Nearly 100 years ago, in 1926, Vogue featured an etching of a simple black dress accessorized with a string of elegant pearls within its pages. The mag christened the drawing, “Chanel’s Ford” — and, yes, they were referring to the car. What the iconic publication was getting at was that the black dress was simple and attainable for women of all classes. Vogue predicted it would become “a sort of uniform for all women of taste.”
As usual, the magazine hit the nail on the head with that fashion forecast. Today, the black dress — whether long or micro-short, fancy or casual — is one of the most widely beloved looks of all time. It's a truly timeless staple — you’d be hard-pressed to find a dress-loving femme who doesn’t have one in their closet.
Because of their widespread support, however, it can be difficult to style an LBD in a way that feels fresh. If you find yourself unsure about how to wear a black dress, allow me to inspire you. Ahead, I've spotlighted some of the most stylish celebrities — from Rihanna to Bella Hadid — who have given their take on the perennially cool trend.
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While in Italy last month, Kim Kardashian modeled this sheer, off-the-shoulder number with sleek rectangular shades and layered cross necklaces. Styling a black dress with black sunnies adds a certain element of edge that’s undeniably cool.
Miley Cyrus also paired sunglasses (an oversized Tom Ford style) with her black dress outfit, elevating a vintage ribbed Chanel tank dress. The pop star’s white, logo-stamped thong sandals (again, Chanel) were what really took this to another level, though. Chic sandals, whether designer or not, always make a great addition.
Here, Victoria Beckham added a bright pop of color in the form of cheery red Manolo Blahnik pumps. The designer accompanied her midi with oversize shades and a coordinating black shoulder bag to create an eye-catching street style moment. If heels aren't your thing, try reaching for some sneakers or flats in a vibrant hue.
Because it’s Rihanna, she wore a purple fur coat on top of a black sheer, bedazzled Gucci logo dress featuring a keyhole cutout. Dressed up for a party in celebration of Gucci, she didn’t disappoint with her look. In the colder months, adding a fun, furry coat is a perfect way to make your black dress outfit stand out.
While in Milan for men’s fashion week, Megan Fox rocked this black crochet dress featuring cool cut-out details. She draped a black leather trench coat lined with leopard print over top and slipped on super strappy, lace-up sandals. While the dress on its own is a head-turner, the long leather trench undoubtedly elevated this saucy look.
Spotted out on the town with boyfriend Tom Holland, Zendaya rocked this black shirtdress (which she may or may not have pulled out of Holland’s closet). The actress accessorized with a chunky leather belt, sleek sheer stockings, and coordinating Louboutins.
During the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, Alessandra Ambrosio stepped out in this ankle-skimming knit dress, pairing it with strappy black sandals and a vintage-inspired Chanel “vanity case.” The small, quilted leather bag is a modern take on classic train cases of the ’50s and ’60s. It certainly adds a bit of je ne sais quoi to the simple, elegant ‘fit.
Decked out in vintage Dolce & Gabbana during older sis Kourtney Kardashian’s wedding weekend extravaganza, Kylie Jenner styled her LBD with a black and white bag and matching boots. The chalky white bit of her bag and hits of white on her pointy boots made for a cool, somewhat unexpected look. Try incorporating a white piece to add contrast to your black dress outfit.
While out and about in the Big Apple, Emily Ratajkowski modeled a sheer, off-the-shoulder dress by buzzy brand Coperni and trendy Salomon sneakers. Wearing a revealing dress with sporty shoes meant for the great outdoors = an instant fashion moment. It’s all about the contrasting elements here, and she nailed it.
If you’re going for a dressier LBD look, complete with pumps, you might consider adding sultry black stockings like Hailey Bieber did here. The way she paired her sleek Acne Studios mini dress with matching tights and pointy black heels is exactly how you do a fancy, monochromatic ‘fit. Cue the standing ovation.
Olivia Rodrigo, known for her head-turning style, teamed a bold, off-the-shoulder Balmain mini dress with knee-high stompers. You can easily replicate this look should you want to make waves. Just grab some ultra-chunky platforms and you’re set.
To make this LBD outfit pop, Zoe Kravtiz added an assortment of eye-catching jewelry, including a pair of fabulous diamond and pearl drop earrings. She also wore slinky python sandals, which served as a cool contrast to the rest of the glamorous look.
For an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Chrissy Teigen opted for this arresting Roberto Cavalli bustier maxi dress. Going for a minimalistic look, she styled the leggy dress with classic high-heeled sandals featuring subtle chain embellishing on the toe strap. Serving as a great look for a night out, simply add strappy sandals.
Serving a unique, Y2K-inspired fashion moment here, Bella Hadid styled a strappy black mini dress featuring an asymmetrical hem over a pair of gray plaid pants. She pulled things together with pointy black slingbacks and a matching shoulder bag. If you dare, this look is totally doable, it just takes some guts.
Similar to how Kylie Jenner styled her LBD with hits of white for contrast, Lizzo can be seen here sporting white ankle boots featuring a smattering of black polka dots with a stylish black shirtdress. Utterly fab.
For a casual summer day, pairing a frock with simple, flat, slip-on sandals like Birkenstocks is the perfect casual look. Gigi Hadid, one of the best at appearing effortlessly chic, rocked this look, adding some cool shades and jewelry, too.
On a cooler day, you may want to slip a cardigan over a black dress like Selena Gomez did here. Her look is quite dressy, with a cropped cardigan and heels. Perfect for any occasion that jeans aren’t quite appropriate for.
Here, Blake Lively was snapped heading to a party in a black cut-out midi dress, which she paired with royal blue Louboutin pumps. Adding another subtle touch of color, she also wore emerald earrings. You really can’t go wrong by accessorizing your black dress with colorful shoes or statement jewelry. A vibrant bag is a great option, too.