Found: The Perfect Little Black Dress

Dress up the perfect little black dress with leopard d'Orsay pumps and a chic tassel foldover clutch. This is the perfect office to dinner look!

A classic LBD tops every list of women’s wardrobe essentials I’ve ever read, along with a good white button-down shirt and a classic blazer. The perfect little black dress should fit you like a glove and be classic yet versatile enough to make it appropriate for almost any occasion with a few well chosen accessories.

True confessions: I’ve never had one. (I don’t have a good white button-down or a classic blazer either, ironically.) What kind of fashion blogger am I?

I’ve had black dresses through the years, but they never stay in my closet for more than a few seasons. I’ve never found that classic little black dress that is timeless and fits to perfection and can be worn year-round and dressed up or down. The closest I’ve come is a navy blue sheath that I had in my closet for many years and finally passed on when it got to be too small, but the perfect little black dress eluded me until now.

Last week I was perusing the Boomingdales website for an upcoming post I’m working on for them, and I came across this little number. I knew instantly it was The One. I wasn’t even looking for a LBD, but when I saw it, I knew it was a sure thing. The classic lines, the structure, the length, the narrow V-neck, just the right amount of coverage to be tasteful but still fun, and in addition to that, the affordable price tag… it seemed too good to be true.

It came in the mail a few days ago, and I ran right upstairs to try it on. I zipped it up, and voila! Perfection.

The Perfect LBD: T Tahari Tonya Pleat Dress

It has just enough stretch to be comfortable, but plenty of structure to flatter the figure without clinging. The neckline shows just enough skin to be flattering but maintain your modesty. I can throw that elusive blazer over top (I actually went shopping for a go-to blazer yesterday… stay tuned!) or a cardigan, depending on the occasion. Maybe even toss a moto jacket over my shoulders for an edgier look.

The Perfect LBD: T Tahari Tonya Pleat Dress

Of course, I’m a plain jane, and I’ll most likely wear it as a stand alone piece with a pair of sassy pumps or dressy sandals. For a trial run, I paired it with these half d’Orsay leopard pumps.

Kristin Cavallari 'Oracle' half d'Orsay Leopard Pumps

I ordered them recently to go with another black dress, ironically — one that is much more trendy than this one. (Stay tuned!) I’m learning that the only way I can wear pumps is if they have a lower heel. Three inches is about as high as I can go, so when I saw these AND they were on sale, I snagged them. They aren’t the most comfortable shoes (they’re kind of rough around the inside) but for the price, I can make them work. They look great with jeans too.

Dress up the perfect little black dress with leopard d'Orsay pumps and a chic tassel foldover clutch. This is the perfect office to dinner look!

Here’s a better view of the inside of the shoes.

Kristin Cavallari 'Oracle' half d'Orsay Leopard Pumps

Since this is a look I’d probably wear out to dinner or somewhere fancy, I accessorized with these mixed metal geometric chandeliers and beaded coil wrap bracelet, both from my Stella & Dot boutique.

The Perfect LBD: T Tahari Tonya Pleat Dress

I finished the outfit with this tassel foldover clutch, which was gifted by GiGi New York at the rewardStyle conference I attended last spring.

I’m so excited to try different ways of styling this dress, and I know it’s going to come in handy on many occasions.

The Perfect LBD: T Tahari Tonya Pleat Dress

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T Tahari Tonya Pleat Dress // Kristin Cavallari ‘Oracle’ half d’Orsay Pumps // Stella Foldover Clutch c/o GiGi New York // Etoile Chandeliers and Celine Wrap Bracelet via my Stella & Dot // nails: CND Fedora

SALE ALERT >> Bloomingdales is running a Buy More, Save More Event!

Loyallists take $25 off $125-$249.99
$50 off $250-$499.99
$125 off $500-$999.99
$300 off $1000-$1999.99
or $600 off $2000+ on almost all items.

And it’s also their Denim Days! This is usually when I buy my premium denim. They do Denim Days a couple times a year, usually fall and spring.

Take 15% Off when you buy 1 item
Take 25% Off when you buy 2 or more items
of almost any regular price denim.

