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    How To Rock A Black Dress (Even If You Like Color!)

    February 26, 2018 Amanda Cross 8 min read
    Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more details. Thanks for supporting the brands that make The Happy Arkansan possible!

    Happy Monday lovelies! I have been wanting to share this look with y'all for a while, but I couldn't find the right hook, but then I got it. Black dresses have become a staple in my wardrobe lately (I am just so attracted to them as of late) but I adore my color (as you may be able to tell by my blog!) So, I decided to write a little guide on how to rock a black dress, even when you love color with all your heart.

    How To Rock A Black Dress (Even If You Love Color!) | I have been growing my personal collection of black dresses, even though most of my wardrobe is colorful. I like their simplicity, but I know that some people avoid wearing black. If you are one of those people, today I am sharing some tips on how to wear a cute black dress even if you love colorful clothing.

    1. Find the Perfect Black Dress

    If you would like to wear cute black dresses, you need to find your perfect black dress first. There are so many factors that go into finding the dress that you will absolutely love. Here are a couple of things to consider:

    Shades of Black

    Yep, the first thing you have to consider is what shade of black you want to wear. Really, they aren't all the same! Some dresses are considerably darker than others. This is why you can't usually wear a good all black outfit unless it's all one piece of fabric. So, some blacks are going to be really dark, while others are kind of faded. It all depends on what you feel comfortable with.


    You can go with the traditional little black dress, or you can experiment with different lengths like knee-length, midi, or maxi. There are so many lengths that you can choose from and there is a black dress for the length you need.


    Sleeveless dresses are great if you want to add more to them, but you could also go for short sleeve, 3/4ths sleeve, or long sleeve dresses. Each one will create a different look, but if you gravitate toward color I would choose something that's sleeveless or short sleeved.


    Your dress can have texture! Try a black dress with lace details or embroidery! Get experimental with what your black dress looks like.


    Last, but not least, you can play with symmetry. You may want to go with something that's straight across, something that's high low, or something that's asymmetrical to start.

    For my perfect black dress I picked up the Mock Neck Midi Dress from JustFab. If you aren't a VIP member it is $42.95 versus if you are a VIP member it's $22.95. You can usually get all sorts of deals to start your VIP membership, then you can skip as many months as you want and still enjoy the VIP discounts. I usually don't shop with credits, and instead I shop on the JustFab website when I see a sale I like.

    This dress also comes in red, which I need to get ASAP. This dress is so fantastic and it's the perfect black dress that can take you from work chic to a night out with friends in a hot second.

    New VIP Member Exclusive! Get Your First Outfit for $10 + Free Shipping & Exchanges at JustFab!

    2. Plan The Right Look

    Now that we have our perfect black dress taken care of, it's time to plan in our heads what our outfit will look like.

    So many people automatically begin to think about how they can darken the outfit up and make it depressing or make it drab. DON'T DO THAT. Black dresses are a great empty canvas. Black pretty much matches with everything you have in your closet (even brown, I don't have time for people telling me what looks good together.)

    You have a fresh start, now you just need to plan what you will do with it. Are you going to go for a classy look? Add some pops of color? Dress it down? Make it tomboy chic?

    Whatever you plan to do with your black dress, you have a world of possibilities ahead of you.

     How To Rock A Black Dress (Even If You Love Color!)

    3. Add Pops Of Color With Accessories

    Now it's time to chat about how you are going to add color to your black dress. A black dress is slimming and it's a blank canvas (like we just discussed.) With the right accessories you can make this dress an integral part of your wardrobe (even if you would rather rock pink any day of the week.)


    When you want to add a pop of color, start with makeup. I didn't wear makeup during this shoot (sometimes I like to serve natural looks for y'all) but my favorite thing to do is add a pop of color with eyeshadow and lipstick. There are so many more ways to add pops of color with your makeup though:

    • Experiment with colorful mascara or eyeliner.
    • Highlight so hard your mirror the sun.
    • Add a pretty blush to your cheeks for a pinch (get it!) of color.


    Handbags are great because they add color to your wardrobe while also being very practical for your day-to-day life. A well-organized handbag can get you through any situation and keep you totally prepared for what life throws your way.

    I recently picked up the most adorable handbag from JustFab when I picked up this dress. It's called the Morton Satchel. I can't find the purple color I am sharing here on the site anymore (there's a chance it's coming back) but you can still get it in dark slate blue and taupe. Both are gorgeous and they totally make me want to get this purse in various other colors. You can get this purse for $39.95 as a VIP member and $59.95 as a regular customer.

