Fashion Challenge: The LBD 7 Days, 7 Ways


Who: A TFS Writer and Fashion Designer of Ciarla designs.

What: Wear the same Little Black Dress for 7 days, 7 different ways.

Where: Throughout my daily life Austin.

When: All week long, day and night.

Why: To test the style versatility of my favorite LBD.


It’s everyone woman’s must-have item in her closet, and one that she can never have too many of: the little black dress. Timeless, versatile, and appropriate for day or night, the LBD can take you from a casual work environment to a cocktail party. Accessories are a great way to make this classic your own, and finding a great style with a flattering fit is key.

For this fashion challenge, I will style my favorite Balenciaga dress seven different ways for seven days to demonstrate the versatility of this favorite timeless piece. I chose this cap sleeve dress because it feels great and can be worn a few different ways. The side panels can be worn in the front or the back to expose a little or a lot of the open back. They can be hooked together at the top or left loose to add a flowy look to the bias cut dress.

For day one, I styled this cute day-to-night look by adding a studded belt and suede booties. A chain bracelet and chandelier earrings add just the right amount of edge for an evening out.


Layering and mixing prints has been a trend for a while now, so I decided to try it with my little black dress. For this secretary chic look, I took a printed chiffon blouse and wore it under my LBD. I belted it with a thin black belt and added polka dot shoes. These pieces took my sleek black dress from a sexy cocktail look to a daytime look and completely transformed the dress. I felt a little bit like a flight attendant, but a stylish one who works in first class! Try a bold color blouse and contrasting color shoes if you want a more modern twist on the layering look.

As August comes to a close I can’t help but get excited about Fall. September is one of my favorite times of year in New York primarily because of Fashion Week but also because of the change of seasons and shift in temperature. I love Fall fashion and cannot wait to get out my lightweight jackets and start layering again!


I picked a lightweight raincoat and belted it at the waist, added a round toe platform heel, an ivory studded bag and simple, black earrings for a classic look. Very simple, clean, and universal but gave my LBD another twist to wear on day 3. 


Everyone is obsessed with the show Mad Men for the fabulous 1960s fashion and dramatic storyline. The style has even seeped it’s way into designer collections and has become a ready-to-wear trend. The era's chic, tailored skirts, cropped jackets, and mix of color in a perfectly executed manner stand out against the busy streets of New York. 

Taking inspiration from this Mad Men style obsession, I’ve put my LBD to the test. Adding a cropped, ivory coat with oversized button, polka dot tights, berry platforms, and a lime green pearl necklace, I headed off to work ready for a day of meetings, deadlines, and perhaps an afternoon cocktail to really get in the spirit of the show.


I love that I can manipulate this dress into several different looks just based on the design! For an evening out, I switched the open back to a partially closed one with a convenient hook and eye closure. I added a rainbow necklace with crystals, vintage rhinestone earrings, and a vintage diamond cocktail ring to add some Hollywood glamour. Sparkling stilettos and a silver clutch completed this minimalistic yet chic look. A dress that was worn for day yesterday was easily turned into an evening look appropriate for a 4-star restaurant. 


Bohemian chic never goes out of style and if you keep the styling simple, the look seems to work on almost anyone. I was wondering how I was going to take this pristine, tailored dress and make it more relaxed. Adding a fedora, printed crinkled scarf, chain bracelets, and high boots toned down the dressy look without compromising its integrity. The look is all about adding layers and accessories, so a safe way to start is with piling on bracelets. Add a neutral toned hat and cardigan or scarf to safely take your LBD from a cocktail to a relaxed day look.


It’s back to work and that means I need a serious look to get some serious work accomplished. Well, not too serious. It is the fashion industry and although I have a 60 hour work week ahead, some of those meetings include a few cocktails and trendspotting for the Spring 2012 collection. True to Belanciaga styling, I chose a simplistic look today in all black. A sleek pair of black leggings and Stuart Weitzman nude pumps added a tough look to my LBD with a little elegance.


Conclusion: This LBD proved its versatility and longevity for seven full days. It was definitely worth the investment but next week I’m ready to get back to more colorful options!