stay safe,and well. God bless. NH

  33. What a great dress and options for styling it. I notice you don’t always wear black shoes with a black dress. I always thought I had to wear black shoes with a black skirt, dress or pants. It appears not so.

  34. Thank you you give great ideas loving your styling and inspiration thank you from the bottom of my heart in these trying times

  35. This is a very helpful post, all the looks are beautiful. You have wonderful taste and such good ideas. It’s very appreciated.?

  36. I love the different ideas you shared. I’m only 5’6” and a dress at calf length makes me look shorter and heavier I think. I prefer my dresses to be just in the middle of my knee. I have difficulty finding them any suggestions? I also like ankle length but I often feel over or under dressed then.

  37. Susan, you have truly created so many different looks that I would never have known it was the same dress. So creative!

  38. Susan,
    Love the many versatile ways that you have styled the LBD (little black dress).. My favorite pic is the red ruana with your lovely necklaces,
    Animal-print purse and the red shoes. Just gorgeous.! I would thoroughly enjoy a future photo of that outfit worn on one of your date nights
    With Mr. Mickey. Thanks for the wonderful distraction you are achieving during this crisis. Best wishes for continued good health to both of
    You.

  39. That is a plain and simple dress that reminds me of the way I feel about a shaker chair. It’s perfect just the way it is but a pretty pillow never hurt a shaker chair. I like it and with just a jacket, scarf, or jewelry I think it would be just the outfit for a lot of dressy occasions in one’s life. An awards dinner, a church function, meeting the Mayor, a charity event, etc. These occasions do come up and it’s just hard to decide what to wear. This dress is it.

  40. Susan, you’ve come up with some amazing combinations to make the little black dress so versatile. Great ideas for taking one dress for a vacation.

  41. I like the last look the best. I love a simple black knit dress like that. Comfortable and classic.

    Thanks for your posts. It cheers us up to see your smiling face and lovely style.

  42. Susan, this is such a versatile dress and you are so creative in how you have styled it. Also, I wanted to mention your hair looks beautiful, especially pushed back on the sides. A very classy look.

  43. Susan – after your recent unexpectedly short haircut- your hair has grown out to a perfectly complementary length and shape! Thank you for your ongoing inspiration and positivity, especially now.

  44. Hi Susan! I love to wear dresses and I have a black one similar to yours in my closet. I wear mine with different jackets and sweaters. I love wearing mine with my acid wash jean jacket. Some of my dresses go a little low on the neckline so I sewed a few different colors of stretch lace with a knit fabric backing. I can pin them to my bra or make little straps to attach them with snaps around my bra straps. The lace only shows about 2 inches but it hides the cleavage for going to church. I love that you are wearing dresses! I always thought they looked so beautiful on you and look polished without adding anything but a necklace. It’s effortless style as it’s one piece to put on but looks like it took more time.

    We are all good here and wishing you good health and Mr. Mickey too.

  45. May Mr. Mickey and you be completely well. Tried cybeleboutique@gmail but incorrect email.Love the Amb. Deborah B. wearing a scarf on all her outfits during news conferences. Could you please show us different techniques to placing scarves on our clothes? They really add to the outfit. I sincerely appreciate all your hard work in preparing your articles. Faith not Fear. May this soon pass. Sincerely

  46. I am wondering about the sizing on this dress. I am in between a 10 and 12. Do you think it runs large? I am not sure if I need a med or large? I am a pretty standard size 12.

  47. Hi Susan – I love the dress! You have shown how versatile it is and given me several ideas for myself. Thanks and stay well!

  48. Love your site and look forward to your new posts. Thank you for providing alternate sites to purchase similar items. NC

  49. Hi Susan, I love the dress so I ordered one. Thank you for the styling advice.
    Stay safe & well, Jennie Pappas

  50. Hi Susan,I’ve been in lockdown now for 3 weeks,and I mean lockdown ,haven’t been out at all. I wanted you to know how good you do my spirit with your blogs. They are so full of confidence that this is not for forever and one day hopefully soon,we will all be out there giving it some glamour ,doing it Susan’s way. I think you look so good in all the different ways but then your so stylish I think you would look good in sackcloth and ashes.keep well ,keep safe.xx

  51. Dear Susanna,
    I find all your combinations with the black dress very nice. I couldn’t decide which one is the best as all of them are beautiful.
    And I love your new hair style. You look younger and more lively. I enjoy your blog. Thanks a lot for your posting and sharing your tips.
    Take good care and stay well.
    Here in Europe we must take good care of ourselves as well. Let’s hope it will be over in near future. Best wishes, Jitka from Switzerland

  52. Thank you for this post, Susan!! It’s truly an answer to my ongoing problem of appropriate dresses… I, too, am not a fan of dresses or skirts, yet some occasions seem to dictate the need for them. It’s great to see how one perfect dress could be used for so many types of events!! This will be a real inspiration for me!!

