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The Best Black Dress

Last updated on September 2, 2022

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The fashion word has Coco Chanel to thank for introducing one of the world’s most famous styles to a wider audience. In the mid-1920s, Vogue magazine published a sketch of Chanel’s black sheath dress—and soon after, the little black dress (or LBD) became a style icon. But before its haute couture debut, calf-length dresses were already a staple worn by middle-class women for centuries.

Now the dress is a chic, timeless wardrobe staple. It comes in an endless number of styles—from short and form-fitting to flowy and tunic-like—and is worn by individuals of all ages for various occasions, from the workplace to date night and parties. Sizes from range from petite to plus-size (tons of maternity options are also available) and the fabrics are just as varied, whether you’re a fan of soft cotton and polyester or elegant silk.

Black dresses are produced by myriad manufacturers, making them widely available and increasingly affordable. That means everyone can own a slice of the style Chanel made famous in the early 20th century. Here, our picks for top black dresses and how to find the best fit for your size and style.

Our Picks For The Top Black Dresses

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Product Overview
Our Take
 Top Pick

BELONGSCI Bell Sleeve V-Neck Mini Black Dress

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BELONGSCI

Bell Sleeve V-Neck Mini Black Dress

Made with a soft blend of polyester and spandex, the mini dress has a convenient zipper enclosure, flirty bell sleeves and a V-neck. Whether you’re looking for a comfy workday essential or date-night outfit, it’s a great addition to your wardrobe.

Overall Take

Day-to-Night StapleThis loose-fitting, bell-sleeved mini dress hits above the knee and is a prime wardrobe staple for all occasions.

 Runner Up

PRETTYGARDEN Long Lantern Sleeve Tie-Waist Black Dress

PRETTYGARDEN

Long Lantern Sleeve Tie-Waist Black Dress

The crewneck dress has puffy lantern sleeves, a tie waist and an above-the-knee length. Dress it up with knee high boots and scarf in the fall and strappy sandals or pumps in the springtime.

Overall Take

Elegant and AdjustableThe polyester knit fabric is soft and cozy, while the adjustable tie waist makes the dress great for all sizes and body shapes.

 We Also Like

Sarin Mathews Off Shoulder Short Sleeve Skater Black Dress

Sarin Mathews

Off Shoulder Short Sleeve Skater Black Dress

Produced with a combination of cotton, polyamide and spandex, this skater-style cocktail dress has an off-the-shoulder neckline and flowy high-low hem. The thick, yet breathable fabric is great for all seasons.

Overall Take

Flirty EssentialThe high-low hem and off-the-shoulder neckline make this dress an attention grabber, while the stretchy fabric is snug and warm.

 Strong Contender

BTFBM Crew Neck Tank Bodycon Mini Black Dress

BTFBM

Crew Neck Tank Bodycon Mini Black Dress

This sleeveless mini dress has a bodycon fit with ruched waist and wraparound hem. It’s lined and has a soft, T-shirt-like feel, making it a comfortable option for a night out on the town.

Overall Take

Party-Ready BeautyThe bodycon-style, figure-fitting shape makes the dress a stunner, particularly paired with statement jewelry or heels.

What to Look For

Before washing your dress, always check its care tag for proper instructions. Some are machine washable, while others require handwashing or dry cleaning.

To keep your black clothing from fading to grey at home, Whirlpool suggests washing your garments inside out in cold water on a delicate cycle and using a low heat setting in the dryer or air drying.

When choosing the right size—x-small, medium, large, x-large, xx-large, etc.—it’s helpful to know your bust, waist and hip measurements, which you can easily record using a measuring tape (instructions and videos are available online if you need help). Compare those numbers to the dress manufacturers’ size charts to find the best fit.

If you’re purchasing dresses using Amazon Prime, it’s easy to have multiple black dresses shipped to your door so you can test out different sizes and styles. Since Prime members have access to convenient return policies, you can keep what you like and send whatever doesn’t fit back to sellers—but make sure to ensure your purchase qualifies for returns and Prime shipping.

More to Explore

One of the most famous black dresses in history was worn by Audrey Hepburn in the acclaimed 1961 film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” The long satin black dress was produced by French designer Hubert de Givenchy, who designed most of Hepburn’s wardrobe for movies. In the romantic comedy co-starring George Pepard, Hepburn gets out of a taxi at Tiffany’s in New York City with a coffee and a croissant wearing the cocktail-style gown. Today, you can see a copy of the influential dress at The Garment Museum in Madrid, Spain.

More to explore