FASHION TRENDS / Aug 24, 2023


Black is a timeless color and suitable for nearly all occasions. So if you've bought a black dress—or looking to buy one—you made the right decision. A black dress is a great investment and you'll get many wears!

One reason why we love black dresses is because they're so versatile. You can dress them up and dress them down. Wondering how to style a black dress? You're in the right place! Today, we're showing you six ways to do just that.

🖤 How to Style a Black Dress: Six Quick Tips 💫

Below, you'll find six easy ways to style a black dress. If you’re also looking for the perfect black dress, you’ll find dress options, too. (We got you, girl!)

1. Wear gold or silver accessories

When asked how to style up a black dress, one of our go-to answers is: throw on some gold or silver accessories!

It doesn't matter which metallic you go with—rose gold works too. The goal is to add some shimmer and shine to your look. So if you already have gold or silver jewelry, you're good to go. You may also want to consider metallic-colored shoes for a fancy event, like a gala.

💞 Style tip: Wear a dress with shiny fabrics or embellishments for extra sparkle. And consider a shorter dress or one with a slit in the skirt to show off your oh-so-cute pair of shoes.

black velvet cocktail dress

View the featured dress: style GS3087 | Ruched Bodice Velvet Bodycon Short Dress w/ Leg Slit

2. Add an embellished belt

This styling tip not only answers the question: "How do I dress up a black dress?" It also answers the question: "How do I create a flattering, hourglass silhouette?"

Despite popular belief, belts are not just here to keep our pants up, ladies! They're also amazing at cinching our waistlines and accentuating our curves. You can add a belt to your black dress or find a dress that has one sewn in. A jewel or sequin-embellished belt will give you the fancy feel you're going for.

💞 Style tip: If you're keen on accentuating your figure, try on a mermaid dress. This silhouette hugs all your curves. If you got it, flaunt it!

black velvet mermaid long dress

View the featured dress: style GL2559 | Jewel Accented Waist Line V-Neck Velvet Dress w/ U-Back

3. Bring a statement clutch or purse

Many women overlook their purse—but it plays a vital role in your outfit. How to style a black dress? In this case, we recommend choosing a statement clutch or purse!

Small purses and clutches are very trendy right now—and perfect for formal events that call for a black dress. You can explore black ones with embellishments and dazzling designs or bright colors for a pop of color. That's the fantastic thing about black dresses—they match anything!

💞 Style tip: You don't need a bright, bold dress to stand out. Play around with unique cutouts and asymmetrical necklines to create an unexpected look.

black jersey trumpet dress

View the featured dress: style GL2706 | Cut-Out Bodice Rome Jersey Mermaid Dress

4. Add a detachable cape 

Wondering how to style a black dress for a formal event? Add a detachable cape or layer to your skirt! When else can you add these regal details to your outfit?

Plus, they're super customizable. Add a short cape to your sleeves to create a subtly luxe look. Or, attach long layers to your skirt for extra drama. The best part? You can remove them whenever you'd like. (When you hit the dance floor, perhaps?)

💞 Style tip: Adding a detachable cape to off-the-shoulder sleeves is so beautiful and feminine! Baring your shoulders also brings balance to this look.

black tulle sweetheart dress

View the featured dress: style GL3054 | 3-D Flower Applique Sequin Mermaid Dress w/ Detached Mesh Cape

5. Rock an intricate updo

How do you dress up a black dress with your hairstyle? You can wear it up or down, but it should be styled intentionally. No bedhead here!

If you're off to a formal event, we recommend going for a glamorous updo—when else do you get to rock such a fun hairstyle? You can also add hair ornaments, like tiaras, jeweled barrettes, flowers, and more. Chat with your hairstylist and see what they recommend. But don't forget to bring extra hairpins or hairspray if you'll be out of the house for a long time!

💞 Style tip: A chic updo paired with a dress with a beautiful strappy back is a match made in heaven! All eyes will be on you!

girl with an intricate updo hairstyle

View the featured dress: style GL3141 | Jewel Lace-up Back Straight Across Rome Jersey Mermaid Dress

6. Wear a bold lipstick

How do you dress up a black dress with your makeup? It's pretty simple. A bold lipstick or a smokey eye. That's it, really!

When it comes to your makeup, less is more. We recommend choosing one or the other so your look remains balanced. However, we have to say: we love a bold lip. Bright red lipstick is a classic option, but dark red is also very sultry. (And very fitting for the fall and winter months.)

💞 Style tip: Red lips look great on anyone—and so do A-line dresses. If you're looking for a universally flattering silhouette, this one's it.

girl in a black dress and bold lipstick

Get the look: style GL2503 | Double Waist-Bands V-Neck Long Dress w/ Strap Back

Recommended Blogs for You

If you're ready to shop for black dresses, head straight to the GLS catalog. Or, check out these blogs picked just for you:

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