Your Empowered Perfect Black Dress for the Holidays

By on November 14, 2011

By JuliAnn Stitick –

Yes… we are closing in on the holiday season fast! The festivities are beginning. It is the time of year that many of my clients are emailing and calling me frantically asking what to wear for their company party or family gathering. This year let’s keep it simple!!

Time to pull out your Perfect Black Dress (PBD). Take it out today and make sure it is clean! Below I will share a few ways to keep your look festive and fashion forward. If you don’t have a PBD, I put together some tips on how to choose one.

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Before we step into the perfect cut for your Body Silhouette keep this in mind. It MUST be comfortable! My fav PBD is from Karen Kane. When I slip it on it feels like I’m wearing my pajamas! Made from a combination of a knit rayon/spandex blend.

No pulling or shifting or sucking it in. It’s tough to feel confidence when you are worrying about whether your bra is showing or feeling the need to focus the whole evening on sucking in your tummy.

Having said that, Nordstrom and I put together some tips for choosing that Perfect Black Dress (PBD)!


The PBD for the petite frame elongates and flatters like this three-quarter sleeve Donna Morgan dress with ruffle trim.

Look for a dress with a lot of shape and horizontal seaming — and is scaled just right for your figure. The hemline should hit at or slightly above the knee. Avoid too-cutesy looks (like puffed sleeves or giant bows) so you won’t look little girlish.

Sensitive About Your Arms:

Don’t worry: you don’t have to look matronly to cover up your arms. The trick is to keep the sexy element with embellishment or peekaboo cutouts on your PBD. A sheer-sleeve dress, like this, is another great way to get some sex appeal and still conceal arms.


Just because your figure has curves doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a PBD. And nothing looks sexier than showing a little skin in an elegant scarf draped dress. (Buy Direct.) Look for designs enhancing and make you look and feel even more beautiful than they already are.

Wide Shoulders:

You don’t need to hide your upper body in your PBD if you have wide shoulders. Instead, look for body-balancing details like the trendy asymmetrical neckline, like this one-shoulder style (Buy Direct.) Avoid puffy sleeves or voluminous tops paired with slim bottoms that will exaggerate your shoulder width.

Wide Hips:  

The easiest way to balance a bottom-heavy figure is to choose a PBD that skims over the lower half of the body. Fuller skirts, like this Monique Lhuilllier dress, (Buy Direct) disguise heavy hips, while showing off the waist. A fitted halter or strapless silhouette — which accents a trim upper body — is very flattering for bottom-heavy figures.

Full Bust:

Balance a top-heavy figure in a PBD by opting for the most flattering necklines for the full bust: the V-neck, square neck, wrap or portrait style like this Maggy London dress. Look for fabrics that skim (jersey is good), but aren’t clingy or too stiff. Also, avoid ornate necklines, embellished bodices and blouson styles.

Small Bust:

Most clothing actually hangs better on women with smaller busts, but if you want to add more volume up top look for embellishment or fullness on the bust. This dress has ruffles on the bust that give it volume, plus a defined waist which flatters the upper body.

If you are still struggling to find the PBD, choose separates. Choosing a skirt and top (using the same tips above) can give the same elegance as the PBD.

 Now Accessorize It!!

Now that you have your PBD (or separates), here are a few tips to make it a timeless piece that you can wear it multiple times and keep the look fresh!

Bring color and festivity in by wearing a statement shawl or pashmina. Not sure how to wear it? Take a look! … or…Faux fur is all the rage this season so bring it on with a wrap or short jacket! Warm and cozy!

Your jewelry plays a key role in your look! Wear small fine jewelry for the Classy Lady look or chunky fashion jewelry for a more fashion forward City Chic look.

Your SHOES! This is the perfect time to step into some statement shoes. Do they need to be black? NO!! Have fun with a red patent peeptoe!

Your handbag! Just like with the shoes, have FUN! No, the bag does not need to match the shoes. Fun to go with black, head to toe and then pop some color with your evening bag.

Once you check the PBD off your list, it’s time to celebrate the season with family and friends! Hope your holidays are fabulous and blessed.

What accessorizing tip will you use this year for your PBD? I love to learn from you, so please do share!

Smiles, J


For years, JuliAnn, The “Heart” of Empowered Style, has been blessed to say that she has a dream job! A recipe with the main ingredients being her passions of inspiration, fashion and organization. Whether teaching at a live event, one of her Discover Your Style Workshops, providing corporate image training or working one-on-one with a client, JuliAnn’s mission is to use her fashion expertise to show love, encourage and empower women. From the unmentionables to the accessories, JuliAnn gently and lovingly guides women in discovering their inner style and then translating that to their outer image. An image and feeling of confidence for a more fulfilling and successful life! Her Website:

About JuliAnn Stitick

JuliAnn Stitick, CEO and Founder of Your Success Style, is a World Class Image Expert and International Speaker. With over 20 years in image she actively speaks, trains and provides business and personal image consultations for clients ranging from the boardroom to the entrepreneur to the full-time domestic goddess. JuliAnn styles for the Oscars and achieves ongoing accolades from organizations including Nordstrom, Lexus, Marriott, and The Capital Group, to name a few. Your offers a heart-centered approach to image, you will find her at:

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Your Empowered Perfect Black Dress for the Holidays