  53. This is off topic for this particular blog post, but as I speed-read through your journey, I am wondering if you still eat no meat/white bread? I see posts where you say you do not and I also see where you like crusty French bread. So my question is if you occasionally vary from your strict diet or have you morphed over time to a very strict diet exclusively? I’m pretty sure I could switch my eating habits up, but I don’t know that I could completely stop eating French bread and red meat for the rest of my life. Looking forward to your answer! I love your classic looks and your encouragement to be our best at any age and I have passed on your page to other friends!

    1. About twice a month, I may have a piece of fresh made crusty bread. I haven’t eaten pork, beef, or any other furry animals in more than nine years. I never miss the meat, but the occasional bread, wine, and cheese, I would miss very much.

  54. Could you tell us the type of slip or undergarments you wear under this type of fabric? The LBD
    Thanks! Melissa

  55. I love that dress. It is the perfect suitcase dress for any occasion, especially when trying to avoid overpacking and sticking to a carry-on. It’s flattering on you, and I would think it could work for most everyone. I have a couple (different sizes) of plain black dresses, although shorter in length,, and you’ve given me some great ideas. I am 5’1″ but feel i would be able to wear this length successfully.

    Thanks for sharing.

  56. Hello ladies. For those of you who wanted a longer length, I have included a link below to a very inexpensive dress on Amazon that I ordered in small because it looked so good on a friend of mine and I’m very happy with it. I am 5’6”, 130 lbs, (size 6) and have fairly long legs compared to my torso. The dress hits at the bottom of my ankles and is extremely comfortable soft jersey made with rayon/spandex. It has a nice rounded Scoop neckline so many of you mentioned that you would like to see and it’s very easy to care for. It also has pockets but they don’t stick out so still a smooth line. Even if you had to pay to have it hemmed, it would still be a good deal! It comes in various colors…I ordered the gray/purple color which looks just like the image.

    DEARCASE Women Short Sleeve Loose Plain Maxi Dresses Casual Long Dresses with Pockets https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078WMR3S6/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_.BoIEb7M09Q31

  57. I’m sometimes a 10 but usually a 12. Not sure which size to order (M 8-10 L 12-14). Usually I would order both sizes but not sure if retailers are accepting returns these days. Thank you!

  58. Hi Susan– It’s official — you are my very favorite blog!!

    Showing all the different ways to style that LBD just cinches your title!! Thank you for continuing to write your blog. I look forward to each and every one of your posts.

  59. Good Evening Susan,
    I received my lipstick and lotion today. I’m going to enjoy wearing both.
    Sincerely,
    Karen Kramer

  60. Hi Susan, In venturing out how would you use a mask–some of my friends and I thought about just using our beautiful scarfs over our mask–hope you will have a great week. Thank you for all you do.

  61. Good morning Susan….always enjoy your blogs and love your flair with fashion. It inspires me to look at my own wardrobe with a different eye. Was tickled that I also purchased the olive pant from Chico’s and an eyelet too this season! Thanks for keeping your blog going it is a real treat, especially now!

  62. Good morning, Susan,
    Thank you for brightening my day on this glorious, triumph, Palm Sunday. Not being able to attend church services is very difficult so your encouraging posts help.

    Would you please show us more ways to style the beautiful, red, military jacket? The style intrigues me…

    Thanks for all you do and share. Have a very blessed day,
    Pat B

  63. I don’t like dresses so much but I have adored this one black dress with the different combinations on you. Casual or elegant, perfect.

  64. I love all the ways you styled your black dress. You’re a beautiful lady. Thanks for all the information you share with us.

  65. I went to the Talbots site for the gingham jacket/blouse you wore and only saw the blouse. Do you have the site for the cute blue checked jacket you are wearing?

  66. I have styled a simple black dress in many ways for years! So much fun. In the eighties and beyond I wore my denim jacket with a frock by Betsy Johnson.. I don’t know if I can wear one now. I had the jackets in many colors back then…might feel too much like the past for me…but I love that look! So adorable.

  67. Hi Susan,

    Hope you are doing well and safe. Prayers for Mr. Mickey a speedy recovery.

    Could you please tell me if this is the dress with a tie at the waist or is it the wrap dress? Also I would like to see the scarves that you might have left.

    I really love your look, style and grace.

    Thank you for your wonderful blog!!! You are so very inspiring to so many!!

    Take care!! And thank you again!
    Genny Hornsby

  68. I’ve been following you for a long time and usually don’t have time to comment. Since we’ve all been spending more time in isolation I thought I’d let you know how much I appreciate your comments and style tips. I especially love your shoes and bags. I bought one the bags in your looks above. I recently turned 60 but never want to look frumpy. I also let my hair go grey and may use your beauty tip for lowlights and gloss. Thank you for letting us know there is no age limit on beauty!!

  69. I wanted this dress but I procrastinated. It was sold out at Nordstrom. I accidentally saw it on the Belk site tonight and ordered it at an excellent price! I’m so happy. Can’t wait to get it.

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I blogged for five years as Fifty, not Frumpy. Now that I am in my sixties, I am sharing ideas and inspiration for using and loving what you already have.

Thank you!
Susan

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