How to Wear the LBD When Black Isn’t Your Best Colour


How to wear an LBD when black isn't flattering

What about ‘the little black dress’? I am a ‘summer’ (cool, soft and light colouring) and therefore black is not a good colour for me, yet I would love to wear a little black dress on special occasions. Would I be able to get away with that?

Wear it at night

When you turn out the lights, you can’t see colours in the same way.  The light at night is not as bright, and there is already so much shadow around, black isn’t as harsh on skin.

Fabric Choice

Look for a black dress  in a fabric that make the black less black.  Silk will generally make a colour less intense, versus satin.  Mesh, lace or chiffon are a bit see-through and therefore your skin will slightly alter the affect of the black and soften it down.

Consider the Necklinehow to wear a lbd

A lower neckline will cast less shadow on your face as compared to a high neckline.  Cool dark shadows will increase the appearance of lines, wrinkles and double chins.

Up the Makeup

Adding a bit more foundation and a stronger lip colour can help to compensate for an unflattering colour.

How to Wear an Unflattering Colour

How to Work that Little Black Dress

Working with Your Existing Wardrobe: The Black Dilemma


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  • Those are very good suggestions. I am a Winter so I don’t have those issues with black but there are colors I like that are not great on me, e.g. greys. I usually find a shade of red in a scarf, blouse or large necklace to add color to my face. Otherwise, I look washed out.

  • These suggestions sound good for any color I might like to wear that doesn’t work for me. I like the suggestion of a low neckline — keeping the color as far away from my face as possible? 🙂

    That said … honestly, I think black is SO overrated! My eyes glaze over when I see the LBD section in online stores. I’ve got a little white ivory dress, myself. The only problem is that black is so popular there are a lot of great little dresses that are ONLY available in black. 🙁

  • Why does the LBD have to be black? That’s kind of an artificial “rule” anyway. Why not a deep aubergine or navy?

    This post has thrown me for a loop. Are our ideal colors not ideal at night? If black trousers can throw off an outfit (as you mention in a previous post), wouldn’t a LBD for soft summers (like me) be wrong, no matter what?

    • RGRC – I think you’ve missed the point of this post. I am always recommending people wear the colours that suit them bets, but I did get a question asking how to wear the LBD when it’s not a great colour – so these are my tips. Soft summers will look heaps better in so many other colours than black (as will the majority of the population) but some people just want to wear it.

  • Your a lifesaver. I am going to a wedding this summer and I don’t want to buy a dress for one occasion when I have already in my closet 3 black dresses that would be suitable. The problem is that black is not my color. I bought them before I realized that black doesn’t work on me. I am a fall/spring low medium contrast person. I do have gray frosted drk brown hair since I went natural. I think the gray hair will make the black work better now. I did ask the bride if it was okay to wear black to her wedding and she thought it just fine.

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