By Rosa Sherwood

You might think that after all this time the little black dress (LBD) is a little outdated however that’s where you are wrong. The LBD in my opinion will forever remain a strong contender for being a girl’s best friend, and an essential piece in your wardrobe. It’s an unwritten rule that every woman should own one.

There’s that saying ‘once you try it on, you just know.’ Although this is attached to trying on wedding dresses, I think it can definitely be applied to shopping for a LBD too. I own over 30 black dresses, but I wouldn’t label any of them as my ‘little black dress.’ They can sometimes be difficult to find but once discovered they can be your secret safe weapon.

Although more traditionally the LBD is seen as an evening or cocktail dress, with no current restraints on fashion, and with new styles constantly being introduced, the little black dress can be anything that is perfect for you. Short, long, no sleeves, fitted, embellished; the opportunities for a LBD are endless.  You don’t always have to let the LBD do the talking either; follow in the footsteps of Audrey Hepburn who accessorised hers with pearls. Jewellery can really flatter your little black dress, giving it that extra sparkle to make a statement.

Screen Shot 2013-02-04 at 21.37.41With valentine’s day upon us, this is the perfect chance for you to show off your LBD if you are lucky enough to have found one, or go in search of your partner in crime.

The popular midi dress is a perfect trend that compliment’s a little black dress. Classy and sophisticated the longer length that comes to just below the knee offers a more elegant style. Most of the black midi dresses that are out there at the moment tend to be quite plain, but with subtle features that really capture the eye.

Asos £28

This gorgeous midi from ASOS shows off the back entirely, giving a sexy but still subtle look.

62O68DBLK_normalThe peplum top has remained a popular trend amongst designers, with the style crossing over into a variety of garments. We are now seeing tops both short and long-sleeved, skirts, and now even dresses with the famous kick out. Peplum dresses are accentuating on the shape. Pulling you in at the waist, the kick out disguises your hips and thighs if these aren’t your favourite body part; giving a curvy and flattering look.

This peplum dress from Topshop (£40) is offering a classic look with a modern twist, with the contrasting black and white element.

If you want a little black dress with a little more edge, this seasons dresses are pushing the boundaries. With different prints, materials, colours and styles all being used your LBD doesn’t have to be plain. Although little black dresses are often dubbed to be plain and safe, collaborating the classic dress with modern trends creates a versatile and current dress; sure to make you stand out where ever your date is taking you. We are seeing studs on almost everything, shoes, jackets, bags, belts, and even in your earrings, so there is no limits to incorporating studs to a LBD. Most of the designs tend to not over do it with the studs; too much detail can ruin the look. As well as studs, embellishments and collars are a popular feature in making a plain dress more distinct. They offer that slight character of detail without making a dress look over the top.

With the girls going all out to impress it’s only fair the boys make an effort too. For the males, forget the white shirt and make a statement in a little black number. But like the LBD a black shirt doesn’t always mean something plain.

For the boys black shirts can come in a variety of shades; the more harsh dark black or charcoal shades always tend to be popular. These two shirts by Topman are more than just a plain shirt. Little details such as these on the collar, buttons, and cuffs draw subtle attention without being dramatic. Despite the animal print collar being slightly out there, it’s subtle enough to still be understated.

Like a little black dress being a key essential for women, every man should own a ‘nice shirt’ in their wardrobe. We are not talking just your average smart shirt but a designer collar that will woo any lady from the first look.

Taking the plunge to purchase an exquisite shirt is a life long investment. Much like the LBD, it’s a secret weapon when you need to whip something special out without putting much thought into an outfit; it’s already all good to go.

Go for a dangerous and daring option this valentines and seduce your date in a little black number; whether it’s a dress or a shirt, make sure they can’t take their eyes off you!