The little black dress is probably one of the most enduring fashion items of the last hundred years or so. Not many garments can claim to still create such a stir, be so incredibly flexible and make any woman look fabulous. Cocktail dresses are ideal for so many different occasions and the little black dress is the queen of the cocktail dress collection.

· Versatile

You can bling up your little black dress to the max by adding stacks of costume jewelry, a piled-up hairdo and heels that would give most people vertigo. And yet, you can also tone it down when the occasion demands. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with slipping into a little black dress and pulling on a pair of leather thongs or sandals. You’ll look stunning but in a very cool, understated way.

· Match your jewelry

If you’re going to a wedding, you should aim to keep your jewelry to a limited amount of pieces, keep them well coordinated and try to work with the style and shape of the dress, as well as your hair and eye color and the shoes and any other accessories that you’re wearing on the day. It you want to keep things very simple and stylish then choose just a plain necklace and bracelet and maybe some low-drop earrings. If you want to stand out from the crowd, costume jewelry is the way forward.

· Shoes

As already mentioned, your choice of footwear is very important for the look you’re trying to achieve in cocktail dresses. Depending on the style of the dress itself, you can go as low-key as you like and get away with a mixed style that will get you into any club or party and yet ensure you’re cool and comfortable all night long. A pair of killer heels will give your cocktail dress a completely different look but that’s the great thing about a little black dress – you can dress it up or dress it down to your heart’s content.

· Headwear

If you’re going to a wedding, why not complete the look with a hat? These days, fascinators (small hats, or large hair accessories, depending on the style you choose) and a lot of people prefer these as you can clip them securely into your hair and not have to worry about them blowing away, or where to keep them when you sit down for dinner. Whichever option you go for, make sure you try on lots of different styles and try them on with the dress, if possible, so that you can pick a design that really suits you. Hats really do make you stand out in a crowd, so you want to be absolutely sure you’re standing out for the right reasons and that your hat blends with the rest of your outfit, rather than taking all the attention away from it.

The little black dress should be every woman’s best friend – ready for any occasion when you need to know you look great with the minimum of effort.