Affordable versions of the little black dress

Audrey Mansfield's 3 great alternatives for the classic "Little Black Dress" (LBD)

  1. The Vintage LBD

    Vintage dress, $165
    Zoe chicco gold disc earrings, $184

    Vintage dress and accessories purchased at:
    Anica Boutique
    2418 Polk Street
    San Francisco, CA 94109
    (415) 447-2878

    Audrey's advice about finding a vintage LBD:
    Some of the old classic LBD's have a romantic, retro, or art deco appeal.
    Think Audrey Hepburn and "Breakfast at Tiffany's" for elegant dress styles.
    Silhouettes from the past are the "now" of today and a Hollywood DO! Think Film Noir glamour.

  2. An inexpensive version from Macy's:

    Dress from Calvin Klein, $118

    Shoes by Calvin Klein
    Bag, Calvin Klein $88
    Earrings, Macy's Trend $24
    Bracelet, Macy's Trend $14
    Shoes by Calvin Klein, $90

    For more information:

    Audrey's advice about sprucing up a store-bought LBD:
    Look for a LBD that expresses your personality.
    An LBD can always look more expensive by adding some eye-catching accessories.
    Emphasize your face with a great up-do, a perfect smoky eye, and red lip.

  3. Revamp an old LBD with this project idea from Britex:

    Transform an old LBD into a chic, very au courant LBD by doing just a few simple things. Embellish a black velvet ribbon with rhinestone trim ($90 a yard- you'll need approximately 2/3 of a yard). Tie it around the dress to add sparkle and covered any holes or signs of wear.

    Make ruffles from 2 yards of black cotton netting ($49 a yard). Cut it into 4-inch strips, gather the strips and sew them into rows. Ruffles are so strong this season- it really updats the dress and also covers a spot at the same time!

    All materials available at Britex Fabrics.

    Britex Fabrics
    146 Geary St.
    San Francisco

    "Revamping an old LBD" ideas from Audrey:
    Add some sparkle to an otherwise ho-hum LBD
    Add some hem action to add interest that changes the hem length
    Change the straps and change the whole look of the neckline

Audrey's tips for "Things that always make your LBD look expensive"
  • High heeled patent leather or satin pumps
  • A shoe embellishment
  • A tuxedo-styled jacket
  • Clutch handbag with a jeweled closure
  • Faux diamond stud
  • A Black and White combination
  • Long or Opera length Gloves
  • Sparkly cuff or bracelet
  • Body shapers give your LBD a smooth flawless expensive look
  • A sleek yet simple up-do
  • An LBD in a velvet fabric always looks rich
  • Smoky well- defined eye makeup and a perfect red lip
  • A halter style dress works on all figure types
  • Adding a fabulous broach to the back of a backless LBD or a broach at the waist
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