There's probably one thing that all plus-size women and their wardrobes have in common. It's the predominance of black clothing. It's funny. Somewhere along the way, we all seem to have bought into the idea that black is SLIMMING - and into the further idea that we needed to be "slimmed" by our clothing. An annoying concept for those of us who LIKE our curves. (And who see the irony in skinny women "enhancing" curves after starving to be slender.) Why can't we all just get along??? LOL. But, there is one thing that women of ALL sizes need in their wardrobe, and that's the perfect little black dress. Why? Because that one garment can take you from your daytime doldrums to your night-time fantasies within seconds.

But I didn't start this article to write all that. I started this article to talk about my favorite topic: the plus size little black dress.

First of all, make sure that you HAVE a few little black dresses on hand, and make sure they're stylish and in good condition. Sometimes we wear them so often, that they've simply lost their pizzazz. If you need one or two new ones, be BOLD and go for a shorter hem or a lower neckline. After all, you can always toss on a great long, dramatic silk scarf (tied at the back of your neck) to create a more appropriate look for the office. When you leave for the day, tie that same scarf sideways around your waste to add an attention-getting extra to your ensemble.

What else can you do to pump up the volume? Here's 8 more tips to get the ball rolling.

1. Stockings. Remember that a simple little black dress can carry a bigger accessory statement. Go for fishnet pantyhose! ... or at least consider a few polka dots or a classy seam up the back.

2. Shoes. Okay, this is your chance to give yourself a REAL lift. The great thing about a basic black is that you can add almost ANY signature color to your accessories. Just make sure that you create a symphony of color - and not chaos. If your shoes are red, your scarf should feature the same shade too. You get the picture.

3. Think about a hat. Same reason. A basic black outfit can carry those amazing extras that a print or plaid might not. Just keep the chapeau to the same level of classiness.

4. Go for the gusto with ONE big signature piece of jewelry, instead of an ensemble.

5. Follow 7th Avenue's latest craze and add a vibrant, colored trench over your little black dress!

6. Add a zipper! If you've seen anything in the media about fashion recently, you've probably noticed that exterior, exposed zippers are jazzing it up all over the place. Want to make a strong statement with little effort? Use double-sided tape to put a long faux zipper up the back of your dress - or hey - up the FRONT would be amazing! (Just remember, it will only get you through the night!) Remember to actually SEW the zipper in place if you love the look!

7. Got an old dress that you're ready to replace? Add a few inches of lace at the bottom and at the neckline and save it for your next special occasion. Lace might be too dressy for the office, but it is always a go at weddings and christenings.

8. Finally, #8 (which is actually #10, if you've been keeping count!). It's all in the bag! Okay, I try NOT to talk about bags in every accessory column - just because it's so obvious, but for the perfect little black dress, we simply CAN'T overlook the bag. In this case, you don't need to spend a TON of money either. Hit the local thrift store and look for the most amazing little handbag you can find - or the boldest. Remember, the great thing about the basic plus size little black dress is that it can make a BIG statement with just a LITTLE effort.

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