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In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, the BurdaStyle team decided to make little black dresses! An LBD is a wardrobe essential for any girl, and we put our own spin on each dress we made. Check out all our LBD variations and how we would style them for various occasions.


Jamie loved the sleeves on this Lace Sleeve Dress, Meg thought the Scuba Dress was super edgy, and Jillian liked the feminine silhouette of this Short Dress.

How does this LBD reflect you personal style?

More often than not I am dressed comfortably casual and my wardrobe consists mostly of cottons and wools. So, when given the task to make a little black dress I knew it was best to keep this in mind if I intended on wearing it often, which I did. I chose a linen blend and it feels as comfy as a nightgown! Too often I need to remind myself: comfortable does not have to equal baggy. I reminded myself of this tidbit when picking out my pattern.

How could you style your LBD for different occasions and where would you wear it?

This dress would be perfect for a low-key date night. I’d wear it with a pair of my favorite gold studs, a colorful bib necklace and ballet flats or Mary Janes. I’d pair this dress up with boots and a scarf for drinks out with the girls. I could also throw on my cropped blazer and wear this to the office with tights and a cute pair of feminine oxfords.

What are your ideal Valentine’s Day plans?

I have also always used Valentine’s Day as an excuse to treat myself to something that makes me feel fabulous: a facial, a manicure, a new tube of red lipstick, etc. Before any evening plans, I’d secure at least 30 minutes during the day to do just that, treat myself. My ideal Valentine evening would be for my boyfriend (conveniently a chef) to cook me dinner. Then we’d walk to a favorite restaurant, sit at the bar and split a piece of chocolate cake and a bottle of red wine.

Check out more photos of Jillian’s LBD.

How does this LBD reflect you personal style?

Every day I wear spandex…either leggings, a top, or even just a headband. So it was only natural to make my LBD in spandex! I think of my personal style as a bit edgy, and I think the cool curved style lines in this dress are totally me, and great for paneling spandex together. I chose a leather-look spandex and then complemented it with a sheer black mesh spandex with sparkle polka dots. The polka dots add a quirky detail that reflects my personality.

How could you style your LBD for different occasions and where would you wear it?

I think a LBD is so versatile. I would totally wear this dress out in the afternoon for coffee with friends. I’d style it with a jacket or blazer, wicked cool flats, and some edgy jewelry. Then for a dinner date I would rock some killer shoes, hold a bright clutch (got to have some color), and adorn myself with jewelry that has personality.

What are your ideal Valentine’s Day plans?

My ideal Valentine’s Day plans and actual plans are very different (laughs). Ideally, Ryan Gosling would pick me up in a horse-drawn carriage and present me with a large bouquet of flowers, etc. As much as I would love that, I would be just as happy dressing up, having a casual dinner at my favorite restaurant, and finishing the night on the dance floor!

Check out more photos of Meg’s LBD.

How does this LBD reflect you personal style?

I like clean lines, high quality fabric, texture, and quality craftsmanship. I’m a pragmatist, and it’s definitely reflected in my wardrobe! I gravitate toward classic feminine silhouettes that are timeless and styles that are functional in a multitude of settings. An LBD may be monochromatic, but I found this to be the perfect opportunity to mix textures, so I chose an Italian basketweave wool and guipure lace for my scalloped edge sleeves.

How could you style your LBD for different occasions and where would you wear it?

For the regular work week, I’d pair this dress with a stylish, but practical pair of shoes like these Rachel Comey ankle boots and accent color tights to add a pop of fun and less severity to an all-black dress. I’d wear a functional utility bag similar to this durable Filson wool tote to take me from Point A to Point B to Point C, etc. and a chic pair of round tortoise sunglasses like this Celine model in the warmer months. On a typical day, I’m usually running around the Garment District, meeting a client, or heading off to teach sewing classes after the work day from BurdaStyle, so I always need to be wired in. I didn’t want to get a plain black case for my iPhone, so I opted for this whimsical, cheerful, animal-inspired silicone penguin case.

When I’m out on the town for a photo gallery or art installation opening, I still like to be comfortable and not feel weighed down by impractical shoes or busy baubles. In the winter months, I’d definitely still throw on a pair of opaque black tights and wear a closed-toe platform heel like these Robert Clergerie suede pumps with an ankle strap along with a utilitarian attaché leather bag, similar to this Loeffler Randall satchel with optional shoulder straps. I’m a minimalist when it comes to makeup and jewelry, but I do love matte, arty statement jewelry such as this geometric Marni necklace with a satin ribbon tie.

What are your ideal Valentine’s Day plans?

My ideal Valentine’s Day would be spent with my significant other enjoying a light multi-course dinner, such as a kaiseki, at one of my favorite Japanese restaurants. I love being able to try small dishes of things I would never be able to make at home! This, of course, would have to be followed by a dessert trip to satisfy my sweet tooth!

Check out more photos of Jamie’s LBD.

How would you style your LBD?

7 Comments

  • 121bcd6a71a_avatar_large

    Feb 19, 2013, 10.05 PMby harrietbazley

    Every so often, I get reminded that I’m weird for never having worn (let alone sewn) a Little Black Dress in my entire life….

  • Img_0258_large

    Feb 15, 2013, 06.54 AMby buddingnaturalist

    What sort of a bra does one wear under the dress Meg made?

    2 Replies
    • New_avatar_large

      Feb 15, 2013, 01.25 PMby MegH

      I actually lined the mesh side panels with nude spandex…so I can wear any bra I want without it showing through!

    • Img_0258_large

      Feb 15, 2013, 09.04 PMby buddingnaturalist

      Nicely done. Thanks for the replies, ladies.

  • Img_2374_-_copy_-_copy_large

    Feb 14, 2013, 02.49 PMby Linda74Sews

    What a fun article. Everyone needs a LBD from time to time. Love all three of the styles you picked and your choices of fabrics and style details. Bravo! Hope you girls have someplace special to wear them tonight!

  • Img_0021_large

    Feb 14, 2013, 02.42 AMby jalcindor

    Lovely dresses! I think jillian has such similar tastes to me, I love her styling

    • This is a question
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