little black dress

Some things are absolutely essential to sustain life: air, food, water, wine, Netflix (okay, those last two might not be as critical -- but you get the point). Likewise, some items are absolutely essential to sustain a woman's wardrobe: perfectly blue, worn-in jeans, a crisp white button-up, nude heels, and last -- but certainly not least -- the LBD (or little black dress, in case the title of this post wasn't enough of a hint).

LBDs come in all shapes and sizes.
LBDs come in all shapes and sizes.

What makes the LBD so important, you ask? For starters, it's black -- a classic hue that has stood the test of time and that practically screams, "I'm a lady!" (à la Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's). It's also incomparably slimming -- black is flattering on everyone. Even on your most bloated of days, you can throw on an LBD and look like you've been dieting/hitting the gym for months (this may or may not be the reason for why 99% of my wardrobe is, indeed, black).

Second, it's a dress. Now, I'm a feminist so I'm all about female empowerment and dressing however you damn well please. So I won't say that all women will need to wear a dress at some point in their lives (after all, some women can really pull off the pantsuit -- Hillary, I'm looking at you). However, I will say that it's highly likely that most women will attend some type of function where wearing a dress is the most appropriate and sensible option. And while you could opt for a dress in a fun color or vibrant pattern, there's always a chance that it might not completely work for said function. That's where the LBD comes in. Because 100 percent of the time, the LBD will never let you down.

What I also love about LBDs is that they're available in so many varieties. You can rock a '60s-inspired mini or a dramatic, floor-sweeping maxi. You can opt for sequins, glitter, and appliqués or go with something more streamlined and minimalist. You can choose cutouts or sheer paneling. You can add a little lace or a touch of pleating.

In short, when it comes to an LBD, the options are truly limitless. That's why I'm so excited to partner up with Amliee Couture, an online shopping destination that boasts a solid selection of LBDs (and other dresses) that are perfect for any occasion. Best of all, enter the code SUMMER at checkout to receive 10% off your entire order!

This look is all about risk-taking. In recent years, my sense of style has become more conservative -- not really in the sense that I'm covered from head to toe, but instead, I've realized that I can no longer dress the way I did in college. That being said, I wanted to wear an LBD that was daring, unexpected, and a bit risqué. I definitely found that with this stunner. With the plunging neckline and asymmetrical hemline, this LBD is slinky, sultry, and uncompromisingly sexy. I edged it up a bit with a short-sleeve leather jacket (previously worn here) and strappy, pointed-toe pumps that feature the most badass buckle accents (I love how the burgundy adds an unexpected punch of color). Overall, the look perfectly straddles the line between polished and provocative.

(Special thanks to makeup artist Meg Stice who beautified me for this shoot. See more of her work here.)

Dress: Amliee Couture (c/o)

Jacket: BB Dakota (discontinued, unfortunately, but check eBay or local thrift shops for similar vintage styles)

Shoes: ShoeDazzle (and currently on SALE!)

styleMekita Rivas