The Little Black Dress has always been a wardrobe staple. It’s the go-to, fail-safe option for a black-tie event, and the most flattering choice for a sophisticated evening event. However, wearing a black dress shouldn’t be limited to formal occasions and it doesn’t mean we need compromise on dressing colourfully, with expression. I like to dust off and brush up my LBDs for all occasions, work and play. Here are my little tips on accessorising around your black dress and playing with colour and textures to compliment your mood and occasion.
I’ve chosen a light tiered cotton black dress from Topshop and layered it with a transparent, multi-patterned cardigan, with a heavier cotton khaki military jacket to get muddy in and protect me from the rain. A hat is essential to keep the UV rays away, and as always a bright sling bag keeps my valuables close to me and also means my friends can spot me in the crowd.
When I’m focused, I transport into ‘the zone’. Part of what I do means I need to keep inspired, and just because I’m busy at work doesn’t mean I should give up on thinking about what to wear. I like to mix comfort with focal pieces so I’m always ready to greet a client or pop out for an impromptu meeting, but also have the freedom to move and think. To make sure I look elegant, I like to play around with the shoes I wear… because when you don’t need to walk around all day, it’s the perfect opportunity to wear your favourite 3 inch heels! Here, I’ve teamed a simple black slip dress with a cropped monochrome top and a white sleeveless trench. I can remove the top two layers to flex my outfit into something a lot more formal for the evening.
Hong Kong is fortunate enough to have a healthy splattering of art galleries and contemporary creative spaces. Whilst contemplating expensive works of art and imagining them in my own home, I opt for knits and drapery. Shawls and detailed textiles always make me feel elegant and free, and are practically relevant for the constant yoyo-ing from heat to icy air-conditioning. I was lucky enough to get my hands on this M.Patmos shawl, a winner of the International Woolmark Prize for womenswear, and someone who knows a thing or two about sustainable and responsible materials.
To honour an age-old tradition, I also chose to create my own take on a smart, fun, but not over the top look for those nights when you want to impress that special someone. I get self-conscious when wearing short black dresses and killer heels, so I comfort myself in the casualness of a chic bomber jacket (seen on the sofa), an item that takes the outfit down a notch, but still allows me to own the look and show off my legs. The colourful embroidery in the jacket adds a delicate touch to my outfit and creates a break from the black colour blocking. When I’m seated for dinner, the off the shoulder details of my little black dress adds a touch of girly, playful romance to the occasion.
Follow Kim Ing’s adventures on Instagram! All photos in the article above were taken by the talented Sasha Tory of Sassy Media Group. Special thanks to Topshop, Stuart Weitzman and Quintessentially Hong Kong.