The new little black dress

Photos: Gentl & Hyers  

2 of 6
The Sculpted Black Dress
No more baby-dolls or boring shifts: The new Little Black Dress is big on shape and detail.

The Deal (middle)
For arm-sensitive women, this long-sleeved sheath is a find; for those in search of a narrower-looking waist, the belted folds in front do the trick. To dress it up, try fishnets. Calvin Klein, $128

The Middle Ground (right)
So chic you'd swear this dress came off a Paris runway. Waist-defining, hip-slimming elements—diagonal ruching on top, plus vertical pleating and a belt—flatter womanly bodies and invent curves for more boyish types. Byron Lars Beauty Mark, $295

The High End (left)
Call it lipo-in-a-dress—tapered starburst inserts at the waist take off 10 pounds instantly. With a cardigan, it's work-smart; without, an evening knockout (just add red lipstick). Searle, $598