Casual Ways To Style Your Favorite Little Black Dress

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As much as we love to feel stylish in a jumpsuit and style leather pants like a pro, one of our all-time favorite looks will always be a classic little black dress. This iconic look goes back to 1926, when Vogue published an image of Chanel's little black dress, per Marie Claire. This elegant dress was advertised as appropriate for all women, and while the actual dress came out during the Great Depression, it still holds up today as a beloved, timeless look.

When you think of a traditional little black dress, one of the first images to pop up in your head is probably Audrey Hepburn's slinky, sleeveless black dress and long matching gloves from the classic film "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (via IMDb). We adore this look, but believe it or not, your LBD doesn't always have to be fancy and sophisticated. Although people admire these pieces for their elegance, the proper styling can make a little black dress more casual if you plan on wearing one somewhere a bit more low-key than a cocktail party or luxurious dinner.

How to dress down your little black dress

One easy way to instantly make your little black dress appear more casual is to wear it with some sporty or low-key footwear (via The Little Black Dress Party). So try swapping out your pumps or platform heels for flats, wedges, boots, or sneakers to dress down your overall appearance without taking away the allure of the dress. Furthermore, avoid wearing glamorous jewelry with your dress if you're going for a casual look. Sparkly pieces are typically meant for making any outfit look fancier and more dramatic, so they won't help you make your LBD look more low-key.

Although wearing jewelry won't dress down your little black dress, a bold jacket can help you. Wearing a colorful jacket with a fun pattern is perfect for adding a little something extra for a modern spin on the classic look, per Who What Wear U.K. Or, if you're trying to look more punk than traditional, try wearing a sheer dress or top with a fishnet style over your LBD to transform the look into a completely different vibe. Plus, why not complete that edgy ensemble with a beanie for a cool, everyday look?

If you're really trying to make your little black dress significantly more casual, you should have fun with it and style your favorite hoodie or sweatshirt over it. The styling possibilities are endless!

Add a flannel for a grunge look

Rocking a cool flannel is an easy way to take your little black dress from sweet and sophisticated to edgy and grunge. A flannel will add an instant edge to your look and is perfect for dressing down your outfit. When we searched #grungeflannel on Instagram, more than 800 posts popped up because flannels are a staple in the grunge aesthetic. So, are you ready to buy a new flannel to wear over your LBD and flaunt the grunge aesthetic?

Wearing an oversized flannel will add to the casualness of your look, so try opting for an oversized option like the Pretty In Plaid Oversized Flannel Top, available at Fashion Nova for around $30. Made of 80% polyester and 20% cotton, this oversized flannel comes in different color options, including the green/combo style. Another grunge-esque garment to dress down your little black dress is the Long-Sleeve Plaid Flannel Boyfriend Shirt for Women, available at Old Navy for around $30. This plaid flannel is made entirely of cotton and has between four and five out of five stars. 

Or, if you really want to commit to looking grunge, try donning the Relaxed Fit Twill Shirt from the men's section at H&M over your LBD. Available for only around $10, this garment has between four and five stars and will help people of all genders exude an effortlessly cool vibe.

Have fun with tights and leggings

Not only can tights and leggings help you feel more comfortable on chilly or windy days, but they can also transform your look. Although some tights will make your dress fancier, other designs can make your outfit look more casual and quirky. For instance, the CozyWow Run Resistant 80D Soft Solid Color Semi Opaque Footed Tights come in a plethora of hues such as royal blue or yellow and are perfect for adding a fun pop of color to your little black dress. These tights are available on Amazon for prices starting at around $10 and have 4.6 stars with over 8,000 ratings.

Typically more casual than tights, leggings are also an excellent option for dressing down your little black dress. For example, the Basic High-Rise Leggings are available at Forever 21 for only $7 and have 4.2 stars. Made of 95% cotton and 5% spandex, these classic leggings will keep your legs warm while making your LBD appear more casual. Moreover, if you're going for that grunge look mentioned earlier, the Shredded Leggings are the perfect touch to finalize your LBD and flannel combo to nail that cool, casual aesthetic to perfection. These leggings are available at Hot Topic for around $16 and have a near-perfect rating with over 100 reviews.

Add a cardigan for some quirky fun

Cardigans are a fall fashion staple — not just because the one and only Taylor Swift wrote a song called "Cardigan" (via YouTube). Of course, these adorable garments are perfect for layering and keeping you warm when it's not quite cold enough for a coat yet, but you'd get chilly without an extra layer. You can also get super creative with wearing cardigans over little black dresses by choosing a cardigan that reflects your unique style while dressing down your LBD.

If you want some inspiration when shopping for new cardigans, try searching #cardigan on Instagram, where over 10 million posts pop up. For instance, an oversized cardigan with a quirky patchwork design is perfect for exuding a cozy yet trendy vibe. Meanwhile, cardigans with fruit-inspired graphics like cherries are super playful, casual, and cute. Moreover, cardigans featuring intentional holes are excellent for edgy, grunge-inspired looks, and you can never go wrong with a light, minimalistic cardigan. When shopping for cardigans, the options are endless, so have fun with them when styling your dress!

Rock a unique belt

A belt can add extra structure to your dress for a more flattering, unique look. And a convenient aspect of little black dresses is that many of them will look good with a wide variety of belts, so you'll have plenty of options.

If you want to add an intriguing, celestial touch to your LBD, you should look into the Sun & Moon Decor Chain Belt, available at Shein for only $8. This dreamy belt has nearly five out of five stars with more than 5,000 reviews. Or, if you want to add subtle yet romantic detail to your little black dress, you should consider the Heart-buckle Belt, which features two adorable overlapping hearts. This faux leather belt is available for around $10 and has 4.8 stars. Furthermore, if you're looking for an ultra-affordable statement belt, the Snap Button Wide Belt is available at Shein for only $3 and has almost five stars with more than 2,500 reviews.

So, are you ready to start casually styling your favorite little black dress?