If you need a bit of a palatte cleanser after all those crazy floral, geometric, and painterly prints, I have just the thing: the Classic Black Dress. I'm not really talking about the Little Black Dress, the one you wear on first dates and clubs with $18 cocktails. I'm thinking more like the dress you wear when you want to look chic, poised, and pulled together-- not just sexy.
I'm completely enamored of this Ports 1961 Stretch Sheath Dress, $381.50. It's the sort of dress that you'll wear again and again, for decades and maybe forever. It's the sort of dress you love so much, and feel so confident in, that you politely request to be buried in it. The little cap sleeves, knee-length skirt, and demure neckline make it appropriate for more formal occasions, but there's also nothing prudish or cold about this dress. The girlish bow will emphasis, or create, a tiny waist, and add a flirty, youthful touch. This is such a ladylike dress... and did I mention that it's 50% off?
If you're not ready for Ports 1961, try Bailey 44. This Clipper Dress, $78, is a simple shift dress with some sporty details-- like if Twiggy spent summers playing tennis in Maine. The little clips under the bust are subtle but very chic, and help avoid the straight-up-and-down look that sometimes comes with wearing shift dresses. I also like the sophisticated boatneck top-- pair it with a loose chignon and some dangly earrings, and you'll be the personification of effortless grace.
This Loeffler Randall Double Stud Belt Dress, $223, has a definite edge, perfect for the girl who can go straight from a four course dinner to a dive bar. The shape brings to mind a basic t-shirt dress, but the black wool gives it an upscale twist. The double belt is fierce but not in-your-face, and takes this dress from "nice, but forgettable" to "hotter than Hades."
One of the best things about a great black dress is how instantly it conjures up Old Hollywood glamour. It'd be impossible to wear this Modcloth Wishing on a Star Dress, $157.99, and not feel like Grace Kelly reincarnated. That butter-colored sash is the perfect compliment to the slightly shiny black fabric, and the faux-knot at the hip is a nice touch. This dress is so lovely that you might only be able to wear it once, because everyone will instantly remember the last time they gushed all over your timeless style.
This dress is so on sale it's sick: originally $625, and now $187.50! You can't afford not to buy the Barron Duquette Beatrice Dress! You will never go wrong with a Grecian-inspired dress, because a trend that predates modern civilization will always come back into style. 100% silk, this dress has some incredible draping on the top and pleating on the skirt, with a slightly-contrasting band at the waist. I love how the back is draped too, but just a few inches lower than the front: so sexy. The little subtitle Shopbop gave this dress is, "Yes, we'd love to dance," which I think sums it up nicely.