The 14 Best Timeless Little Black Dresses of 2023 to Wear on Repeat

Anthropologie’s Somerset dress will become your new closet staple

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Best Timeless Little Black Dresses

Byrdie / David Hattan

There is one classic style staple that seems to have endured the test of time: the little black dress (or LBD, for short). For decades, this iconic number has charmed the masses, thanks to designers finding ways to reimagine it over and over again to fit the ever-growing tastes of contemporary trends. But even with these modern twists, the little black dress has remained true to its definition: a classic, usually short black frock that is easy to throw on and go and will never go out of style.

Byrdie Researched & Approved

Anthropologie’s Somerset dress is our top pick. We love that it’s subtly sexy (sometimes more is more, you know?) and cut for a wide range of sizes to suit pretty much anyone. However, if you’re looking for an under-$100 option that fits more snugly on the body, Lulu’s Everything to Me bodycon dress could be perfect for you.

Indeed, Sonia Parvaneh, the founder and lead designer at NIA the Brand, tells Byrdie that the best part of a little black dress is its versatility. “When I’m shopping for a little black dress, I envision myself taking that dress on a vacation and think of all the different ways I could wear it on that trip,” she says. This makes the strategy for searching for the best possible little black dress simple: find the piece that suits your style preference, flatters your silhouette, and can be dressed up or down. Bonus points if you can wear it in various climates and seasons.

Read on for the full list of little black dresses worth snatching up right now.

Best Overall

Anthropologie The Somerset Maxi Dress

Anthropologie The Somerset Maxi Dress

Anthropologie

Anthropologie’s Somerset dress features a defined waist and flutter sleeves, and it’s available in plus and petite sizes. It's a quintessential LBD, defined by unfussy elegance. Round out the look with a pair of equally easy platform sandals and pared-back, everyday jewelry.

Price at time of publish: $170

Size Range: XXS–XL as well as petite and plus sizing | Material: Cotton

Best Budget

Lulus Everything to Me Black Bodycon Midi Dress

Lulus Everything to Me Black Bodycon Midi Dress

Lulus

This isn’t your typical bodycon dress; it’s a comfy bodycon dress, made from lightweight jersey knit material. The dress hugs the body, to be sure, but offers a slit with ruching that allows you to carry on with your night without worrying about your skirt bunching up excessively. It’s no wonder the reviews are so good.

Price at time of publish: $52

Size Range: XXS–XL | Material: 95% rayon and 5% spandex

Best Slip

J.Crew Gwyneth Cupro Slip Dress

J.Crew Gwyneth Cupro Slip Dress

J.Crew

Who can’t make use of an insouciant slip dress? And in true form, J.Crew makes it easy to do so by offering its version in tall, petite, and plus sizing. Throw a chunky sweater over it in the fall, and layer it over a simple T-shirt for spring. Come summer, wear it on its own with a pair of leather loafers, à la Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. It’s the kind of item that can be styled a million different ways and an especially great addition to a capsule wardrobe that’s based on a few versatile pieces.

Price at time of publish: $128

Size Range: 00–24 as well as petite and tall sizing | Material: 60% cupro, 40% viscose

Best Splurge

ROTATE Sequin-Embellished Flower Mini Dress

ROTATE Sequin-Embellished Flower Mini Dress

FARFETCH

ROTATE’s take on the little black dress is uniquely contorted—it features an embellished floral cutout, a thigh-high silhouette, and a sexy exposed back that exudes sensuality. The standard LBD may never look or feel the same to you after stepping out in this number.

Price at time of publish: $355

Size Range: XXS–XL | Material: 95% polyester, 5% elastane; 100% polyamide lining

Best Activewear

Alo Yoga Alosoft Courtside Tennis Dress

Alo Yoga Alosoft Courtside Tennis Dress

Alo Yoga

If you’re in search of a dress that can take you from the tennis court to the farmer’s market, this activewear dress from Alo Yoga could be your new go-to. It even has built-in shorts and a bra for a throw-on-and-go appeal.

Price at time of publish: $118

Size Range: XXS–L | Material: Not listed

Best Off-the-Shoulder

Hill House Home The Ellie Nap Dress

Hill House Ellie Nap Dress

Hill House

It’s pretty easy to imagine this dress worn at an Italian villa in the 1960s or on a casual summer evening in New York City in 2023, which is part of what makes it so appealing. The cotton gives it a lighter, breezier look and feel compared to many other little black day dresses on the market.

Price at time of publish: $150

Size Range: XXS–XXL | Material: 100% BCI cotton or recycled polyester

Best Office-Friendly

Spanx The Perfect A-line 3/4 Sleeve Dress

What’s in a name, you ask? The essence of a dress. This Spanx style is truly the perfect A-line minidress, or so say the abundant positive reviews. It really is practical, what with its functional front pockets, easy-to-pull-on back zipper close, and stretchy ponte material. Wear it with hosiery and boots in the winter or pumps in the spring.

Price at time of publish: $198

Size Range: XSS–3X | Material: 68% rayon, 28% nylon, 4% elastane

Best Size Range

Eloquii Twisted Neckline Midi Dress

Eloquii Twisted Neckline Midi Dress

Eloquii

Eloquii is a plus-size label that offers clothing in sizes 14 to 28, including a handful of LBDs for the picking. Our favorite is their Twisted Neckline Midi Dress, which is made from a soft, jersey material that’s both comfortable and dressy enough to wear to work, brunch, or a girls’ night out. Pair it with platform heels and metallic jewelry to tie it all together.

