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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, December 12, 2008

Little black dress versatile enough for recession budgets

By Paula Rath
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Photos by NORMAN SHAPIRO | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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There's no better solution for recession dressing than the Little Black Dress. It's probably the most versatile garment in our closets, with the possible exception of jeans.

The LBD can easily segue from work to a party. It can be dressed up or down with endless accessory and shoe choices. And with some clever conjuring it can be worn again and again, even to the same events with the same people in attendance.

We asked four of our Fashion Forum members to show us how they would style an LBD. We sent them to Club Monaco in Ala Moana Center, that hip bastion of black and white, to choose a dress from the December collection. (Club Monaco comes out with a new collection every month.) Each member dressed it up for a party, and gave us their thoughts on two other ways they could wear it.


What I'm wearing: Club Monaco "Sophie" dress, customized by turning the round neckline under to make it a v-neck; BCBGirls red patent Mary Janes, Nordstrom; the belt is a flea market find; no handbag necessary because the dress has roomy pockets.

I will also wear it for work: With my old standby oxfords and, if it's chilly in the office, a fitted red T-shirt from Lululemon layered underneath.

Or for a quick '50s look: With a wide belt and black flats; I actually have some cute Crocs (in this case, surprisingly not an oxymoron) in a ballet flat style that work great on rainy days.


What I'm wearing: Club Monaco "Hillary" dress; five themed vintage brooches, each with its own history; lipstick red peep-toe satin pumps, Nine West; mesh bracelet, Arden B.; earrings by 1928, a company which is now known as 2028.

I will also wear it for tango nights: With black lace stockings (capri style), a red velvet rose at the ear and black suede 4-inch D'Orsay high heels with diamond stud earrings for sparkle.

Or perhaps when singing jazz at the Atherton in KHPR: With an antique gold BCBG linen wrap jacket, gold strappy heels and turquoise enamel bamboo hoop earrings, bangle-sized.


What I'm wearing: Club Monaco "Gina" dress; layered faux turquoise necklaces, So Good Jewelry Hawai'i; white shell bracelet from Bali; Oscar de la Renta shoes; vintage clutch bag, a gift from my aunt.

I will also wear it for a casual evening: With black, knee-high boots; a black lace tank layered underneath; silver hoop earrings and a silver Tiffany necklace.

Or for work: Jazz it up with a jolt of red: red Tod's pumps; a red choker necklace with a big red pendant and a red bracelet.


What I'm wearing: Club Monaco "Rosie" dress; Philip Crangi studded bracelet; DIY necklace made with black ribbon and pearls from China; black Tahitian pearl stud earrings; satin and suede heels, Nine West; Bebe cropped leather jacket; black leather clutch from Barneys New York, Waikele.

I will also wear it as vintage glam: With a vintage fur shrug; faux-fishnet tights; cut-out oxford heels and sparkly brooches.

Or perhaps for a New Year's '80s party: With a vintage beaded belt; colored tights; slouchy ankle boots and chunky plastic earrings.

Reach Paula Rath at paularath@aol.com.