Shoes to wear with a little black dress

Shoes to wear with a little black dress

The little black dress is a classic, but it’s not as simple as just throwing on any pair of shoes and calling it a day. To make sure your look is on-point, follow these tips for what shoes to wear with a little black dress.

First, consider the occasion. If you’re going out for drinks at a bar or club, then you’re probably going to want some heels that can be worn without socks (or at least something thin enough to not show). If you’re headed out for dinner or drinks with friends, then some flats will do the trick. But if it’s a fancy event where you’ll likely be standing in heels all night long and don’t want to change into something else after dinner, then pumps may be more appropriate.

Second, think about how much coverage your dress has. If there are straps or cut-out sections on the back or sides of your dress, then avoid footwear that shows too much skin—you don’t want people wondering why they can see through your shoes! On the other hand, if your dress is sleeveless or has a low neckline, then feel free to go wild with open-toe styles and platforms galore!


Shoes to wear with a little black dress

Little black dresses require little in the way of accessorizing. The dress defines the look. Shoes are another story, though. Certain types of LBD require certain types of shoes. The at-work look requires pumps, for instance. The party look calls for jazzy heels.

A woman wearing a black dress surrounded by various shoes.

Just like guys have their go-to jacket and tie for any occasion, so women have their little black dress. Guys have some occasions when the special dress is necessary, so they grab their jacket and tie and dash.

Ladies have several occasions upon which to wear their LBD. There’s the girls’ night out dress, the dress for a first date, the casual LBD, a cocktail party dress, a dress to wear when you hit the clubs at night on vacation, and a dress to wear when you’re tired of what’s in your closet and the heck with it!

Guys also have shoes for every occasion, although you won’t get them to admit it. My ex did. For ladies, the perfect shoes match the right dress for the occasion.

You can’t wear six-inch heels, for example, if you’re going to be partying all night on vacation. You wouldn’t make it through two songs. Let’s examine what styles of LBD are available to us. We can then match the shoes to the dress.

Styles Of Little Black Dress 

Just the name “little black dress” suggests just enough coverage to be street legal. However, LBDs come in short, long, and in between. They come in long-sleeved, short-sleeved, and sleeveless. They come in scoop neck, turtleneck, V-neck, and regular neck.

They come in plus sizes. They come in leather, cotton, silk and satin, as well as velvet and any other material you can imagine. They wrap around, drape, fit like a glove (sheath dress,) and swirl like a party dress.

Shoes To Go With The Casual Little Black Dress 

A woman wearing a little black dress and black shoes.

This is the dress that can double for “you went out last night, stayed out last night, and went to work today in the same dress.” All you have to do is change your shoes. So you reach into your backpack, tote bag, or oversized purse, and pull out:

  • Flats. You might have a job in which you run all over the building, walk to the bank, or walk to a nearby building delivering something. You won’t want to punish your feet and back by wearing heels in a job like this. You pull out of your backpack snazzy yellow flats, and you’re off!
  • Pumps. The ultimate in business wear, the pump goes with any dress. Little black dresses are enhanced by pumps, and the brighter, the better. Wear red, white, or bright pink pumps with your LBD for a look that will make everyone smile.
  • Sandals. Business wear always goes over well with strappy sandals. Some have one to two inch heels for the businesswoman walking all over town. Some feature one strap across the toes and one around the ankle. Others offer criss-cross straps across the top of the foot and one behind the ankle. There are dozens of ways a sandal can look, but they all look good with a LBD.
  • Heels. The selection of heels suitable for a little black dress is as wide as the ocean. Choose peep-toed heels with lace over the foot. Pick pump-toed strappy heels. Try half-boot half-sandal heels for a more playful yet business look.

Shoes To Match The Formal Little Black Dress 

A woman wearing a little black dress sitting on the couch.

This is the silk or velvet LBD worn to parties or out on the town. This style of dress begs for shoes that will knock their socks off:

  • Heels. Legs look better with their feet encased in heels. Dancers more closely match their partners in heels. Gold, silver, sequined, glittered, and bowed, heels are one of the two shoes worn with the little black dress for parties.

Colors like red, gold, and silver are the colors to wear out on the town. You can go with the classic sandal with a three to six inch heel, the pump look with the same size heel, the stack, peep-toe, or open-toe look with the same size heels. Parties are for the outrageous, so go with some flare!

  • Wedgies. Some would think wedgies are only good for family get-togethers, but partying in wedgies saves your heels from breaking, not to mention your ankles. Go with gold wedgies with sequins, or silver wedgies with lace and bows for a festive party look.

Shoes That Go With The Family Gathering Little Black Dress 

This is a close look at a woman wearing a little black dress standing on the staircase.

Holiday dinners, birthday and anniversary parties, high school and college graduations are only a few of the occasions for which little black dresses are perfect. They’re too formal for jeans, but not formal enough for formal dress:

  • Sandals. A little more formal than the party shoes, you’ll want to wear strappy sandals with a little bit of heel. You’ll be standing around on these occasions, so you want to be comfortable. A one to three inch heel would be just right. Choose black, white, gray, light blue, or pink sandals to match your LBD.
  • Pumps. Pumps come with six inch heels nowadays. They come with straps like Mary Janes, ankle straps, and sling-back straps. They come in mesh and solid. Jazz up your LBD with pink, peach, beige, sky blue, or red pumps.