    I love this bag because there is plenty of space on the inside, they are beautifully colorful, and they even have a strap which turns them into an over the shoulder bag! LOVE.


    Adding a bit of jewelry can really take your dress to the next level. The most basic jewelry addition to a black dress takes a page from Audrey Hepburn, pearls. I love to wear pearls with my black dresses as it's such a classy look.

    If you want to take it up a notch, you can pair your black dress with a crystal (or faux crystal) statement necklace. Love this piece linked below from Jane Stone. I have a few pieces from this creator on Amazon now, and I love them both.

    One of my favorite things to wear with any of my outfits are my bracelets from Metal Marvels. They are so dainty and from far away they look like normal bracelets, but once you get close you can see they all have badass sayings that remind me to be the lady boss I am.



    The next thing that can make a big impact on your dress are the shoes that you choose to pair with it. You can go for the natural nude pump, a pair of ballet flats, or even some tennis shoes if you want to dress it down. I will pair almost anything with some sneakers because I value comfort over showing things off.

    I also like to wear black dresses with my favorite booties ever. These babies got me through a night at a Queen Bey concert without busting up my feet too badly, so I trust them with everything I have and recommend them any chance I get. I got them from Rack Room Shoes originally, but you can actually get them from Amazon too (and for a little bit cheaper than Rack Room.) Score!

    4. Reinvent Your Black Dress With Layers

    The reason that I love the sleeveless dress so much is that you can add so much to them to make them pop. You can add layers to your dresses when they have sleeves as well.

    One of my favorite ways to add to a sleeveless dress is to add a shirt underneath, especially if it's a button-down top or a top with bell sleeves. It just looks so cute and it instantly creates and an entirely new dress.

    You can also cover up with an adorable blazer. I love this blazer from JustFab I showed y'all earlier this year. It's their Zip Pocket Blazer. My one complaint about this blazer is that the pockets are fake. Yep. you heard it from me. I was so excited to use the pockets, but it's purely for decoration. On the bright side, it comes in blush and dark indigo! It's $22.95 for members and $56.95 regularly. You can see the blazer in action in my post Five Things I Am Leaving Behind In 2017.

    You can also use things like add-on collars, leggings, stockings, and so much more to make your black dress match your colorful personality.

    5. Get Out Of Your Fashion Comfort Zone

    When it comes to a new clothing style, getting out of your fashion comfort zone can be hella hard. It's easy to fall into our old ways, but you should always be striving to try different things and expand your horizons.

    Make It A Game

    If you are struggling with breaking out of your fashion rut, make it a game.

    Go through your closet and think about what you normally wear. Then create a few things you can do based on what you don't normally wear in your closet. Then think of a few tasks you may have to purchase one or two items for (you don't want to spend all the money playing this game.)

    Break fashion rules and out of your comfort zone and reward yourself for it. For every five things you complete off your list, treat yourself to a manicure or go to the movies.

    Here are some tasks you may want to try:

    • Wear something you never thought would look good on your body type.
    • Strut your stuff in a color you always try to avoid.
    • Use the Random Hex Color Code Generator and base an outfit off of a random color.
    • Break a fashion rule that you have always followed.
    • Try to recreate a fashion look from one of your favorite celebs or online content creators with stuff you already have in your closet.
    • Let your significant other, friend, or family member pick an outfit for you.
    • Create a look that's totally opposite from your normal look (for example: if you dress in a preppy way normally, try dressing up in a grunge look.)

    As you can see, there are so many ways that you can create little fashion challenges for yourself. Keep these up, and keep ticking away at them and you will feel so much more comfortable breaking your fashion rules later.


    I know rocking a black dress can be scary AF when you love to wear a million colors. I love experimenting with different colors and sometimes I take a walk on the darker side. You should NEVER put yourself in a fashion box because honestly, you may surprise yourself one day. If you don't feel quite comfortable jumping right into black clothes, go to a store and try some stuff on first. You don't have to commit, but you might be surprised how much you like LBDs afterwards.

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    1 Comment

  • Kaitlin February 26, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    Amanda, I love this post so much! A black dress is the perfect wardrobe staple and they’re so versatile—I’ve worn my fav black dress to graduation, nice dinners, and interviews! Also, that photo of you laughing in the bloopers section is so precious–candid photos are my absolute favorites.
    Kaitlin ||

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    About Amanda

    Hey Y’all!
    My name is Amanda Cross, and I am the blogger behind The Happy Arkansan. I am a blogger, freelance writer, and podcaster. When I am not creating content for any of my content online, I can usually be found baking, watching YouTube, or napping. I love helping millennials and young adults navigate the mess that is adult life. Keep reading for my thoughts and experiences.

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