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What complements a black dress?

A black dress is a versatile wardrobe staple that can be dressed up or down for any occasion. However, choosing the right accessories and complements is key to pulling off a black dress successfully. The right complements can elevate a basic black dress into a show-stopping ensemble. This article will explore different ways to complement a black dress for various settings and styles.

Quick Answers

Here are some quick answers to common questions about complementing a black dress:

  • Jewelry – Opt for silver, gold, or rose gold jewelry with sparkling accents like crystals or pearls.
  • Shoes – Nude heels or pumps, metallic shoes, and booties all work well with a black dress.
  • Bag – Structured handbags in metallics, bold colors, or nudes complement a black dress.
  • Jacket – Leather, denim, bomber, and blazer jackets balance the femininity of a black dress.
  • Tights/Stockings – Sheer black tights or patterned stockings add visual interest.
  • Scarf – Colorful or metallic scarves inject personality into a black dress look.
  • Belt – Cinch in the waist of a black dress with a belt in a contrasting color or metallic.
  • Lip Color – Deep reds, berries, nudes, and bold pinks flatter when wearing a black dress.


Jewelry can make or break a black dress look. Avoid wearing other black clothing or accessories, which can look too harsh and somber. Instead, choose jewelry in silver, gold, or rose gold metals to complement a black dress. Sparkling accents like crystals, pearls, and gemstones also work well to light up a black dress. Here are some jewelry ideas for different black dress styles:

  • Little Black Dress – Dainty jewelry like layered necklaces, stud earrings, and a cocktail ring give elegance to a classic LBD.
  • Off the Shoulder – Draw attention to the shoulder line with a statement shoulder-grazing earring.
  • Bodycon – Try a bold cuff or chandelier earrings to accentuate the silhouette.
  • Slip Dress – Lariats and pendant necklaces complement the delicate vibe of a slip.
  • Strapless – Opt for a glamorous statement necklace to accentuate the neckline.
  • Shift Dress – Clustered gemstone earrings and a matching bracelet polish off a mod shift dress.


Selecting the right footwear completes a black dress outfit. Avoid black shoes, which can look boring and heavy. Instead, consider these shoe options to complement your black dress:

  • Nude heels/pumps – Flesh-toned shoes elongate the leg for a sexy effect.
  • Metallic heels/pumps – Gold, silver, rose gold, etc. shoes shine against an LBD.
  • Ankle strap heels – A thin ankle strap adds feminine flair and stability.
  • Peep toe heels/pumps – Give your feet some spotlight in fun peep toe shoes.
  • Booties – Ankle booties toughen up the look of a black dress.
  • Strappy heels/sandals – A strappy silhouette compliments slim legs and ankles.
  • Wedges – Espadrilles, cork wedges or kitten heels provide height with comfort.

Consider heel height based on the occasion and your comfort level. Stacked heels or kitten heels work well for all-day or work events. Go with 3-4 inch heels for cocktails or nights out. Sky high 5+inch platforms maximize drama for formal events or nights on the town.


A black dress calls for a polished handbag to store essentials in style. Structured bag silhouettes compliment the versatility of an LBD. Metallic and brightly colored bags also make a fun statement against an all-black look. Some handbag options for pairing with a black dress include:

  • Clutch – Sleek and chic, clutches work for cocktails or formal affairs.
  • Minaudière – Ornate vintage-inspired minaudieres amp up glamour.
  • Satchel – Polished top-handle satchels with a structured shape and ladylike vibe.
  • Tote – Roomy everyday totes in metallics or pops of color.
  • Crossbody bag – Hands-free crossbody silhouettes are great for all-day wear.
  • Bucket bag – Casual drawstring or structured bucket bags balance out an LBD.

hardware and embellishments like quilting, patent leather, or chain straps also elevate a black dress look. Size your bag to your essentials and the occasion. Minis like a clutch or crossbody work for evenings out or formal events. Totes and satchels provide ample space for everyday use.


Layer a jacket over your black dress for a polished way to transition the look from day to night. Leather, denim, bomber and blazer jackets all work well with black dress styles. Some examples include:

  • Leather moto jacket – Slouchy or fitted leather jackets give off an edgy vibe.
  • Denim jacket – Distressed or colored denim jackets casualize a black dress.
  • Bomber jacket – Sporty bomber jackets with vibrant patterns or details.
  • Blazer – Formal blazers in striking colors or fabrics dress up an LBD.
  • Faux fur jacket – For colder weather, try a fuzzy faux fur jacket.
  • Jean jacket – A classic blue jean jacket works with black dresses year-round.