Be sure to visit Cyndi and see the fall outfit she’s styling today!

And it’s Friday so that means linkup day! If you have a fashion blog, I’d love for you to join us. If you’re here for your weekly dose of style inspiration, you’ll find plenty of that here. Have a beautiful weekend!

Fashion Friday

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42 Responses

  1. Isn’t that funny, I don’t have a plain LBD that fits perfectly either! And until reading your post, I didn’t even realize it! This is a great find — I love it with the silver jewelry and the leopard pumps are the perfect pop of a print. Have a great weekend!

    xo, Rachel
    A Blonde’s Moment

  2. That dress is every bit as perfect on you as you hoped….you look wonderful! Love what you’ve paired it with as well, will definitely pair my jeans and heels 🙂

  3. Nice! Have a fashion question. Jo Lynn, what is the cut off (or is there one) for white jeans in the Fall or Winter? I haven’t been sure, although I don’t see many in the winter out west. Thanks, Love, Mary

    1. Hi Mary. There is no cut-off for white jeans. 🙂 These days, it is perfectly acceptable to wear them year-round. However, I definitely start styling them for fall after Labor Day. I pair them with darker tops and heavier fabrics, and booties or ballet flats or even tall boots as opposed to sandals. I hope that helps! I’m working on a couple of outfits with white jeans for this fall, but this post from last year has a lot of great ideas for wearing white jeans in fall and winter: https://jolynneshane.com/how-to-wear-white-jeans-after-labor-day.html

      1. I’ve learned from you and Cyndi that white jeans are acceptable all year ’round–I wear mine some. But, honestly, I don’t see people doing it so it makes me less confident! If it’s truly ok then why don’t I see more people doing it?? Maybe it’s wear I live???

        1. I don’t see a lot of people doing it here either. I still do it. Dare to be different! 🙂 There is no right or wrong with fashion. I mean, no one is going to kick you out of a restaurant for wearing white jeans after Labor Day… even if you do wear them with a summery eyelet top and sandals (which I wouldn’t recommend, but hey, no one’s stopping ya if it floats your boat!) Haha!

          Conversely, no one says you have to try it either. If you think you’ll feel uncomfortable wearing them, feel free to pack them away till next spring.

          I think it’s fun to be a little ahead on the trends, but I also understand feeling awkward wearing some at first. When I’m trying something new that I’m a little unsure of, I wear it first when I’m going somewhere that I don’t know anyone. Usually I find that after I do it once, I feel more confident about it the next time.

          I used to feel silly tucking my jeans into boots. Now I can’t imagine not doing that. I still feel a little silly wearing ripped jeans around here. It’s not common among the other moms, but I like them, so I just decided to own it. 🙂

          1. Thanks for encouragement! My white jeans are so comfortable that I hate to put them away. And I totally know what you mean about trying something new around strangers first! And, you’re absolutely right, what I used to think was weird feels totally nature now–just takes a little getting used to. So here in Iowa I’m gonna keep rockin’ my whites! 🙂

          2. If it’s 80 degrees and sunny, then you betcha I will wear my white jeans, our September here in the Midwest is still pretty warm most days. I go strictly by weather.

  4. That really is the perfect LBD! I have an LBD in my closet that was my homecoming dress senior year in high school, ha! It’s a flowy shape so luckily it still fits, and it can be styled so many ways. Thanks for hosting!

  5. You look absolutely marvelous in this dress. The sleek lines, the black shade and the cut all work for you and make you look stunning. And the leopard print shoes are the perfect accessory. I know what you mean, though about finding this perfect black dress. I haven’t found mine yet either, though I do have a number of blazers and I did find a good white button up this past year. Thanks for sharing your find with us, JoLynne and for hosting the link up. – Amy

  6. You look fabulous, perfect LBD, the shoes ties it up really well. Your ready for a night out or any other
    really nice occasion. Just fabulous!!!

  7. Absolutely love this dress! Great LBD! And the shoes really make the outfilt. Your ideas are fresh, fun, and fabulous! Thank you.

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