How to Accessorize a Strapless Black Dress With a Jacket

British journalist Lucy Watson pairs an elegant black strapless dress with a studded leather jacket for an edgy look.
... Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

A little black strapless dress is a wardrobe essential -- you can easily dress it up or down depending on the occasion, and transition it from summer to winter without skipping a beat. That's especially true if you accessorize your dress with the right jacket. Whether you're headed to a beach barbecue or a sorority formal, there's a jacket that can help create the ideal look for your strapless LBD.

1 Go Casual

If you have a favorite simple black cotton tube dress or strapless sundress, layer a jacket over it in cooler weather. Try it with your denim jacket and black canvas tennis shoes if you’re headed to school or running errands. In the fall, add a pair of textured black tights, and swap the sneakers for black knee-high boots. Add silver hoop earrings and chunky silver necklace to complete the look. For summer nights, try a hooded sweatshirt over your black strapless dress. Go with a style in a bright color such as magenta or tangerine, or a bold pattern like a funky blue-and-black camouflage print. Throw on a pair of beaded flip-flops or gladiator sandals and you’re all set for a low-key night out with friends.

2 Go Polished

When you want to make your strapless black sheath dress look polished for work, an interview, a school presentation or a recital, pair it with a blazer. Go for a sophisticated, monochromatic look with a cropped black blazer and black pumps. Accessorize with pearl stud earrings or a pearl necklace to keep the look simple and elegant. A black pinstriped or dark charcoal blazer can also work well with a black dress. If you want a softer look, ditch the blazer and choose a fitted cardigan instead. Opt for a soft pink or mint green sweater, and wear it over your dress with black ballet flats and a delicate pendant necklace for a chic, feminine look.

3 Go Formal

A black satin strapless dress lends itself to formal occasions, but on a cool evening, you may need a little extra coverage to keep warm. A bolero jacket pairs well with a strapless dress because the cropped style doesn’t cover up too much. Keep your look simple with a black satin bolero, either plain or with a little embroidery or sequins. Add black satin peep-toe pumps, a rhinestone choker and large rhinestone stud earrings for a high-glam look. If you really want to stand out, go with a red velvet bolero or a silver beaded or sequined bolero. Pair it with strappy silver stilettos and a pair of dramatic chandelier earrings to tie the look together.

4 Go Edgy

Give your strapless black dress a bit of an edge by wearing it with a leather jacket. Layer a fitted black jacket over the dress, and add black combat boots and a spiked silver necklace for a tough, sexy look. If you want to be even more of a rock star, opt for a leather jacket with stud or chain details. For a night out at a club, wear fishnet tights and black, heeled ankle booties. Accessorize with bold silver hoops and matching bangle bracelets. Or go for a military-inspired look with a camouflage print jacket over your dress -- throw it on with black peep-toe ankle booties or chunky wedges and a silver dog-tag style necklace.

Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.