Dressing Down Your Little Black Dress For Serious Occasions

The little black dress, or LBD as it is affectionately known, is a must-have in every woman's closet. It can go from the office to a cocktail party simply by switching out accessories, but what about more serious or somber occasions? There are a few essential rules for dressing down your LBD.

Funeral Attire

An LBD can be worn to a funeral if it is the proper length and style. You don't want to wear a super-short dress, of course, but slightly above the knee or longer is appropriate. Keep in mind that some faiths consider bare arms at a religious service disrespectful, so your best bet is to cover a short-sleeved or sleeveless dress with a jacket. It should go without saying that a tight-fitting dress with a plunging neckline is not appropriate funeral attire.

Fit and Style

A good rule of thumb for LBDs for more serious occasions is that if you would wear it to a cocktail party, it probably isn't entirely appropriate. Dresses for business meetings or funerals should be a looser fit and slightly longer with higher necklines. A sheath or a-line style is more appropriate than a form-fitting bodice or flouncy, full skirt. Lace, tulle and satin are definitely out while cotton, linen and smooth blends are in.


For a business dinner, you definitely don't want to glam up your LBD. Keep your accessories simple, like a single strand of pearls, a sophisticated broach or a tasteful necklace. Earrings should be classy and inconspicuous, such as pearls and small posts, or wear none at all. If you opt for a belt, make it conservative, such as plain leather. For somber occasions, you can go black from shoulder to toe with black stockings, sensible shoes and a small black purse. 

Hair Accessories and Hats

Hair accessories for business meetings or funerals should be simple, such as a plain velvet head band or small black combs with no glitter or gems. For funerals, some faiths only allow veils to be worn by members of the immediate family, so make yourself aware of customs before choosing a hat. 

While the little black dress is versatile, it isn't always suitable for more serious settings. Dressing one down often isn't as easy as dressing one up. It's not a bad idea to have a few LBDs in your closet to choose from in different fits and styles, along with some more conservative accessories. Explore the different styles at a clothing store, such as Mommy In Heels LLC.