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How to find the perfect LBD for your body type

Leda & St. Jacques Author: Elle Canada Credits: Leda & St. Jacques

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How to find the perfect LBD for your body type

The LBD is a classic for a reason—Audrey Hepburn, Coco Chanel and Princess Diana all rocked the little black dress in their respective decades, and it remains the world's chicest fashion staple. Rita Liefhebber, stylist at Toronto’s Page One Management, has the ultimate tips to find the perfect little black dress for your body type this fall.

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Style tip #1: LBDs for a curvy body type
Attention all curvy girls—head-to-toe black is universally slimming. “A dress with a pencil skirt and snug bodice is ideal for a curvy body type,” says Liefhebber. Choose a body-hugging silhouette, which helps to extend your proportions and make you appear smaller.

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Style tip #2: LBDs for a tall body type
If you're tall enough to be a runway model, the right LBD does exist for your shape. “For a tall body, avoid anything too short,” suggests Liefhebber. “I love the mid-calf length we’ve seen on the catwalks lately.” A midi dress—with off-the-shoulder straps—demonstrates your unique height, while also looking ladylike and totally on trend.

Style tip #3: LBDs for an athletic body type

Quick tip for athletic girls: you can fake a feminine figure. “If you don’t have a waist, try a LBD that has a belt to give the illusion of curves,” says Liefhebber. The more you nip in a rectangular torso and add ladylike touches—like a peplum—the softer your figure will look. Disguise broad shoulders by wearing a LBD with ruffles, jewels or a single, angled strap at the neck.

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Style tip #4: LBDs for a petite body type
“For petite figures, keep the length of your LBD short and tailored (like a mini) so that you don’t get lost in the dress,” advises Liefhebber. Avoid long LBDs or pieces that fit so loosely the dress appears to be wearing you, not the other way around.

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Style tip #5: LBDs for an hourglass body type

If you have an hourglass body type like Beyoncé or Jennifer Lopez, consider yourself lucky. You can wear almost any LBD, but, to play up your figure, look for fitted pieces that show off your enviable figure. Try to enhance your key assets (shoulders, waist and legs) with a body-con dress with a fitted waist and a fun accent such as fringe, pleats or a sexy side slit.

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The 10 most iconic LBDs of all time

Iconic LBD #10: Marilyn Monroe

When the film noir The Asphalt Jungle was released in 1950, Marilyn Monroe was an unknown actress. Although she had a minor role in the movie as a mistress, Monroe’s sexy LBD catapulted the blond bombshell (and the off-the-shoulder dress) to instant fame. READ MORE: The ultimate investment fashion guide

By: Sarah Thompson Source: Getty Credits: ELLE Canada

The 10 most iconic LBDs of all time

Iconic LBD #9: Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron's 2014 Oscars gown is the most recent addition to our iconic LBDs list for one reason: the sheer illusion straps that had us leaning closer to the television screen for a closer look at the elegant Christian Dior couture creation. READ MORE: 10 new fashion essentials

By: Sarah Thompson Source: Getty Credits: ELLE Canada

The 10 most iconic LBDs of all time

Iconic LBD #8: Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts won two things on the night of the 2001 Oscars. First, a gold Best Actress statuette for her leading role in Erin Brockovich. And second, the win for best vintage LBD to ever grace the red carpet—a black column gown with white piping from the Valentino archives. READ MORE: How to take care of your designer handbag

By: Sarah Thompson Source: Getty Credits: ELLE Canada

The 10 most iconic LBDs of all time

Iconic LBD #7: Kate Moss

Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs, Prada…what would a list of iconic dresses be without It girl Kate Moss and her endless list of designer LBDs? Spotted here on the red carpet at a 2011 Rimmel event, Moss’ Saint Laurent LBD had just the right amount of glamour—and sex appeal—for the supe's dress to reign supreme in our minds forever. READ MORE: Editors' fall upgrades

By: Sarah Thompson Source: Getty Credits: ELLE Canada

The 10 most iconic LBDs of all time

Iconic LBD #6: Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie's Atelier Versace LBD (a.k.a "the leg dress") from the 2012 Oscars was an overnight social media sensation. From countless animations to its own Twitter account with over 15,000 followers, the asymmetrical black velvet dress is, to date, one of fashion's most polarizing red carpet moments. READ MORE: Angelina Jolie's best red carpet looks

By: Sarah Thompson Source: Getty Credits: ELLE Canada

The 10 most iconic LBDs of all time

Iconic LBD #5: Rita Hayworth

Let's put it this way: Rita Hayworth's iconic LBD from the 1946 film Gilda (in which she does a sensual song and dance) has its own Wikipedia page. This Jean Louis black satin sheath gown is credited with defining the image of the femme fatale and lives on as one of the most recognizable fashion moments in cinema history. READ MORE: How to buy a coat

By: Sarah Thompson Source: Getty Credits: ELLE Canada

The 10 most iconic LBDs of all time

Iconic LBD #4: Grace Kelly

Perhaps the only time the terms fashion icon and Alfred Hitchcock can be used in the same sentence, Grace Kelly's classic LBD made the fashion record books in 1954’s Rear Window. The pleated silk organza dress with sheer sleeves (by costume designer Edith Head) symbolized the dark undertones in the film to perfection. READ MORE: 20 best-dressed women of all time

By: Sarah Thompson Source: Getty Credits: ELLE Canada

The 10 most iconic LBDs of all time

Iconic LBD #3: Princess Diana

A LBD is your go-to dress after a break-up, right? You can thank Princess Diana for the trend. Diana confidently wore a Christina Stambolian LBD to a Vanity Fair party on the same night Prince Charles publicly announced his infidelity to Diana in 1994. (The number was promptly crowned the original "revenge dress" soon after.) READ MORE: How to buy boots you'll love

By: Sarah Thompson Source: Getty Credits: ELLE Canada

The 10 most iconic LBDs of all time

Iconic LBD #2: Elizabeth Hurley

After the 1994 premiere of Four Weddings and a Funeral, Elizabeth Hurley's safety pin Versace LBD was the topic of water cooler conversation for days, earning it the infamous title "THAT dress." Talk about a showstopper. READ MORE: 10 dresses every woman should own

By: Sarah Thompson Source: Getty Credits: ELLE Canada

The 10 most iconic LBDs of all time

Iconic LBD #1: Audrey Hepburn

Of course, right? The most iconic LBD of all time: the Givenchy gown worn by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's circa 1961. When the film opened with Holly Golightly in that gorgeous LBD, it was all we could do to keep ourselves from playing our VHS tapes on repeat. FYI: Not only is this the most recognizable LBD of the 20th century, it’s also one of the most iconic fashion pieces to ever exist, period. READ MORE: 10 most iconic fashion pieces of all time

By: Sarah Thompson Source: Getty Credits: ELLE Canada

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How to find the perfect LBD for your body type