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The little black dress

Updated on May 20, 2015
Coco Chanel - the little black dress
Coco Chanel - the little black dress | Source

How do you choose accessories for the little black dress?

It was Coco Chanel who said that every woman should have a little black dress in her clothes collection Ever since, women have found this to be sound advice. It's so very true.

A simple black dress is suitable for the working day and just as likely to look good at a party or sophisticated dinner. It can be dressed up to look look a million dollars or dressed down to achieve a casual look.

Coco Chanel also advised that if a woman can only afford to buy one color, that color should be black. Black goes with everything and it can be great fun experimenting and seeing just how many different looks you can achieve for your little black dress.

I'm sure though that Coco - Gabrielle was her real name, by the way - would recommend restraint; simple gold or silver jewelry and black shoes are always a good idea but that doesn't mean that you can't add color and texture with accessories.


Image from Wikipedia Commons.

Accessories

  • Shawls and scarves
  • Belts
  • Earrings, bracelets, necklaces and rings
  • Gloves
  • Hair accessories
  • Brooches - very retro!
  • Glasses and sunglasses
  • Bags and clutches

Below we have selected some of our favourite colour combinations shown on moodboards. We have also created swatches of colour to show you the shades on which we based our choices.

These were created with the help of Caroline from London; an editor with a top fashion magazine. She till uses the method we were taught when we were at college together.

We select abase image or images first. This could be a painting, a texture, a photograph - anything that has the colour we're aiming to achieve.

The next step is to extract colours from them and make selections of accessories using those colours. Then, these selections are refined.

In addition to the colour hues, we have included one accent colour that we suggest can be used very sparingly in order to add a tiny touch of pizazz,

Find your own little black dress

There is a fabulous selection at Amazon. Find the perfect dress for you by using the link below.


Search for black dresses

Color combinations

First, choose your base colour or colours. In this first example, we have selected a delicious burnt orange.

Orange

Orange can be dramatic a or more subtle and is a wonderful color to wear during the fall by choosing colors that are reminiscent of autumn leaves.

Our selection of orange accessories.
Our selection of orange accessories. | Source
Colour swatches
Colour swatches | Source

Here are the colour swatches. We have selected a delicate mauve as the accent colour.

Here we have chosen:

  • A long, draped cardigan. We love this item because it can be worn loose or cinched with a wide belt. It's casual enough for daywear but looks elegant in the evenings too.
  • A roomy bag that is perfect for the office or for daily chores.
  • The most beautiful scarf that can be worn on so many different ways.
  • Bright and inexpensive bracelets to add a sparkle at the wrists.
  • Long, luxurious earrings.

All items are available from Amazon
All items are available from Amazon | Source
All items available at Amazon
All items available at Amazon | Source

Our colour swatches are above. We decided on a pale gold colour as an accent.

Black and beige

This colour palette was inspired by a piece of marble - you can see it on the moodboard above on the right hand side. We chose:

  • A spacious black and beige striped bag
  • A stylish houndstooth check scarf
  • Beautiful bangles that perfectly match our colour scheme.
  • An elegant cream, white and gold watch.
  • Stylish beige gloves with houndstooth trim.
  • A delicate dark grey, beige and gold necklace.

Items available from Amazon
Items available from Amazon | Source
Source

The inspiration for this colour scheme can be seen in the background of the collage and included a photograph of slatted wood and a beautiful piece of bark. We selected two accent colours this time - a pale peach and a lemon yellow.

Purple

Purple is an incredibly rich and luxurious color. Accessorizing with purple will always achieve a look that is striking but sophisticated. Try a purple belt, shawl and a couple of pieces of stylish jewelry. We chose:

  • A chevron patterned scarf
  • A stunning purple bag.
  • Sparkling bracelets
  • An antique-look brooch
  • A leather belt.


All accessories available at Amazon
All accessories available at Amazon | Source
Source

This time, we chose a rosy orange as our accent colour.

Green

There are so many shades of green but for a very modern look, mix and match - just as nature does. Accessories for your little black dress need not be expensive but can transform a simple outfit easily, quickly and without a large financial outlay. Our selections:

  • A wonderful khaki green jacket
  • A stylish cloche
  • An emerald clutch
  • The most adaptable scarf
  • A delicate necklace

All items available at Amazon
All items available at Amazon | Source
Source

We had two inspirational pieces on our moodboard - wide brushstrokes in watercolour and a photograph of water tumbling over rocks.These led us to a leopard print scheme. A sunflower yellow is our accent shade.

Leopard

Wow, black and leopard skin prints make a wonderful combination. It's a super-fashionable combo but is also rather traditional and timeless. Black with leopard accessories has been a favored look since it was made popular by the rather scandalous Duchess of Windsor back in the 1930s. These accessories will never date.

We chose:

  • A lovely chiffon scarf
  • A roomy bag
  • Deliciously decadent leopard print shoes
  • Two sets of earrings - we couldn't decide.
  • A stunning black and gold watch

Go to Amazon to see more

Accessories are the fashion stylist's secret. Plain outfits can be completely transformed by the use of these and they are an inexpensive way to change your look to the absolutely latest styles without having to spend much money.

Choose your main garments - a dress, jacket, pants, skirts, sweaters - in solid colours and in styles that are timeless and won't date. This way, your accessories will match your entire wardrobe and you'll have hundreds of fabulous outfits available to you by mixing and matching.

© 2013 Jackie Jackson

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    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @CatherineGiordano - thank you for the vote up and your kind words!

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Charmcrazey - thank you so much! The eye candy was such fun to do :)

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 

      3 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Beautiful. I voted up and Beautiful. You collections of accessories are great.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @LindaSmith1 -you're like me - I've had people look in my closet and laugh because everything hanging there is black :)

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Arachnea - thank you so much! It was great fun to do and selecting the accessories was so difficult because there are so many fabulous items available. Fun though.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 

      3 years ago from Orlando Florida

      This is just beautiful I loved your collages of accessories. Voted up and Beautiful.

    • Charmcrazey profile image

      Wanda Fitzgerald 

      3 years ago from Central Florida

      Okay I admit I know NOTHING about fashion, but I love love love your collages and color samples in this article. Bravo for the eye candy.

    • LindaSmith1 profile image

      LindaSmith1 

      3 years ago from USA

      When I was a teen, every pair of slacks I had was black which drove everybody crazy. Hey, I always had a top in the closet that matched.

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 

      3 years ago from Texas USA

      This is very nicely done. Great hub. Sharing and thumbing up. I'm not much of a fashion plate. In fact, I think my colleagues should feel honored that I deign to throw something on other than my jamas for work. What got my attention was the title. Then I saw how marvelously you used graphic space. For me this is a learn-how-to-do-a-great-hub item. Great fashion suggestions too.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @DecoratingMom411: Coco was right - it certainly is an essential. If you have a pair of black pants and a black top or two, then you get the same effect.

    • profile image

      DecoratingMom411 

      5 years ago

      A little black dress is a fashion must have.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Phillyfreeze: Well said! Ms Chanel was - and is - a fashion icon. Than you for visiting and for your comment!

    • Phillyfreeze profile image

      Ronald Tucker 

      5 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      The LBD has been a functional part of most womens wardrobe for over 75 years thanks to the visionary and extraordinary talents of Coco Chanel. The Little Black Dress can make the wearer look sexy, elegant, and sophisticated in one swell swoop!

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