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You’ve got a secret weapon in your closet already, but you’re not making the most of it: the little black dress. It may be a fashion essential, but it can be totally upgraded depending on how you style it. We got some pointers from Caroline Eselin-Schaefer (who's garnered an awesome reputation as the costume designer for Starz drama The Girlfriend Experience) on how to rock the LBD to be elegant, statement-making and of course, uber-sexy.

LBD OfftheShoulder 728x921

Tailoring, tailoring and maybe more tailoring

Don’t just think hemming (though when you do, just above the knee is the most elegant length). Also consider bringing up the armholes for a sleeker look, scooping out the top to elongate your neck and even consider nipping in a waistline or back panel to really hug your figure.

Bardot ($120)

LBD Necklace Third 728x921

Keep jewelry to a minimum

You want people to notice your dress, not a bunch of bling. Simple stud earrings or a simple diamond is all you want to wear.

Dana Rebecca Designs ($585)

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Silky = Sexy

The demure flutter of lightweight fabric on skin can be way more alluring--and is for sure more elegant--than all the skin-revealing cut-outs in Vegas. Wear your shirtwaist dress daringly unbuttoned, and be sure to match with a killer pair of heels.

Babaton ($165)

LBD White 728x921

Try the LWD (Little White Dress)

Cream and white are the new black, when it comes to fashiony cocktail style. Just be sure the dress you choose is made of extra-lovely fabric, has a unique design (like this back-detailed shift) and leans toward the dressy end of the spectrum--we’re not talking sundresses here. 

Maje ($410)

LBD OneShoulder 728x921

Play Up Unique Designs

Since there’s not a lot of color or pattern to play with, one way to get noticed in a sea of other LBDs is with a creatively designed body. An asymmetric neckline or single-sleeve bodice are ways to stand out--and show off a great tan while you are at it.

Helmut Lang ($425) 

RELATED: The Secrets to Wearing High-Waisted Pants and Looking Amazing

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