Age-Wise Style: Little Black Dresses for Every Body and Budget

attends the CHANEL Paris-Salzburg 2014/15 Metiers d'Art Collection in New York City at the Park Avenue Armory on March 31, 2015 in New York City.
Photo: Andrew H. Walker/WireImage

Let’s face it: There is nothing better than the perfect little black dress. It’s slimming; it goes easily from day to evening; it doesn’t show every little smudge from a dropped hors d’oeuvre. You can change its attitude—presto!—by switching up the accessories: edgy one day, polished the next! So finding a really good one is crucial for every woman. Trust me on this.

The good news is, you can find a great one at any price. For some reason, black dresses always look more expensive than colorful ones. The dark color somehow tricks the eye. Do you know the concept of negative space? The dark silhouette essentially puts the focus on the non-dark area. For example, a black dress with long sleeves and a plunging neckline calls attention to the neck and décolletage, whereas a black sleeveless dress to the knee puts the spotlight on the arms and calves. Magic.

So, when choosing your perfect LBD, think about where you want people to look: your face, your arms, your cleavage, your back, your legs? Then, accessorize accordingly by further calling attention to your favorite feature. Love your collarbone? Add a sparkly choker. Got great gams? A colorful or ornamented shoe is your best friend.

For more of Cindy's age-wise style advice, visit Appré

Universal Flatterers

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Shop the items (from top): Michael Michael Kors dress, $205; Kamalikulture x Norma Kamali dress, $146; Weekend by Max Mara Sahara dress (available up to size 18), $350; Lisa Freede earrings, $60; Manolo Blahnik sling-backs, $695;


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Shop the items (from top): A.L.C. dress, $445; Needle & Thread dress, $330; Mangodress (available up to size 18), $140 (originally $180); Edie Parker clutch, $995; Paul Andrew sling-backs, $645;


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Shop the items (from top): COS dress, $135; Adam Lippes dress, $545 (originally $1,090); DKNY dress, $395; Henri Bendel rings, $99; Valentino pumps, $875;

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