Long Black Dress Basics
It is hot, hot, hot here in Georgia today – Beautiful sunshine and humid with a projected high of 94 degrees! The first official day of Summer is tomorrow, so it is right on time. We do not live near a beach, but memories of my childhood and home town of Naples, Florida always bubble up stronger this time of year. And, memories of the hottest vacation we have ever had, on a cruise. Which brings me to today’s post about styling a long black dress.
This is the black sundress that I took on our cruise a few summers ago. This style is an exception for me since I am not one to show a lot of skin. It just feels too revealing and “skimpy”, as my mother would have said. I will not name the cruise line, but we were trying it out to see if our daughters might like cruising, kind of a “trial run”. So, we went with a lower priced 4-day cruise in July that hugged the Florida coast from Cape Canavaral down to Key West then bounced out and back from the Bahamas. Let’s just say you do get what you pay for, I am talking a floating Wal-Mart, enough said, ha!
I cannot remember where I bought this dress for the “dressier” Farewell Dinner on the cruise ship, although I do remember that it was in the swimsuit department. It has lined cups and is made of easy-care swimsuit type Lycra, so it could also be worn over a swimsuit as a cover-up. It is not every day you get to wear a gown, so I went with something basic that could be accessorized. I felt comfortable wearing it to the “special dinner”, but so many others were still dressed casually in shorts and t-shirts. Gone are the “dress code, jacket required” days on cruise ships from when I went with my parents back in the 1970s, unless you jump up to different price points. Here is a black dress on Amazon that has less of a V-front that I like:
//Long Black Dress//
This basic, classic look with faux pearl accessories would be appropriate for any dressy or formal occasion. The necklace is from Avon and the earrings and bracelet are Kim Rogers from Belk. I found this complete set as an option for you on Amazon.
//Faux Pearl Necklace & Earring Set//
Add a Pop of Color to the Long Black Dress
Changing to chunkier, bright turquoise accessories brings a different look to the dress. Since the dress has a very deep V-front, I chose multiple-strand necklaces for this look and the previous look to fill in a lot of that open space. I have never been “endowed”, so that area always needs some type of balance. The straps on the dress are adjustable, but I really need to take them up more which would help the front not look so low-cut. I found a similar turquoise multi-strand necklace here on Amazon.
Now let me tell you about the HOT part of the cruise, remember it is July. The tip of Key West is the southernmost part of the United States. I told Tim that I was determined to walk down there to that big famous buoy monument that marks that very spot and that I wanted my picture with my hands on it. Folks, it was so hot, I cannot even describe it. We walked in the direction of my goal for the day which also happened to be “just past” the Ernest Hemingway home…..
…….The home was too crowded and the girls were complaining about the heat already. We told them to sit in a cool spot (right, cool!) near the Hemingway home and we would be “right back” – it ended up being a couple of miles further south, but I was determined and kept walking. I kept walking by street vendors, I kept walking past Tim who (for some reason) stopped to talk to a scary bum, I kept walking and walking until we made it to the monument! We then stood in line and met some nice people and I got my picture with it. We saw people riding mo-peds, why not us, LOL! We walked back and found bottled water on the way, met up with the girls, did some shopping then it was time to get back on the ship. To this day, my girls both exclaim: “WE HATE KEY WEST!” At least it’s a memory.
Warm Up the Long Black Dress
At the risk of looking like Morticia Addams, I went with a glittery toggle-clasp bolero/shrug for this all black monochromatic look. No worries about too much skin, and I think the gold accessories give it some warmth to not look too serious or morbid. This look would be great for a formal dinner, wedding, special church or evening event or an evening performance of some type like a concert or Broadway type show.
Read my previous posts here and here for similar fashion necklace options. The earrings are from Versona, I wear them every week. Similar gold drop earrings here at Amazon.
How About a Blouse Over the Long Black Dress?
