Little Black Cocktail Dress

Browse black evening dress styles.

Wearing a little black cocktail dress can be the perfect outfit for your next party.

The Perfect Little Black Cocktail Dress

There's no doubt that a little black cocktail dress will fit in, no matter what the occasion happens to be. It's almost impossible for these dresses to look gauche or inappropriate. Even so, considering the following factors before you purchase can help you look even more spectacular:

  • The Wrap Look: A wrap style cocktail dress usually creates a deep v-neckline and couples it with a cinched waist.
  • Add Ruffles: Black can sometimes appear a bit boring, but a feminine dash of ruffles can help to keep the look fresh. The key is not to go overboard; only one section of the dress should contain ruffles, be it the hem or the neckline; not both.
  • Strapless: For a real va-va-voom effect, consider choosing a strapless ensemble. This look is particularly flattering on most women, and it works with both long and short hemlines.
  • A Bare Shoulder: Asymmetrical dress, or a one-shoulder dress, provides instant chic that is inherently flattering, no matter your current size. The look also works very well on petite figures.
  • Belt It: Dresses with cinched waists, via a matching belt, usually create the much sought-after hourglass figure.
  • Tiered Dresses: Tiered dresses were very popular during the 1960s and they feature layers of fabric that follow a tier-like pattern (similar to a wedding cake). This look isn't for everyone, especially those that may be a little heavier on the bottom, but if you are super fit, this may be the perfect look that shakes things up a bit.
  • Sparkles and Sequins: Sparkles and sequins usually depend on the wearer's preference; some women love them, others loathe them. If this particular look works for you, then by all means wear it.
  • Slim Fit with a Sweetheart Neckline: These dresses are great, especially for anyone who likes to wear long sleeves, but doesn't want to look dowdy. The body-hugging nature of this dress keeps the sleeves in balance, while the sweetheart neckline adds elegance.
  • Sheer: Obviously, with this one, you'll want a sheer that's appropriate for the occasion. Luckily, there are several black cocktail dresses that accomplish this feat. The very best are those that offer a sheer neckline and sleeves, but the rest of the dress is opaque.
  • Backless or a Deep Back: Backless black dresses, like the wrap look, are some of the most flattering on the fashion market. That's because the front of the dress is usually high necked and very conservative, while the back is deep, shockingly seductive, and unexpected. If you have a stellar back, this is a great dress to show it off in.

The Fabric's Finish

Last but not least, consider the fabric's finish. By this we mean, does the dress have a matte or jersey finish? Or is it shiny and silky, like that of satin? This is important because some women look better in one or the other, not both.

Why is that? Well, satin tends to have an "expansive" quality to it, while jersey and matte finishes tend to "contract" the figure. Lesson here? If you'd like to look slimmer, opt for a matte finish, and if you'd like to look a little more substantial, go for the satin-like finish.

Where to Shop

One of the best places to shop for the perfect little black cocktail dress is at Nordstrom. That's because season after season, Nordstrom offers the very best of the latest fashions. Shop this site because here, you'll be able to find a great backless dress by St. John, a Bailey asymmetrical dress that is to die for, and an Anne Klein "Illusion" dress that shows the very best of what sheer has to offer.

Frederick's of Hollywood is a name we normally associate with lingerie, but in recent years, this venerable undergarment institution has successfully elbowed its way into the women's fashion dress market. Several dresses offered at this site, including a stretch satin dress, are more than cocktail-party appropriate. Additionally, the prices are much lower here than at Nordstrom.

Lastly, eDress Me is another online site one can turn to. Granted, the dresses here are a bit more seductive and sexy, but several of them are perfectly appropriate, for example the Stretch Lace Cocktail Dresses by Nicole Miller. Nicole Miller is a well known name in the fashion industry and her creations are usually quite stunning.

The Perfect Cocktail Dress

When it comes to finding that perfect little black cocktail dress there are numerous styles to choose from, so pick one that best suits your personality. Don't forget to wear complementary shoes and jewelry, and to smile often; you'll look great.

Little Black Cocktail Dress