Above images of 3.1 Phillip Lim, Chanel and Vera Wang.

Whatever you want to call it – shift, sheath, strapless, or one-shoulder – a little black dress is a must-have for the holiday season and beyond. By now everyone can emulate Audrey in her Givenchy, but for those who don’t always have breakfast at Tiffany’s (or anywhere near Fifth Avenue for that matter), here are some ways to reinvent the iconic

1. Glam it up with a cropped sequined bolero or a Le Smoking jacket like the one by Phillip Lim. For an extra-luxe look, wrap a fur stole over your shoulders as shown at Chanel. Slip into strappy sandals (with or without tights) and pile on the bling. Car and driver not included.

2. Let the accessories do the talking by loading up on statement necklaces à la Vera Wang, bracelets and earrings. Gloves in any length will add allure, as will a platform shoe in a bright colour. With the ability to dress it up or down, the LBD becomes a blank canvas that reflects both your personal style as well as the mood of the event.


Above images of Dolce & Gabbana, Vena Cava and Rag & Bone.

3. Get down to business by converting the LDB into a skirt suit. A tailored blazer (we love Dolce & Gabbana’s version for fall 2010) will get you through the day’s meetings until you can shrug it off for happy hour. Pair with pumps and a structured tote for the ultimate professional persona.

4. Stay casual and chic by layering a fine knit underneath. A cardigan, cable knit or boyfriend sweater would all work equally well in achieving effortless cool. For an added bonus to the I-just-rolled-out-of-bed-looking-like-this vibe, throw on a scarf with booties or flats, and cinch it all together with a belt.

5. Take a page from the boys with a menswear-inspired vest and jacket like the ones at Rag & Bone. Tuck in a crisp white shirt and steal your man’s watch. Although you can ditch the stilettos for brogues or loafers, make sure to keep that feminine touch with accessories.

SPLURGE: Top 10 little black dresses from the Fall 2010 runway
STEAL: Essential little black dress

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