3 Types Of Dresses You Can't Do Without

Buying a new dress is always fun, and sometimes it's nice to buy something just because it caught your eye, or just because you feel like it. However, there are a few staples that you should always have in your closet, and they need to be chosen carefully, because you'll need to rely on them when you don't have time to buy something new or can't find anything else that you like. If you have a few go-to dresses for specific occasions, you'll never be caught without an outfit when you need one. Take a look at the three most important staple dresses you need to have in your closet.

The Little Black Dress

Everybody Knows about the little black dress, and why not? It's been around since at least the 1600s, when black-dyed fabric was representative of the wearer's wealth, and the little black dress gained popularity in America as early as the 40s, when it was an affordable garment that women could make or buy even amid the wartime austerity.Today, it's popular largely for its versatility. You can dress it up or down as the situation requires, so the little black dress is what you go to when you're not certain of the appropriate style for the occasion, because the little black dress is almost always appropriate.

Choosing your own little black dress is serious business, and very personal. It should also be the dress that flatters your shape and accentuates your best features. Have great legs, but a few too many inches on your waistline? Then you need a short skirt and an empire waist. Is your body more rectangular-shaped, without too many curves? Choose an A-line dress to make that shape work for you. Here's a hint: the little black dress doesn't have to actually be little -- if longer skirts or higher necklines are more your style, go with that. The most important feature of the little black dress is that it's not too fussy or busy – you'll need it to be a fairly neutral canvas so that you can accessorize for any occasion. Go with chunky gold jewelry when you want a flashy look, or a small pendant necklace when you need something more subdued. A pair of fishnet stockings and some silver bangle bracelets can give you a look that's edgy, but not over the top. 

The Power Dress

Have a job interview or an important business meeting? Sure, there are plenty of cute business suits out there that you could choose from, but sometimes you just want a dress – it will keep you cooler and more comfortable in a warm location (like a stuffy boardroom) and a good power dress will boost your confidence by making you feel commanding, yet feminine at the same time.

There are some very specific requirements for a power dress. Avoid anything overly trendy – a power dress should be a classic that can stand the test of time. Make sure that it hits at or below the knee, and that the neckline is conservative. You should also avoid showing too much skin on your arms, but a nice sleeveless dress can work if you add a smart jacket. Don't make the mistake of choosing something drab – choose a deep, bold color that works with your skin tone, like burgundy or maroon if you like warm colors, or forest green or midnight blue if cool colors are more your style. Alternatively, choose a neutral like tan or beige, but add a brightly colored belt or scarf for flair. Don't overdo the jewelry, but do pair the power dress with an heirloom brooch or a classic strand of pearls. 

The Summer Dress

Imagine that you're going to a casual backyard wedding, a summer family reunion, or a little restaurant right on the beach. Do you have something to wear that's casual and comfortable enough for outdoor wear, but dressy enough for a special occasion? If not, you're in need of a summer dress.

Slipping into a good summer dress should feel effortless – it should be light and floaty, and you should be able to throw it on and go, without having to worry too much about accessories or shoes. Summer dresses should pair well with sandals and wide-brimmed sun hats. You might consider a little white dress to fill this role, but a pastel or floral patterned sundress could work just as well. Opt for a long, full skirt for a breezy look that fits the season, and choose a matching lightweight sweater or shawl to go over a spaghetti strap or sleeveless top, just in case there's a chilly ocean breeze.

With these three dresses in your closet, you'll be prepared for everything from formal evening affairs to corporate mergers to casual brunches. Whether you have one hundred other dresses or just a few, these three will be the most important dresses in your rotation. Click here for more information.