Sarasota Portrait Photographer-The Little Black Dress

November 11, 2021

This is Part 2 of our Portrait Chic Style Series

Made famous by the style icon, Coco Chanel, the Little Black Dress, also known as LBD, has been a girl’s best friend (next to diamonds, of course!) for many decades. 

From long to short, casual to dramatic, the LBD is the ultimate wardrobe classic. With a few key accessories, and shoes, an LBD is an instantly chic and universally flattering outfit. These days, you can find different iterations of this classic to fit your budget and style. 

Picking out the perfect one is a matter of preference, but if you need some tips on choosing the perfect one for your portrait session, or just came here for some inspo pics, read on! 


When going over outfit choices with our clients, we always suggest picking a fit that is flattering  to their body type—for women this usually means a silhouette that hugs closer to your natural curves without being too tight. 

Sheath/A-Line- This silhouette is by far the most universally flattering. This figure grazing cut just skims lightly over your curves, and is nipped perfectly at the waist. The bottom half hugs just a bit at the first hip, and then drapes straight down without hugging the thighs. 

Pencil or Tulip- Always classic, and super flattering for creating or enhancing an hourglass figure.

Bodycon- This one says it all. Think Herve Leger’s iconic Bandage dress. FULL curves ahead! Not for the faint of heart, this is a va-va-voom style dress. 

Skater/Flared- Another flattering silhouette that can both create or conceal curves.  

Empire- This one has a waist line that ends just underneath the bust, and sits above the waist. If you want attention to your bust line, or want to add the illusion of more curves up top—this is the one you pick. This also helps shorten a longer torso.

Drop-waist- En vogue during the roaring 20’s, and the opposite of empire, this one creates the illusion of a longer torso, bringing the waist down to just above, or on the first hip.


The general rule of thumb when choosing a skirt length for your professional headshots, is to first go by your company’s dress code (usually four or five finger height from the bottom of your dress to the top of your knees). If there isn’t a dress code, pick a skirt length that you can sit comfortably in for sitting poses, without exposing too much. 


Just because it’s black, it doesn’t have to be boring! Textures such as lace, flounces, pleats, add interest, and if strategically placed, can help create figure-flattering optical illusions. Perfectly placed darts, seams and visible stitching can also add flattering illusions to an otherwise plain dress. 


Just kidding, it’s black! However, pay attention the the type of fabric you pick. Satin reflects any light source, and a matte fabric like velvet or cotton absorb light. If you want to subtly balance out your body, this is a fun way to play with shadow and light.


The best part about wearing an all-black ensemble is that it is the best backdrop for jewelry, belts, brooches, scarves and shoes. Not sure what to wear with your LBD? Start with your can’t live without or sentimental accessory first and then build from there. Maybe you’re a statement necklace type of person, start with that as your anchor piece, and then build from there. When coming in for a portrait session at our studio, we work with what you have, and add from our own collection of accessories if needed. 

Whatever style or cut you choose, always remember that the best outfit is the one that makes you feel great about yourself!

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