A Chic Black Dress Perfect for Summer…And How to Style it for Fall

Perfect Black Dress for Women Over 40

Can you wear a black dress in the summer on a hot day?? That is a very common question in style land, and the answer is… a resounding, YES!

While it may not be the first thing you think of for summer, a black dress can still work beautifully during the warmer months! They are especially helpful if you are traveling as they won’t stain and they keep you looking sleek, modern, and sophisticated.

And, I’m excited to share that I found the perfect LBD. It checks so many boxes: 1) It has sleeves, 2) It is wrinkle-resistant, 3) Highlights the waist, 4) Is lightweight, and 5) (drumroll)… It is affordable! Keep scrolling to see this chic mini dress and how I styled it.

Black Dress for Women Over 40

BB Dakota Black Dress for Women Over 40

Black Dress…With Sleeves!

Do you remember the black BB Dakota dress from last year’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale? I bought it because there was a very similar version in the 2021 NSale too so I knew I had to try this updated version. It has some really chic upgrades, including a more defined, cinched waist and button detailing. The material is a great, lightweight, breathable material. Another highlight…sleeves. It has sleeves. It’s not easy to find a lightweight summer dress with sleeves and without question, that is one of the biggest concerns women over 40 share with me here on the blog, on YouTube, and on Instagram.  You want arm coverage, but you don’t want to be sweltering hot. Problem solved! This dress runs a little small so you could size up one size if you like more room and length. This dress is on the shorter side. Remember, I’m 5’4″ for reference.

Uh oh, we buried the lead, which is the price. The dress is only $89 but is currently on sale for $54!

BTW, I took these pictures in an Airbnb in Malibu, California. I don’t drink alcohol, but if I did, I would love one of those cool wine rack walls!

By the way, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is starting VERY soon so make sure you head over to this post to find all of the inportant info you need to know!


summer black dress

how to wear black dress in summer Black Dress for Women Over 40

black dress in summer

BB Dakota black dress styling


How To Style A Black Dress for Summer

So, now, let’s talk about styling your LBD for summer. It’s really very simple. All you need to do is throw on a cute pair of sandals or heels, a necklace… and you’re ready to go! In this look, I’m wearing a pair of Marc Fisher ankle-tie sandals that are SO chic and comfortable. Strappy heels are a big trend this summer and these are the perfect neutral option for all of your summer outfits…from dresses and skirts to jeans and tees. The mesh strap is also on-trend and keeps your feet cool. You could wear this look to date night or dinner but for something more casual, swap the heels for a pair of block-heel sandals or flat sandals.

I also want to point out the two necklaces that I am wearing. The first is a pre-layered, 3-strand pendant necklace by Kendra Scott. Really a ‘done-for-you’ piece that is great for everyday wear. I added the second, collar-bone length, chunky, chain necklace, and LOVE the way the two look together!

Now… how can we transition this piece into fall?? Keep scrolling to find out!


bb dakota long sleeve dress with boots

nordstrom anniversary sale


How To Style A Black Dress for Fall

For fall, I swapped the summery heels for a pair of sleek black Vince booties. The low block heel (2.5”) makes them super easy to walk in. And I love the on-trend square toe! These boots run a tiny bit narrow on me so I sized up half a size. This is a really edgy, cool head-to-toe black outfit that’s a fun way to style your LBD. By the way, I know that many of you don’t love a square toe as much as I do. If that’s the case and you prefer a rounded toe, go for these booties by Steve Madden. They’re almost the exact same pair as the ones from a few years ago that you may remember me wearing all over Europe! Those are a great basic with some edge and a lower price point too!

To add a little extra pop and cinch the waist even more, I decided to add a black belt. I love this belt with the dress but it’s also a great basic if you don’t already have a classic black belt to wear with jeans. I’m wearing the same gorgeous gold jewelry by Kendra Scott and added a chic green bag by AllSaints. This beautiful green neutral color is way more versatile than you think!

fashion over 40 ideasHow to Style a Black Dress for Fall

What Shoes To Wear With A Black Dress

What shoes you wear with your black dress will depend on a few things…the style of your dress, the length of your dress (mini versus maxi dress), your lifestyle, the season, and the occasion. For example, the dress I’m wearing above can be dressed up for a special occasion during the spring/summer with a fun pair of strappy heels. Or you can style it with booties for a casual everyday look during the fall. The possibilities are endless as long as you have that perfect black dress that can really do it all!

Which look is your favorite…#1 Summer?? or #2 Fall? Let us know in the comments! Don’t forget the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is coming soon! Find everything you need to know about the sale here.

Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to receive some incredible style resources. Thanks for stopping by!

Erin Busbee signature

Join the Conversation

8 thoughts on “A Chic Black Dress Perfect for Summer…And How to Style it for Fall

  1. Thank you so much for styling this for us! I bought the dress at the sale and I am also short and petite. Even so, I find the waist is very high (and I am short waisted). I noticed your belt falls below it, and I’m glad to see that so I feel comfortable doing the same. I am definitely going to go back for the belt. I do think a size up is a good recommendation for taller folks. Can’t wait for it to cool off enough to wear this dress with boots this fall. I think it will be a closet staple.

  2. Been following you and have gotten great ideas. But I’m 76 and want to stay fashionable. Would like a video for stylish older women
    I live in Jeans

  3. This dress is cute but very short. Any suggestions for those of us who are taller or prefer something longer than a tunic?

  4. would this style of dress work for a plus size (14-18) over 40 woman? Do you have an example of a plus size dress? It’s a beautiful dress but the largest size is large (8-10). please help!

Explore More

Posts You'll Love

How To Wear The Popular Fashion Trend: Matching Sets (Over 40 & 50)

Wondering how to wear the popular trend, matching sets? Sharing everything you need to know,…
Read Post

20 Chic & Simple Mom Outfits For Every Occasion You Have This Summer!

We're sharing 20 mom outfits for every occasion you might have this summer! From super…
Read Post

You’ll Love These Feminine Spring Office Outfits You Can Wear All Summer Too!

Sharing NINE feminine spring and summer office outfit ideas!
Read Post
For Less Friday

15 Head-Turning (And Affordable!) Sexy Going Out Tops To Heat Things Up This Summer

These 15 going out tops are so pretty, kinda sexy, AND affordable!
Read Post