8 Ways to Wear an LBD in 2020 (and One Style You Might Want to Retire)

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If you, like me, grew up reading fashion magazines, then the versatility of a little black dress was hammered into your head right alongside the importance of using sunscreen and avoiding carbs at all costs (the latter of which you should not do). And, as a result, you probably also have more black minidresses stuffed into your closet than you know what to do with. Rather than pushing them behind all those floral frocks and nude jumpsuits, take those LBDs and modernize them for 2020. We’ll show you how with eight easy-to-replicate outfits…plus one you might want to reconsider.  

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1. Do: Pair It With A Leather Jacket And Sneakers

As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And as Coterie member Coco Bassey shows us, throwing a leather jacket over an easy LBD and lacing up some classic sneaks is a classic outfit recipe that will never go stale.

Get the look: Madewell leather jacket ($498); Elizabeth and James dress ($60); Converse sneakers ($55)

howt wear lbd brown leather jacket
Shannon Finney/Contributor/Getty Images

2. Do: Lbd + Brown Leather Jacket

It’s 2020, and for some reason we’re finally realizing that brown actually looks really good next to black. Sure, it’s a color combination your mother told you never to wear, but we say it’s time to rebel against her rules. (Still love you, Ma!)

Get the look: Kaleos glasses ($230); Billie the Label dress ($128); Pinko leather jacket ($470; $220); Berkshire tights ($12); Echo scarf ($65); Everlane booties ($155)

how to wear lbd combat boots
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3. Do: Rock A Girlie Silhouette With Combat Boots

One of winter’s biggest shoe trends, combat boots are continuing their reign this spring. So lace up your Stuart Weitzmans or Dr. Martens and pair them with...your frilliest, girliest dress for a look that hearkens back to your ’90s days. Go on, stomp your way through spring with a little angst.

Get the look: Milk It dress ($72); Jeffrey Campbell boots ($165)

how to wear lbd trench coat
Edward Berthelot/Contributor/Getty Images

4. Do: A Fancy Dress + A Trench

Think you have to reserve tulle for eveningwear? Think again. Simply tone down the ballroom vibes of your LBD with a daytime-ready trench. Look at you, Miss Effortless.

Get the look: Le Specs sunglasses ($58); Avec Les Filles trench ($179); Bronx and Banco dress ($690; $352); 27 Edit heels ($125)

how to wear lbd turtleneck
Edward Berthelot/Contributor/Getty Images

5. Do: Wear One Over A Turtleneck

Not only is this a warm option (uh, duh), it’s also a great way to reinvent a dress you might think of as a standalone piece.

Get the look: UO jacket ($89; $39) Pringle of Scotland x H&M turtleneck ($25); Calvin Klein dress ($90; $50); Gelareh Mizrahi bag ($560); Zara boots ($129; $70)

how to wear lbd cute blouse
Isa Foltin/Contributor/Getty Images

6. Do: Throw A Cute Blouse On Top

Not really feeling your LBD’s plunging neckline? Throw a button-down over it, cinch the whole thing with a belt (at your natural waist), reach for a bright bag and you’re good to go.

Get the look: Who What Wear shirt ($32; $21); Universal Standard dress ($140); Halogen belt ($39); Gucci bag ($1,450)

how to wear lbd white blazer
Christian Vierig/Contributor/Getty Images

7. Do: Add A White Blazer

You can’t go wrong with black and white. Take an LBD of any style (yes, even one lined with feathers) and throw on your lightest blazer. Voilà, your striking outfit is complete.

Get the look: Pritties Accessories headband ($5); Likely dress ($298; $178); Iris & Ink blazer ($200); Rylan mini bag ($555); Ann Taylor heels ($80; $40)

how to wear lbd leather

8. Do: Consider Leather

Ready for a night out on the town? Or, you know, a meeting with your investors? It’s time to flip the script on the little leather black dress. Avoid any dominatrix vibes by opting for a demure neckline and keeping the straps or hardware to a minimum.

Get the look: & Other Stories dress ($349); Apparis trench ($285); Tory Burch bag ($498); Kensie boots ($179; $107)

how to wear lbd knee high boots
Christian Vierig/Contributor/Getty Images

9. Time To Retire: Minidress + Knee-high Boots

We still love you OTK boots, but no one actually wants to put the spotlight on their upper thighs. For a modern take on the black mini, pair it with clunky loafers or even sneakers. And please, please, leave the cape at home.

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Fashion Editor

From 2019-2021 Dena Silver held the role of Fashion Editor covering product recommendations, trends, and what you should be shopping this season.