27 Black Dresses That Are Anything But Basic

There’s a reason an LBD is always viewed as a safe bet for a special occasion. It’s almost assumed that a little black dress needs to be understated, unfussy, perhaps even a little unmemorable so that it can be slightly transformed for every party you wear it to and stay timeless for years to come. But considering the wealth of options available to us, that’s not the kind of LBD we’re interested in.

While a black dress will always remain a key part of our wardrobes, we’re interested in the unexpected ways to shop for an LBD—seven of them, to be specific. And among these trends, we’ve compiled 27 anti-basic frocks for the magpies, modest dressers, and print lovers alike. Scroll on for all the designs that technically qualify as an LBD, but all leave a lasting impression.

Shine On

Texture is key. Bring on the shine, sequins, patent, and essentially all manner of light-reflecting elements that’ll make your black dress stand out.

Moody Florals

Flowers often have a sweet connotation but set against a black backdrop they feel moodier and romantic. Count us in.

Statement Asymmetry

Creative necklines and hemlines make for creative, can’t-miss-me kinds of designs.

Seeing Spots

Break up an all-black ensemble for a print that’s dizzying in the best way possible.

Cutouts

Consider a thoughtful, unexpected, and alluring game of peek-a-boo.

Prairie Girl

The most modest, and arguably most daring, dress trend of the season goes slightly gothic in an all-black color way.

Not-So-Classic Tailoring

Look for elements of classic suit and shirt tailoring that create a strong, powerful LBD silhouette.