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New Year Challenge Day 12 to Stay Fabulous Over 50: 6 ways to dress down a little black dress

Challenge set by Julia Rees

Dress down a little black dress challenge style over 50



Welcome to day 15  of the “New Year New You” Challenge, and tomorrow’s challenge is to “Dress down a LBD”.

We are posting each challenge the evening before so that you have time to prepare your outfit/ your challenge ahead of time.


How many black dresses do you own…and how often do you wear them? I recently did a major wardrobe sort out.  I couldn’t believe quite how many black dresses I actually owned  I stopped counting at 40!  For some reason when clothes shopping its black I’m drawn to – probably from the mistaken idea when I was younger that black would make me look slimmer. I hasten to add that these are not all recent purchases –  some I have had for decades.

I have always tried to make my wardrobe really work for me- and often layer when wearing my black dresses – wearing things both over and under, in fact I did a while video series a few years ago on exactly that topic.

So , do participate in Julia’s latest style challenge – you’ll be amazed at how many different looks you can create to be stylish over 50!

style over 50 little black drets quote image

“ One is never over-dressed or underdressed with a little Black Dress” 

Karl Lagerfield

New Year New You Challenge 2021 : Dress down a LBD


The little black dress, or LBD, is something that every woman should have in their wardrobe, as it is really one of the most versatile pieces you can own.

The LBD is a very affordable addition to your wardrobe, and is likely to be worn on more occasions than most of your other outfits, making it a great investment piece with a low cost per wear.

The great thing about a LBD is that you can choose to dress it up or down, depending on your mood and the occasion.

Whilst dressing up a LBD is really easy, by adding some jewellery, a sparkly bag and/or some statement heels, dressing down a LBD can be a more thorny problem.

So, here are 6 ways you can dress down a LBD

Style a little black dress over 50 image

1 Switch out your jacket/ coat/ top

Pair your LBD with one or two other pieces in colours, prints and/ or textures that contrast with the dress. Pairing your LBD with a leather or suede moto jacket, especially a brightly coloured one (or in summer a denim jacket) is a great way to dress down your look.

2 Change your accessories

You can also dress down a LBD by pairing it with brightly coloured, more casual style accessories. For example, choose a brightly coloured belt to contrast with the dressier nature of the dress, or add a pop of colour with a vibrant scarf.

Add a fun pair of patterned tights to tone down the seriousness of the dress, and opt for fun and oversize bags and jewellery.

3 Change your shoes

  • Pair with sneakers : white sneakers are often seen on the runways and on fashionistas, or
  • Wear with “doc marten” type boots or knee-high boots to make the look less feminine. I chose to wear “doc martens” as it is snowing here at the moment, but white sneakers are a great option for summer.

4 Switch out your bag

Adapt your handbag – swap out the elegant clutch for an oversize tote bag or a casual fabric bag

5    Adapt your jewellery

  • Style your little black dress with pieces that contrast with the elegant feel of the dress, such as bright colours, vivid patterns or casual textures.
  • Select one or two pieces of bold costume/ fashion jewellery to wear with the dress and avoid gold and silver jewellery with expensive gemstones that would make the dress too elegant.

6 Change your hair and make up

Similarly, you will want to change your hair and makeup to be more relaxed and casual.

  • Pull your hair back in a casual ponytail or a messy updo if you normally wear your hair tied back. If you prefer to leave your hair down, opt for a more tousled, loose waves look rather than sleek, straight hair or perfect curls.
  • Keep your makeup more natural and choose a nude lip colour – keep the red lips for when you want to look more dressed up!

Lastly, just have some fun with it, and try different ways to dress down your little black dress.

The aim of this challenge is to stay positive and fabulous as we start the year in lockdown again and to experiment and have fun with your wardrobe, by wearing what you already own to put together new outfits.


It’s about putting together what you own in new ways and shaking you out of your style rut. So, just have some fun with it!

You can share your outfit on our Facebook Pages (@StyleConfidenceandSuccesswithJulia and @Fabafterfifty – don’t forget to follow us if you don’t already ) and if you love using social media you can also share your looks on Instagram or Twitter with #NewYearNewYouChallenge2021.


“Look good, feel good, live your best life“

Julia and Ceri xo



Julia Rees

Julia is a Style, Confidence and Success Coach and she is passionate about helping women to look good, feel good and live their best lives. She helps women find balance, clarity, confidence, freedom and success both within their personal and professional lives, and she is also a Style, Lifestyle and Travel blogger

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