Choose the Best Little Black Dress for Your Body Type
Fabric A great LBD is a versatile, long lasting investment so choose the most timeless and luxurious fabrics like wool, silk, linen, or cashmere. Knits and fabrics containing Lycra or spandex won't work for nearly as many occasions and won't last as long.
Hemline The most enduring and flattering hemlines fall right above or right below the knee. Avoid trendy lengths that are very long or very short.
Fit A good rule of thumb when choosing a dress is to follow the 3:1 rule: go 3 parts covered to 1 part revealed (i.e. if you choose a plunging neckline forgo a sky-high slit in the skirt). Finding the right fit is the most challenging part of shopping for a little black dress, but get it right and you'll have a 'best friend' you can dress up or down for any occasion for years to come. Consider the following tips for flattering different bodies.
A large chest will look best in a square neckline, v-neck, or wrap style. Avoid puffy sleeves or other styles that add volume (or you could look top heavy).
A small chest usually does well in most styles, although if you're looking to balance out a larger bottom half you can add volume by choosing a top that's structured with piping or pleating, has embroidery or embellishments that draw the eye, or features a blouson or otherwise voluminous shape.
Wide shoulders can be minimized with an asymmetrical neckline, like a one-shoulder style. Dresses with a full top and fitted bottom will accentuate the shoulders and should be avoided.
A thick waist can be hidden by simply moving the waistline up (empire), down (drop-waist), or eliminating it altogether (shift).
Bottom heavy figures are flattered in skirts that have a defined waist and skim loosely over the hips, especially when paired with a top that accentuates the bustline.
Unattractive arms can be hidden with either long or 3/4 length sleeves, while eyes are drawn elsewhere via sexy cutouts or a daring slit in the skirt.