Your Perfect LBD Type No Matter What Your Style Is

If you're a fashion fan, you're probably no stranger to the versatile and timeless article of clothing known as the "little black dress" — commonly referred to as "LBD." For references, check out Audrey Hepburn's legendary LBD in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" designed by Hubert de Givenchy, or the "revenge dress" worn by Princess Diana at a 1994 dinner at the Serpentine Gallery. A symbol of practicality and cosmopolitan sophistication, this dynamite fashion item can be worn to a date night, cocktail party, business dinner, or when eating a croissant while window shopping. The LBD is considered a quintessential wardrobe staple.

Traditionally, the LBD is a black, tea-length dress featuring a simple, classic shape. The most iconic LBD looks are usually items that are shirred at the waist and made of light fabrics so as to create an hourglass figure that maximizes feminine energy. In keeping with the evolution of fashion and sartorial styles, people's interpretations of LBD also change. Today, there's no hard and fast rule as to what constitutes an LBD and how it should be worn. As long as it makes you feel like a femme fatale, it's the right LBD for you. Whether your style is preppy, Lolita, or business casual, there's an LBD option out there that will you like a glove. Below, check out some iconic LBD types that might be the next all-star item in your wardrobe.

Off-the-shoulder dress

No piece of clothing can exude a subtle, sexual vibe like a dress that exposes the collarbones. It's safe to say that wearing an off-the-shoulder dress is one of the classiest ways to show some skin. The late Princess Diana was a vision as she rocked that figure-hugging, off-the-shoulder LBD designed by Greek designer Christina Stambolian. The dress later became known as the "revenge dress" because Lady Di wore it on the very night that Prince Charles confessed his infidelity on national TV. The late princess accessorized her look with a pearl necklace crafted from a brooch given to her by the Queen Mother, showed off her toned legs with sheer stockings, and completed her look with black heels and a clutch. 

An understated and dazzling off-the-shoulder LBD from BOSS is also what actress Kerry Washington chose for her Bill of Rights Awards dinner, completing her sophisticated look with a pair of lace-embroidered Paul Andrew pumps. If you're going for this cold shoulder look, keep it classic with a pair of pumps or heeled sandals. To spice up your look, accessorize with a matching clutch and shiny jewelry, such as crystal earrings or a choker-style pearl necklace. 

A little black cheongsam

An LBD inspired by the silky Chinese cheongsam (qipao) is an absolute statement piece. Although most cheongsams are made in bright colors with vibrant prints, a mid-length black cheongsam may nevertheless offer you a high-fashion, body-flattering option for formal settings. From Celine Dion to Michelle Yeoh, many celebrities have rocked the red carpet in a dazzling little black cheongsam. Jennifer Aniston is another celebrity who pulled a stylish number on the silver screen wearing a traditional black cheongsam.

What makes the cheongsam the epitome of fashion in Asian culture is that it's elegant, royal, and sexy at the same time. A traditional cheongsam, which originated in the 1920s in Shanghai, features a body-hugging silhouette with knee-high slits, mandarin collars, and cap sleeves or perforated underarms. Shirred at the waist, a cheongsam highlights the wearer's curves, giving them a feminine appeal. 

The cheongsam has undergone a significant revolution over the past few decades, and there are now a wide variety of modern interpretations of this traditional dress on the market. Think fit-and-flare cheongsams with eye-catching prints and cut-out details. If you're wearing a cheongsam-inspired LBD, opt for red heels and a matching Chinese fan or clutch to add a festive touch to the look. Additionally, wear your hair in a sleek or braided updo to better showcase your neck and elongate your figure.

Tulle dress

If you can't get enough of style icon Carrie Bradshaw's enchanting selection of tulle skirts, you'll absolutely love a tulle black midi-dress. For ensembles that aim for that dramatic, "black swan" appearance, tulle is a fantastic material. Not only does the lightweight netted fabric of tulle help create volume without feeling heavy, but it also elongates the wearer's figure and adds a ballerina-like quality to their appearance.

Joan Crawford was a model of theatrical delicacy when she appeared on The Tonight Show hosted by Johnny Carson in 1962. Her sleeveless tulle black dress featured a scoop neckline and was shirred at the waistline, which accentuated her collarbones and slim waist. In case you don't know where to get a tulle black dress, check out the line of little black dresses created by Sarah Jessica Parker. Aptly named SJP LBD, the actress' capsule collection features a sleeveless above-the-knee layered tulle dress reminiscent of the one Carrie Bradshaw wears in the opening credits of "Sex and the City." 

There's no limit when styling a black tulle dress. If you go the ballerina-like elegant route, opt for a pair of pumps or heeled sandals and wear your hair in a slicked-back updo. For a Carrie Bradshaw-approved vibrant style, reach for striking gladiators or knee-high boots and complete your look with a red lip and chunky jewelry.

Fit-and-flare dress

A fit-and-flare dress, which features a fitted upper body and a voluminous skirt flaring at the hem, makes for a great LBD. Fit-and-flare dresses flatter all body shapes, whether they are apple, rectangle, or pear. According to Monroe and Main, the flared skirt and fitted top cinched at the waist help to create the illusion of an hourglass figure. To draw additional attention to your waist, you can tie a tiny bright-colored belt around it.

Meghan Markle cut a seriously stylish figure when she attended the 2018 centenary celebration of the Royal Air Force in a black fit-and-flare dress featuring a boat neckline and ¾-length sleeves. She completed her look with a fascinator, nude pumps, and a black clutch. The chic and classic Dior look was stunning on her. If you're attending a grand occasion, reach for a pair of polished pumps and a matching clutch. If it's a fun and casual event you're going to, you can switch your look up and opt for stylish boots, gladiators, or lobster claws.

Flapper dress

The 1920s brought significant social, economic, and political transformations to the United States. Think the Jazz Age, "The Great Gatsby," and loose-fitting, layered dresses commonly known as the flapper style. "Those clothes came from the places where music came from," historian and curator Deirdre Clemente told The Zoe Report. "People came up with the ideas for them [the pieces] while they were out dancing at those places, and wore early versions [of flapper style] before the look decimated to the masses." A typical flapper dress is a calf-length, sleeveless dress that hangs straight from the shoulders down to mid-calf. Since glitz and glam were the themes of the 1920s, most flapper dresses feature flashy fringes at the hem that swing as the wearers move about.

If you'd like to dress like a 20's flapper girl for a romantic date night or a themed dinner, a little black flapper dress with beads and sequins is a good start. Or, you can find a plain dress and perk it up with dazzling vintage-style accessories. Since the flapper era is known for its extravagance, sparkling and chunky jewelry, white gloves, and a feather headband make great additions to the flapper ensemble. To stay true to the flapper style, put on a dashing pair of Mary Janes or T-strap heels and take your posh to the next level with a faux fur stole.

Boudoir-inspired slip dress

The silky and strappy slip dresses are among the iconic '90 trends that never seem to go out of fashion. Unfussy, soft, and feminine, a slip dress is fit for both dressy occasions and boudoir dressing and is a perfect choice if you like the minimalist look. If you're keen to show off your arms, collarbones, and back, a black mini or midi slip dress is your best bet. Kate Moss, the star of countless fashionable moments of the 90s, was constantly making public appearances in slip dresses. The 90's sartorial megastar Victoria Beckham was also a fan of the minimalistic and visually appealing look of slinky slip dresses.

To jazz up a plain slip dress, try adding gritty elements like military boots or draping an oversized leather blazer over your dress. Because slip dresses are lightweight and flirty garments, grungy accessories will create a balanced and interesting look.