Have you ever thought about wearing a blouse over a long black dress? It gives it the appearance of a skirt and top, how fun! I love this denim-look top from Versona. It is a lined fabric with an interesting design texture, it is not printed but woven into the fabric. They also had a peach color, but this color brings out more of the detail in the fabric. I like the casual feel of the fabric against the formal length black dress/skirt. The cut and style of the blouse gives it a dressier feel, it can be dressed up or down very easily.
I mixed the drop faux pearl earrings with the silver-tone link necklace and silver-tone western link belt. I bought the belt at a vintage shop a few years ago, probably something from around the time of my country line dance days in the 1980s. It is a timeless style that can also be worn with jeans and other pieces. Have fun with mixing different things together like this, the combinations will surprise you!
Here is the top over the dress with no belt, giving it an easy breezy feel. Loose and flowy without being overpowering or frumpy looking. Still neat and appropriate for a variety of events. What do you think of this easy wear styling?
Did you enjoy this post about “4 Ways to Style a Different Kind of “LBD”, the Long Black Dress”? Pin It!
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I always love to layer a top over a long dress like you did Lori Jo!! It’s such an easy way to make the outfit seem so different!!
Yay! It’s new for me, I just thought, “what the heck” and I liked it, why not! It would also keep my suitcase small for travelling, I take very little so mix and match is good. Thanks for visiting, I will drop by soon 🙂
As usual, you can make the most of any piece in your wardrobe. I’m also uncomfortable showing too much skin. Love what you’ve done with this!
So glad you like it, Barbara. It’s really fun, like a game, to come up with different combos. I would only do “skin” in hot weather, no strip-down for Winter parties, ha! Talk soon 🙂
Hi Lori Jo, I’ve never thought to layer the long black dress but it certainly gives it a new look. You always look so stylish in your photos and I read the other day you do your own photo shoot. I need some lessons from you! Have a great week!
Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond
Thanks, Sue! I just tried the layering on a whim, I like it, so many possibilities! Yes, my new quick shoot Canon camera on a tripod, backdrop, natural light window, then edits to crop and brighten. Still learning to get better photos but it is okay for now – I started out with my phone and it looked really rough.
Hubby just cannot take a picture, just not his thing, and he is so tall it is always an aerial shot, ha!
Hi Lori Jo ! Love what you did with each look….. I love turquoise jewelery with black….. It really makes an outfit pop! I like the layering look….I tried that last weekend with a sleeveless dress , wore a tshirt underneath…..lol…..I got that funny look from my hubby…. I just told him he just wouldn’t understand and it was the new style! He knows better to even ask….haha! Great to see you back today! 😊
Hey, Kathy! So proud of you for trying some different options like this! It is fun to “keep them guessing”, right? My hubby is resistant to change, but I have to have variety and don’t want to be in a rut on any level. The first time I tried a new style, he laughed at me! Yes, laughed and hurt my feelings. He knows better now but will still buy me something dowdy now and then when it is gift time, which is okay. I just look at it like a gift card when it goes back to the store, ha! He is actually worse than I am, he takes everything back that I give to him due to his own rut – he has a closet full of black polo shirts, that is his safety zone. Thanks for visiting, talk soon! 🙂
Wow. Those 4 ideas ooen up so many options! Thanks
Thanks for visiting, Sarah! So glad that you enjoyed these few ideas. The options are endless with adding a second clothing piece and different jewelry/accessories, really fun! 🙂
This is such a cute idea! I love how you dressed up your dress. Definitely adds versatility to an item of clothing.
Thanks for visiting, Diana! It is fun to shop in your own closet and put a new spin on things, so glad you enjoyed the post! 🙂
Hi Lori Jo!
I also love the long black dress you linked at Amazon. I may have to grab one for my cruise in July!!!
Glad you were inspired by this post! The long black dress is a must for your cruise, so many options – I would love to see your vacay pics wearing it, what is your cruise destination? Talk soon 🙂