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You can’t go wrong with a little black dress. Coco Chanel made the little black dress a staple in the 1920s and it has persevered ever since. Back then, "Vogue" predicted its staying power – and in it is certainly not going away. Although the little black dress comes in hundreds of styles, you sometimes just want a change of pace. Alternatives to the LBD can be daring or conservative, depending on your mood and personal style.
Ditch the dress but keep the security and versatility of black. Turn to separates instead by choosing a black fringed mini with a silvery cami. Top it off with black pumps and a black blazer with a hip cut. Make a floor-skimming, satiny skirt in black or another neutral appropriate for the cocktail hour by pairing it with a simple T-shirt. If you are headed out to a holiday party or clubbing your evening away, trade the LBD for black leggings and a vest. Choose leggings that have a bit of interest in texture or shine to make them appropriate for evening.
When it comes to fashion, gray isn’t grim. Gray comes in hues from light stone to steely granite. A little gray cocktail dress is unexpected and can be dressed up with granite pumps and dramatic silvery jewelry. Add a denim jacket and boots to turn your gray dress into daytime wear. A little gray dress is neutral, like black, so you can pair it with color for another twist. Try a burgundy blazer or a teal cardigan. Fuchsia or red shoes or a belt add punch to your gray staple.
Wallflowers read no further – a little red dress is sure to get you noticed. A little red dress is almost as versatile as an LBD but is more daring. Wear a short red sheath to a cocktail soiree or choose a flirty A-line dress for lunch with the girls. Kate Winslet and Kerry Washington are among the celebs that donned red at the 2011 Emmys -- breaking away from the security of black.
Instead of ditching the LBD altogether, give it a makeover by dressing it up -- or down -- with accessories. Bright shoes give a little black dress a daring feel – take Mandy Moore who added red patent pumps to a gauzy black dress at the Holllywood Style Awards, or Brooklyn Decker, who added yellow pumps to a lacy black dress at the Spike TV’s Video Game Awards. Hot pink and teal are other eye-popping colors that you can put into your shoes, bag or a belt to create a little more zing. You could also add a chunky gray sweater or a plaid blazer to dress down your little black dress for daytime.