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The Little Black Dress, 5 Very Different Ways

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Holiday party season has arrived. While some invites call for ugly sweaters, others demand a little more polish. When it comes to dressing for the company holiday party, fancy cocktails with friends, or a formal New Year's Eve, nothing works quite like the classic little black dress. The LBD has earned its "wardrobe staple" status for two very important reasons: the fact that it's universally flattering and its ability to be endlessly versatile.

Available in countless iterations, there's a black dress for all tastes (and all parties). Here, five Racked editors show how they're styling the LBD this holiday season, from wearing a slip dress over blue jeans to picking the perfect festively-detailed shift.

Rajni Jacques, fashion editor-at-large


Vintage lace dress (similar: Wilfred, $110)

"This is my version of formal. I like having something 'normal' in the mix, even for a dressed-up look, hence the jeans under the dress. The slinky, sexy slip dress makes me feel super vampy, but the denim brings it down a notch so there's still a bit of me in the look. The shoes are strappy and my jewelry is minimal, but the red lip ups the ante. I added a tailored jacket to give the look a final polish."

Tiffany Yannetta, managing editor


Jonathan Simkhai, $1,467

"At 28, I've finally learned which silhouettes look good on my body type, and I do my best to stick with what works instead of chasing trends. Almost all of the dresses in my closet are midi-length and bodycon. A fitted dress (with plenty of stretch) balances out my proportions while making me feel incredibly sexy, put-together, and confident. This dress fits the bill, and I love the cut-outs."

Nia Porter, fashion assistant


Misha Collection 'Helena' dress, $275

"This dress is the complete opposite of my everyday style. I usually stay away from form-fitting clothes, so when I absolutely must dress up, it has to be sexy, elegant, and show off what I usually cover up. Because the dress has a lot going on, I keep my makeup neutral and light when I wear it. I also keep accessories to a minimum, and choose black boots instead of strappy heels because I would rather not expose my toes to freezing temperatures."

Danielle Odiamar, engagement editor

ASOS shift, $171

"This dress originally caught my eye because it matched my silver studded clogs from Marc by Marc Jacobs perfectly. I also knew the high neck and A-line silhouette would be flattering, plus the subtle cut-outs and silver ball detail are unexpected and look edgy. I love that the skirt is short, so it’s easy to dance and it feels more cute and playful. For makeup, I like a pale lilac lipstick to play off the colors in my hair. I'm also hoping one of my friends will be honest and tell me if I can actually pull it off!"

Nicola Fumo, style editor


Talula 'Cadogan' dress, $110

"One of the many things I love about being 5'3" is getting away with super short hemlines — which, in turn, make my legs look way longer than they actually are. This floaty babydoll dress balances the ample leg action with long sleeves and a loose fit, so it's not too sexy. I'd feel comfortable wearing this dress to something with family, friends, or coworkers. Spoiler alert: I'm probably wearing this to the Vox Media holiday party. The billowing sleeves and tie-neck have a '70s vibe, so I styled it with vintage accessories: a long, pendant necklace from a thrift shop and a teeny top-handle bag that belonged to my Grandma Fran."

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