Toronto-based fashion stylist Amy Lu, who has worked for major fashion glossies like Interview, People and Vanity Fair, shares her stylish suggestions on how to re-work your classic LBD into something new.

Blank canvas
The perfect LBD has to be versatile enough so it can be styled in different ways, but classic enough that you can wear it time and again so no one will say: “She’s wearing that dress again?”

* Avoid overt-detailing (ie: sequins, grommets) or dresses that are too on-trend (ie: exaggerated shoulders, bubble-hems). Look for subtle details like rouching or pleats. It will make your classic LBD interesting, not boring.

Find your fit
Never compromise on fit or quality. Investing in basics is the number one rule of style. Also, think about the fabric. Satin may be a great option for evening, but it’s more challenging to carry that look in daywear. Similarly, cotton, although comfortable, is too casual to wear to a number of different engagements. Look for an LBD in stretch jersey or a light wool blend.

Accessorize less

This season is all about big and bold accessories, so it is a perfect time to play dress-up… within reason. Too much of a good thing can be disastrous. Adorn your black number with a rhinestone-incrusted bib necklace; layer your arm with bangles, or an eye-popping cocktail ring. Just don’t wear all of them together! The beauty of a black dress lies in its sophistication: No need to over-complicate the silhouette.

Mix ‘n match
Before you pull out the gold card, raid your closet first and experiment. Stay classic with strands of pearls and a ruby-red lip or go avant-garde and pair your dress with textured tights and an oversized belt cinched tightly on the waist. Layer with cardigans, boyfriend blazers, a leather bomber, a fur vest or a pair of studded stilettos. Forget the rules, and play around with your wardrobe.

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