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As we start venturing back out into the world and meeting up with friends again, I’ve been looking for functional and comfortable outfit options—ones that are easy and take minimal effort to put together.
Remember when I talked about jumpsuits for this purpose? Well, I’ve got a new favorite.
It’s the little black dress.
Versatile and ideal for any occasion, the little black dress works for a casual brunch, happy hour, or even an upscale event. By swapping out your shoes and accessories, the same dress can be worn for errands, work, or social gatherings. And who doesn’t love a multi-tasker?!
If you, like me, want to avoid putting in too much effort but want to look and feel confident, start your own little black dress collection. Here are some of my favorites from DTC brands.
The Maya Dress ($98) from Reformation is the ideal fall dress. It’s perfect for those warmer days, but you can also wear it in the colder months with tights, a leather trench, and your favorite pair of boots. Made from sustainable Eco Rib fabric (a medium weight, stretchy ribbed knit with a soft handfeel), the comfort factor here is major.
The dress comes in two more colors, too: emerald and cafe. If you, like me, love the mock neck look and want a couple of comfy options, this is the dress for you. Note: I did notice the dress seems to run a little short (which is great for me at 5”1!), but may not be ideal for taller folks. Consider a size up if you’re looking for added length.
For those days when the thought of putting an outfit together makes you want to crawl back into bed, reach for the Emmaline Mini Dress ($168) by Free People. I swear the drawstrings and cable-knit fabric trick your mind into thinking you’re getting away with wearing sweatpants.
This sweater dress is sweet and romantic with a cutout in the back for added flair. It also gives Stevie Nicks vibes, and I am here for it. This is a great option for colder weather, as this dress has some nice weight to it. Throw on a pair of tights and boots and you’re all set.
I’d say Sozy’s Isadora Dress fits into the dressier category, due in part to its length. But don’t be fooled: it’s still versatile (and only costs $72!). The extremely soft and stretchy fabric makes it form-fitting without feeling too constricting. My favorite feature is the fun little flare at the bottom, giving it a mermaid cut that’s ultra-flattering.
For a brighter option, the Isadora dress also comes in a Mustard Gold color, ideal for fall or spring.
What an absolute classic. The Sculpting Midi Dress from SHEER is exactly what I picture when someone says “little black dress.” With its three-layer fabric that acts as built-in shapewear, this dress is form-fitting and flattering without the usual tugging or discomfort that can come with standard shapewear you wear under your clothing.
This is an investment piece at $375, but one you won’t regret. If you’re in an office, throw on your favorite blazer or sweater for a work-friendly piece. Then by night, swap in your mules for strappy heels for a timeless look.
I love any dress that can be effortless, edgy, and comfortable all at once. LPA’s Savara Dress from Revolve does exactly that. Normally, I wouldn’t be drawn to a dress with a major side seam slit, but this dress won me over! The cut and the way the fabric falls is super flattering.
At $298 it’s on the pricier side, but it’s a piece you can wear for years without it going out of style. Add a pair of hoop earrings and your favorite sandals or strappy heels for a fun and sophisticated look.
Technically a slate black, Kada’s Infinity Tee mini-dress ($168) is the definition of style with an edgy twist. I can’t get enough of this silky-soft goodness...the sustainable Cupra fabric it’s made with is so dreamy! It cascades down the body in a way that flatters your figure while feeling amazing against your skin.
You’ll need a nude-toned underlayer for this dress if you don’t want things to show through the vented sides (I opted for a Calvin Klein slip), but that honestly makes this look that much more comfortable.
Want to look like you tried without actually trying hard? The Indy dress from Hello Molly might be your new dress BFF. Throw it on with boots and some gold layered necklaces and you’ll look like a million bucks.
It’s stretchy, has ruched detail down the middle, and at $67, it’s a steal.
No matter where you’re going or what you’re doing, you’ll never go wrong with a little black dress. Hopefully this sparked some inspiration for you as you think about your fall wardrobe!
Other DTC brands to consider for your LBD collection:
- Farm Rio: This mixed black print dress gives you a pop of color and fun. I love how the birds and stars give off a quirky feel while the black background tones down the boldness.
- BuddyLove: Hello, ruffles! This dress has a ruffled hem, flattering waistline, and long, flowy sleeves for some extra sweetness. It comes in 17 colors and patterns (my second favorite after black is java).
- Cuyana: Did someone say LBD? Great option if you’re looking for a simple, sustainably-made A-line dress.
- Superdown: This brand takes a unique spin on the little black dress and has so many solid options I can’t even decide on one to feature.
- Bec + Bridge: Looking for something form-fitting and on the shorter side? I love the high neckline on the Clover Mini Dress.