Play with silhouettes and fabrics to get the look you want. Cropped jackets expose some skin and show off the dress shape. Oversized jackets contrast with a figure-hugging dress. Opt for bold colored jackets rather than black to make the look more dynamic.

Tights & Stockings

Black tights or stockings allow you to wear black dresses in cold weather while adding visual interest. Sheer black tights work universally with any black dress. Play with bolder tight and stocking styles like:

  • Fishnets – Edgy fishnet stockings or tights.
  • Lace – Feminine lace tights with floral or geometric patterns.
  • Cable knit – Cozy and textured cable knit tights.
  • Patterned – Polka dots, stripes, geometric patterns, or animal prints.
  • Colored – Vibrant colored tights in crimson, cobalt, mustard, burgundy, etc.
  • Metallic – Shimmery gold, silver, or bronze sheen tights.

Have fun playing with different textures and colors! Just take care to choose colors and patterns that complement your dress style rather than compete too much.


Scarves instantly inject personality into a black dress look. Lightweight scarves in silk or chiffon work well for warmer weather. Try wool, cashmere, or knits when temperatures get cooler. Play with different ways to style your scarf:

  • Worn traditionally around the neck
  • Tied around the handle of your handbag
  • Belted over a dress
  • As a headwrap or headband

Look for scarves with fun prints and vibrant colors to brighten up an LBD. Metallic sheen scarves also complement a black dress beautifully. Match your shoes and bag hardware to the colors in your scarf print.


The right belt cinches in a black dress at the waist for an hourglass silhouette. For casual daytime looks, try fabric belts in materials like canvas, woven cotton or leather. Dress up a black dress with ornamental belts featuring metallic buckles, rhinestones or polishedhardware. Here are some belt options to consider:

  • Skinny belts – 1-2 inches wide in leather, patent, or metallic.
  • Wide belts – Make a bold statement with a belt 3 inches or wider.
  • Chain belts – Edgy linked chain belts in silver, gold, or rose gold.
  • Western belt – Distressed leather with engraved metal details.
  • Jeweled belt – Sparkling crystals, pearls, or gemstones.

Match metallics in your belt hardware to other accessories like jewelry or bag hardware. Contrast the texture of the belt material to your dress fabric – pair sequins and satins with a sleek leather belt or ornate buckle for example. Most importantly, choose a belt that fits properly and defines your waistline when cinched.

Lip Color

Complete the look with lip color specially chosen to flatter and accentuate your black dress. Avoid paler nudes, blacks, and darker berries which can look dull or gothic with an LBD. Instead try:

  • Cherry red – Universally flattering, red lips pop against black.
  • Pink – Fresh pink lips create a romantic vibe.
  • Rosewood – Deep rosy browns with a touch of mauve.
  • Wine – Rich, intense berry tones.
  • Mauve – Soft dusty rose mauve compliments every complexion.
  • Coral – Bright creamy corals for a fun splash of color.

Matte lipstick makes a bold impact, while creamy satin lip colors have a softer effect. Use a lip liner in a similar shade to define lips before applying color. Blot and reapply lipstick as needed to prevent smudging and keep your color fresh all evening.

Putting It All Together

Use these tips to build a cohesive black dress look from head to toe. Choose 2-4 statement accessories and anchor them together with metallic hardware like silver, gold or rose gold. Experiment with colors and textures in your accents, but take care not to overdo it – you want your look to stay polished and pulled together. Here are two examples of fully complemented black dress outfits:

Casual Daytime Formal Evening
  • Black shift dress with 3/4 sleeves
  • Brown ankle booties
  • Denim jacket
  • Wide woven belt
  • Colorful patterned scarf
  • Canvas tote bag
  • Charm bracelet
  • Nude matte lip
  • Strapless black cocktail dress
  • Gold ankle strap heels
  • Crystal chandelier earrings
  • Sparkly gold clutch
  • Deep red lip color


A black dress provides the perfect versatile backdrop to create looks ranging from daytime chic to black-tie glamour. Have fun playing with accessories and makeup that enhance your personal style. Avoid overpowering the dress with too many competing prints, textures, colors. Anchor your look together through metallic hardware and keep silhouettes streamlined. With the right thoughtful complements, you can take the little black dress just about anywhere!