Shoes That Match The Cocktail Little Black Dress 

A close look at a woman who paired her little black dress with a pair of strappy sandals.

You haven’t been out with your friends after work in ages. Some travel, others are married, while some of your friends just don’t go out much. It’s great to catch up with a few cocktails and some chicken wings:

  • Heels. No need for anything impressive; you’re among friends. Still, it’s good to dress up every now and then. So grab your three inchers in red, white, bright yellow, or your basic black.
  • Sandals. This is the perfect time to break out those new black lace peep-toe sandals, or the half-sandal half-boot shoes. Just the right amount of casual with a hint of an eye-catching look.

Shoes To Go With The Weekender Little Black Dress 

A woman wearing a little black dress and a pair of beige heels.

These are a sheath dress, a wrap dress, midi dress, maxi dress, mini dress, or lace dress that you reach for instead of jeans for the weekend. Match it with a jean jacket or a leather jacket for a casual weekend look. A blazer would go well if the event is a tad formal. Grab some chandelier earrings. Wear ankle boots, black boots, or black shoes for a pulled-together look.

Shoes That Match The First-Date Little Black Dress 

A close look at a woman wearing a little black dress and black heels.

You want to look edgy but approachable. You want a look that’s simple but jaw-dropping. The slip dress is the perfect little black dress for a first date. Now, what shoes match it? The shoes should be comfortable yet remarkable:

  • Sandals. We’d go with a strappy sandal with perhaps a three inch heel. Black, nude, and white would go well with your LBD. You might have to walk from a parking lot to the venue to meet your date.
  • Pumps. The same thing goes for the pump. You need to be comfortable yet ready to walk if the occasion calls for it. Go with dark blue, beige, or white.

A Short History Of The Little Black Dress 

This is a little black dress with a pair of beige heels and sunglasses.

Timeless, simple, elegant, and classic are words used to describe Coco Chanel’s 1920s invention for ladies. Before this, black dresses were only worn for mourning.

The 1920s were remarkable for women breaking free of restricting corsets, shortening their skirts, and stepping out of the feminine closet, so to speak. They began to drive cars, vote, smoke, and take jobs outside the home.

Coco Chanel’s LBD paved the way for women of modest income to look and feel like their wealthy sisters in New York and Paris. Audrey Hepburn made the look even more popular when she wore an LBD in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Today, the iconic little black dress is a staple in every woman’s wardrobe.


What Color Evening Shoes Should I Wear With A Little Black Dress? 

Evening shoes tend to be glitzy. Silver and gold glittery and sequined shoes are the norm for eveningwear. However, lacy shoes and embroidered shoes in most colors go well with little black dresses worn for the evening.

Do Beige Shoes Go With A Little Black Dress? 

Yes. Beige, tan, nude, whatever the designation, beige shoes go with anything. They stand out against the black of the dress. They can be worn for daywear, eveningwear, festivewear, family gatherings, formal gatherings, and for pretty much any occasion.

What Color Purse Should Be Carried With A Little Black Dress? 

The most iconic of all little black dresses was Princess Diana’s LBD. It was off the shoulder with a heart shaped decolletage and struck just above the knee. She wore a pearl choker and carried a small black clutch with the dress.

Depending on what color shoes you pair with your LBD, you can carry a purse of matching color. You can carry a white, silver, or gold evening purse either with a metal carrying strap for over-the-shoulder wear, or you can carry a clutch for eveningwear.

What Is The Perfect Little Black Dress? 

The answer to that depends on your body type. If you’ve long legs, then the classic short dress is right for you. Those with long arms show them off by wearing an LBD with long sleeves. Busty ladies sometimes wear LBDs with high necklines. The size of the waist doesn’t necessarily dictate which little black dress to wear, however, ladies always want a flattering cut. Tall girls usually wear short midi dresses, while short ladies stick to shorter skirts.

What Color Jacket Goes With A Little Black Dress? 

I once wore a white blazer with mine, but any colored jacket will do. Jean jackets, leather bomber jackets, sleek satin jackets, most any style jacket will go with a LBD. Any colored jacket goes with the dress as well, depending upon the event and/or the venue.

Why Every Girl Needs A Little Black Dress? 

Styles of clothing go in and out of fashion every day, it seems. The clothing item that never (ever) goes out of style is the LBD. It looks stunning on every woman who wears it. It’s versatile: it can be worn for casual occasions, special events, eveningwear, it can be worn to work, or it can be worn because you can.

Little black dresses can’t be laughed at because you’ve worn them before. Black dresses are slimming, a snap to accessorize, and almost anything goes with it like jewelry, shoes, purses, jackets, and hosiery.

Who Says A LBD Has To Be A Dress?

This is a tough one, but I’ll bite. It’s the fashion designers who dictate what’s what in the fashion world. If the little black dress were pants, they’d be called so. If LBDs consisted of a top and skirt, then they’d be called something else.

An LBD is one garment, not a top and skirt. It can be short, medium length, or long (I’m envisioning Morticia Addams, here.) That it’s called a “little” black dress dates back to the 1920s. Ladies were just coming out of voluminous skirts, so everything else was automatically “little.”

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