Price at time of publish: $100

Size Range: 14–28 | Material: 95% recycled polyester and 5% spandex

Best Sweater

Good American Shoulder Slit Midi Dress

Good American Shoulder Slit Midi Dress

Good American

Don’t sacrifice fashion for function in bitter winter weather when you can simply opt for a long-sleeve knit black dress, like this one from Good American, to keep you cozy and show off your figure at the same time. We especially love the way the brand kept things current by playing into the cutout trend with its slashed neckline.

Price at time of publish: $145

Size Range: XXS/XS–4XL/5XL | Material: 80% cotton and 20% elastane 

Best Button-Down

Callahan Mira Dress

Callahan Mira Dress

Revolve

Button-downs are never out of style; their versatility makes them chic to the core. Wear this dress buttoned up to the neck or down to expose the upper chest, depending on the vibe you’re going for. You can even create a higher slit to elongate your legs, or keep it at a mid-calf length and allow the skirt to flow.

Price at time of publish: $88

Size Range: XS–XL | Material: 65% polyester and 35% rayon

Best Strapless

Norma Kamali Strapless Side Drape Gown

Norma Kamali Strapless Side Drape Gown

FWRD

Picture this sleek and sparkling, strapless number from Norma Kamali on your next night out, perhaps at your very own birthday celebration in the city. The metallic fabric will surely shine against silver pumps and matching accessories, too.

Price at time of publish: $195

Size Range: XS–XL | Material: 95% polyester and 5% spandex

Best on Amazon

AISIZE Women's Ruffle Sleeves Pencil Dress

AISIZE Women's Ruffle Sleeves Pencil Dress

Amazon

Ruffles are the main attraction of this pencil dress from Amazon. From the shoulder to the hip, they drape over this dress, which includes delicate, ruched details throughout. Reviews say to expect nothing but “oooh's” and “aaah’s” when you wear it out to your next gathering.

Price at time of publish: $44

Size Range: S–XXL | Material: 95% polyester and 5% elastane

Best Cocktail

Reformation Marguerite Silk Dress

Reformation Marguerite Silk Dress

Reformation

Cheers to this simply elegant, black silk cocktail dress by Reformation. It has a fitted bodice, tie straps, and a relaxed skirt that will certainly meet many formal events’ requirements.

Price at time of publish: $298

Size Range: 0–12 | Material: 100% silk

Best Wrap

Cuyana Silk Wrap Mini Dress

Cuyana Silk Wrap Mini Dress

Cuyana

Wrap dresses are the epitome of timelessness, as they’re simple to throw on for formal parties, work events, and casual dine-outs with friends. But if we had to pick one LBD iteration to wear now, it would be Cuyana’s. It features subtly feminine details like a pleated front, a mini-length skirt, a V-neckline, and of course, an adjustable waist tie.

Price at time of publish: $298

Size Range: XS–XL | Material: 100% silk

What to Look For in a Little Black Dress

Cut and style

The standard hem lengths for LBDs are mini to midi, despite the word “little” embedded in the acronym. These lengths work well for casual wear, going out, and even a cocktail party, depending on the details of the dress and the event at hand. But if you’re searching for a black dress that you can wear to the office and/or more formal events, lean into the midi length or perhaps opt for a maxi dress.

In addition to considering all of the different places you would wear a given LBD, you should think about what type of dress details make you feel most comfortable and whether they will stay in style—or perhaps even more simply, reflect your style—for years to come. A wrap dress, for example, is pretty conservative and classic, but a cottagecore dress is neither considered timeless nor on-trend right now. Still, if it fits your aesthetic, it could prove to be a good value for you.

Fabric 

You’ll often find little black dresses made from a cotton or polyester blend because they’re generally washable. Synthetic fabrics like polyester and rayon tend to be at least somewhat wrinkle-resistant, too. But for the warmer months in particular, fabrics such as linen, satin, and silk are great options for a flowy and breathable look and feel. Cashmere, wool, and velvet are best for cold weather because they’re warm, comfortable, and overall festive. 

FAQ
  • What shoes go best with a little black dress?

    A neutral heel is an easy match to a little black dress, but it certainly isn’t your only option. “I’m really loving wearing an LBD with our Emilio Trench, leg warmers with ballet flats or loafers,” Parvaneh says. “I also love the look of a midi length bias dress with knee-high boots peeking through underneath, layered under a chunky knit.” Or, you can have even more fun by picking a pair of bright-colored platforms, which you can coordinate with other tonal accessories to make a full look. 

  • Who popularized the little black dress?

    According to Smithsonian Magazine, it was none other than Coco Chanel herself who is credited with popularizing the little black dress. Chanel’s take on the style was featured on the cover of Vogue, catapulting it into popularity and staple status forevermore.

Why Trust Byrdie

Madison San Miguel is a fashion commerce contributor at Dotdash Meredith covering everything from the latest style trends to the best Amazon finds. Aside from Byrdie, her work can be found in InStyle, Bustle, Elite Daily, Brides, Travel + Leisure, V Magazine, and more. 

Olivia Muenter is a fashion commerce contributor for Byrdie, and she has been published in Refinery29, Bustle, Fashionista, Glamour, and Woman’s Day, among others.

According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find enough little black dresses from Black-owned and/or Black-founded businesses to meet this percentage. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at contact@byrdie.com, and we will evaluate the product ASAP.

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