I Love a Chic Black Dress—These Are the 25 I Really Rate

Much like a pair of jeans, or a crisp shirt, a black dress is a fashion piece that keeps on giving. It’s become the hero garment for transitional dressing and both luxury and high street brands are forever in a bid to create the perfect black dress, to withstand the change of seasons.

The classic LBD cemented its place as a fashion staple many moons ago. Although the origin of the LBD is ascribed to eveningwear, the versatility of a black dress is something that’s been carried throughout the decades. Now, black dresses—little or oversized, short or long—are a staple. The current offerings are aplenty, so you’ll most definitely find something in keeping with your taste.

A black dress is the one item that I can pull out for most eventualities—whether that’s a much-needed injection of confidence, time-sensitive dressing, or simply a contender for the unreliable British forecast. When searching for transitional black dresses, I have a few elements that I look out for—length and fabric. My preference is for midi-length dresses with the addition of sleeves. The Sleeper Atlanta dress and Baserange Shaw Kaftan Dress are exemplary. Comprised of natural fibres, they both allow for comfort and coverage and the sweeping lengths are appropriate for most weather conditions. Midi and maxi-length dresses ensure breathability in humid conditions, yet they look equally chic with trainers or knee-high boots, come the cooler months. As we’re becoming increasingly discerning about our clothing purchases and wardrobe capacities, our need for hard-working pieces is surpassing trend-led designs. This is why the black dress shines—classic, understated and sultry (if desired). Here’s my edit of the best 25 black dresses. Layer up, or down as appropriate but keep it close by and you’ll be guaranteed low cost per wear.

The fluidity of this Reformation piece is truly stunning. It hangs off the body just right.

The 2023 version of the Breakfast at Tiffany’s dress (and one comprising 100% organic silk, no less).

I first spotted this dress last year and my love of it still stands.

The ultimate date night dress. Simply pair it with an oversized blazer and heels.

This Mara Hoffman dress comes in two colourways but the black lends itself to transitional dressing. This style will be great for occasion wear in particular.

Ninety Percent excels at basics with a twist – the intricate lace detail elevates this style even further.

I don’t think Totême could have produced a more elevated t-shirt dress. The cinched waistband balances out the full skirt.

Crafted in Nigeria by local seamstresses, Mie pieces are considered in every way. Their garments are fashioned with functionality at the forefront and the Phie Phie dress is a prime example.

Cocooned Totême goodness. I’m on board!

A cosy but chic all-in-one outfit when you need to be uniform in a matter of moments.

With exception of sounding like a broken record, this is the dress that truly keeps on giving. I wear mine through all four seasons and switch out the footwear as appropriate.

This is one of the latest additions to my wardrobe and I plan on wearing it through winter, albeit with a layer or two.

This dress can be belted or worn as a free-flowing smock. The white piping gives it a contemporary lift.

A similar style by Jonathon Simkai was featured in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Deiji studios release transitional designs that can be worn in or outside of the home. Their newly released Drawstring dress will look equally chic with sandals in the summer.

Silky slip dresses are a wardrobe staple no matter the season. This dress is extra special as it’s crafted from Ecovero  – a more sustainable fibre.

This dress looks so premium.

The Sleeper Atlanta dress has amassed a cult following and it’s clear why. It’s the ultimate Victoriana-style midi dress you can squeeze ample wear out of come spring.

The winter update of COS’ best-selling sleeveless dress last year.

You can’t ignore the raving reviews for this dress – people say it makes them feel like a million dollars. With the added promise of a dress for all, it’s certainly piqued my attention.

A bandeau is the silhouette of the moment.

The boatneck cut of this St Agni dress is a regal design touch but look at the back for a detail contrast.

Matteau is one of my favourite designers for spring dresses but you can wear this piece from now!

Last year was all about peek-a-boo iterations but the trend has effortlessly transitioned into 2023 for eveningwear.

I live in this style of dress during the winter with knee-high boots. The rounded collar and buttoned detail give it a relaxed feel.

Up Next, Spring/Summer 2023 Fashion Trends: 21 Expert Approved Looks You Need to See