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Fashion

Break Out Your LBDs — Here Are 5 Fresh Ways Bring It Back

Give your boring, black dresses a refresher with these style tips.

Ah, the almighty little black dress (LBD), a fashion garment that is no stranger to all. The LBD is a closet staple that can take you practically anywhere because of how classic and timeless it is. But sometimes, this default fallback option can be a little well, lacklustre. While we should continue to rely on it, there are also ways you can give this garment a fresh look — simply by getting creative with your ensemble.

Here are our ideas to prevent a fashion rut. We’ve selected a shirt dress for our demonstration, but you can do this with anything from a cocktail dress to a summer mini. It’s your choice.

Dress used: Shirt dress by Topshop, S$89.90

Work Week
A shirt dress is pretty formal by nature, so choosing to wear it to work is a no-brainer. But to make it more interesting, tuck this dress into a pair of checked straight-leg trousers and top it off with a matching vest. Instantly snazzy. Round the look up with a large tote and a pair of suede loafers. Checkered straight pants by A.P.C., €245 (S$389); Checkered vest by A.P.C., €210 (S$333); Suede loafers by Zara, S$99.90; Oversized tote bag by Mango, S$59.90 Brunch Buffet
Go casual by layering your shirt dress over a designer T-shirt, and keep it unbuttoned to exude an easy-going flair. Cinch your waist with a belt to put emphasis on your waistline and to elongate your legs, and pair that with a pair of nude sandals. Printed t-shirt by Gucci, £350 (S$624), via Net-a-Porter; Leather belt by Zara, S$55.90; Fringe leather bag by Mango, S$89.90; Resin earrings by Zara, S$24.90; Heeled sandals by Tibi, S$779, via Farfetch Dinner Date
Take this dress to another level by wearing a pair of flared trousers underneath for your evening plans. Go with one that has vertical stripes, like the above, to make it stand out. Add tasteful but flirtatious accessories to your outfit, such as a pair of sunshine yellow block heels and chic velvet clutch —you’ll be dressed to kill. Striped silk wide-leg pants by Equipment, £400 (S$713), via Net-a-Porter; Crushed velvet clutch by Tara Zadeh, £285 (S$508), via Net-a-Porter; Block heels by Zara, S$55.90; Chain necklace by Charles & Keith, S$43.90 Holiday in the North
You can still rock your LBD in colder cities. The key is to dress it with thicker garments, such as wool or cashmere. Wear a turtleneck pullover underneath your black dress and wrap yourself in a double faced wool coat. Jazz it up further with a pair of standout knee-high boots. If it’s extra cold, remember to put on some thermal leggings (not pictured, but we recommend Heat Tech pieces from Uniqlo) to keep your lower regions warm. Turtleneck pullover by Calvin Klein 205W39NYC, £225 (S$401), via Net-a-Porter; Leather knee-high boots by Mango, S$299; Double face wrap coat by Uniqlo U, S$249.90; Leather belt bag by Zara, S$99.90; Wool beret by Zara, S$39.90 Vacay in Aussie
If you’re heading Down Under for your year-end vacation, be as smoking hot as the weather there by pairing your LBD with statement accouterments. There’s no need to go overboard with the layering. Instead, exude delicate elegance with understated but stylish objects such as a pair of striking gold earrings, a multi-chain necklace, strappy brown sandals and a crossbody bag. Don’t forget to bring along a pair of shades. Slingback heeled sandals by Charles & Keith, S$49.90; Leather crossbody pouch by Zara, S$99.90; Straw hat by Topshop, S$36.90; Charm necklace by Isabel Marant, US$285 (S$390), via Matchesfashion; Disc metal earrings by Isabel Marant, US$296 (S$405), via Matchesfashion; Gold-tone aviators by Loewe, £290 (S$518), via Net-a-Porter