The little black dress (LBD) is chic and timeless. In fact, it’s so wonderfully versatile, it should always have a place in your wardrobe, no matter the season. That said, if you’re looking to update your go-to style this AW18, there are plenty of eye-catching little black dress alternatives to hand. From jazzy jumpsuits to velvet flares, there’s no shortage of styles and materials to tempt you away. So, you may find you’ll no longer have to pull out that LBD this season. Feeling inspired? Read on for more sartorial advice than you can shake a snow globe at.
Wear the trousers
What you wear can reveal a lot about your personality. So maybe now is the time to think of some little black dress alternatives. In fact, the size and shape of your trousers can speak volumes about who you really are. Culottes may have been the mainstay of summer this year. But if you’re hoping to cover up your ankles this winter, flares are a fantastic option. And we suggest the wider, the better. Why not don a pair in one of this season’s key fabrics for added glamour – velvet, crepe or silk? These flared crepe trousers from Roland Mouret tick all the boxes, while Jenny Packham’s embellished tulle trews are guaranteed to add a touch of glitz and glamour to any festive occasion.
Just the jumpsuit
As well as being the go-to option for many a fashionista, jumpsuits just so happen to be cosy, comfy and completely practical. Thankfully, they can hide all manner of sins, too. Dress them down with your favourite pumps and cashmere jumper. Otherwise, team with statement jewellery and a sharp-lined blazer for an instant refresh. We think this stretch-jersey jumpsuit from Norma Kamali is the perfect alternative to the LBD this winter. What about Ganni’s pinstriped crepe jumpsuit too? Just don’t judge us if we happen to wear these two items all winter.
Covetable co-ords show no sign of fading in popularity. In fact, matching sets are the ensemble to be seen in this AW18. So, why not don a trendy two-piece in lieu of that well-worn black dress you rely on every year? Matching separates, on top of looking sleek, have the added benefit of creating a whole host of possible outfit options, and of course you can also wear each piece separately. Rodart’s ruffled applique tulle top and midi skirt is just the duo to get you started.
Embrace the blazer
Cara Delevigne caused a media frenzy when she wore a striking longline blazer and top hat to Princess Eugenie’s wedding recently. So why not follow suit and opt for all the little black dress alternatives this Christmas? The potential styling options for a blazer are endless. Consider layering on top of a silk camisole or a crisp white shirt or buttoning it up and simply letting the jacket do the talking. For a simple day-to-evening look, pair with leather trews and a white tee. Then simply swap trainers for heels when the sunlight fades. Whatever your choice of styling, this satin-trimmed velvet tuxedo blazer from Saint Laurent is guaranteed to turns heads – top hat optional.
Playsuits & bodysuits
If you feel more at home in a jumpsuit than a dress, pick a playsuit for good middle ground. This way, you can then decide just how far you dare to bare. We love the sleek silhouette of this wrap-effect satin playsuit from Alice + Olivia. It has the guaranteed style factor of a LBD, but with the added bonus of being completely on trend. Or, how about turning the playsuit trend up a notch by opting for an attention-grabbing bodysuit? Team with flares, a midi skirt or shorts, depending on the occasion.
Show off your shoes
If you’ve got a pair of long-forgotten kitten heels lurking in the back of your cupboard, it’s time to dig them out and team them with one of your little black dress alternatives. Kitten heels were a key feature of Tom Ford’s New York Fashion Week 2018 runway collection, so we’re expecting them to make a serious comeback this AW18. We love Gucci’s embellished leather pumps, complete with gilded insects, while Matteo Mars’ Swarovski embellished sling backs are all sorts of festive. Meanwhile, the much-loved knee high boot continues to elongate this season, with thigh-high boots making an appearance on many Christmas wish lists. Santa take note: we’d like Christian Louboutin’s suede thigh boots, please.
Mix your materials
If you really can’t bear to depart from your ever-reliable LBD comfort zone, why not simply give your go-to style a seasonal update? Velvet, crepe and satin are all big players this season, as are age-old favourites such as wool, leather are lace. You could also update your look with on-trend statement accessories such as chandelier earrings, or a Nineties-inspired clutch. To really turn heads, the key is to focus on shoulders, collars and sleeves: the more dramatic the better. For inspiration, take a look at Ellery’s ruffled crepe mini dress, which boats some serious statement arms, or Sara Battaglia’s wool-blend twill mini dress, which even has its own detachable cape. But the item we’re really hoping to find under our tree this Christmas is Saint Laurent’s one-shoulder wool mini dress – it’s guaranteed to turn heads (and shoulders!).