The Essential Little Black Dress.

Sometimes you come across a dress that just says, “Take me! Love me! Wear me!”

For me, I have to say that isn’t very often because I’m choosy and when I wear a dress, I always feel I have to sit up straight, pull my tummy in, be aware of my posture etc etc or I’ll look like a dumpy frump.

We all need a Little Black Dress

So when designer Leoni MacLeod from Verily sent me this dress for editorial consideration I was thrilled to receive one in black (for its slimming properties) and hoped that the easy wear fabric would cover my lumps and bumps.


Disclaimer: I was gifted this dress for editorial consideration. Er, the plasters on my leg covering a mosquito bite – I had to pay for!

Imagine my delight when it just slid on, like a soft outer layer which miraculously didn’t behave like a limpet. No, it didn’t cling not one bit, but it hugged my curves in all the right places and floated over the troublesome bits.

What Shall I Wear Today?

So it’s going to be one of those easy choices when I look in my wardrobe and ask: “What shall I wear today?”

And I think Trinny and Susannah (Britain’s TV style queens) would approve … the dress sits at a perfect length for my age, just below the knee. The sleeves are loose and hide my upper arms (a problem area). The deep V neck is a gorgeous shape, a little scalloped, giving the illusion of length. The twist of fabric just under the bust takes attention away from my festively plump tummy area (there was no photoshopping – promise!)


In all, this is a dress that I know I’ll slip on for more than one occasion, and it’s likely to become my favourite little black number. It’s practically non-crease which, as I travel a lot, means I can pack it in a suitcase and hang it up on arrival. I can see it being worn for cocktails or dinners out, and for when I facilitate blogging workshops. I’ve dressed it up with some dainty shoes for this photo, but I’ll be wearing it with flat sandals too. The gorgeous little jewel bag a friend gave to me and the necklace is another Bali style find.

The Bell Twist dress comes in Black, Red or Paisley and costs $120. If this isn’t your cup of tea then why not pop over to Verily’s website and have a look at a whole range of stylish, easy to wear clothing that’s designed to fit real women in real life. There are lots more styles at the Verily Online Shop.

If you do buy anything take a ‘selfie’ photo and send it to me with a little explanation and I’ll feature you in “What Shall I Wear Today,” on a future occasion.

What have I been reading? This week I’ve been enjoying Styling You. Nikki features some lovely workable and easy to wear dress ideas in her Everyday Style section.

I’m linking to Wardrobe Wednesday at Kimba Likes where you’ll find all kinds of fashion advice.


  1. Gosh Jo, would you be my personal shopper? I love the dress, shoes, purse and the necklace. I’m going to check out their website immediately. You are a natural model and wear the dress so well, they owe you a second dress.

  2. I love that dress, though it’s probably a little bit out of my price range for now anyways!

    • It’s a gorgeous dress Janet – one of those ‘staple’ items that will be worn again and again in lots of different situations, just dressed up differently each time. In that respect it’s a great canvas.

  3. this dress looks stunning on you Jo – and I like the way you say it hides all the bumpy not-so-young anymore bits and covers knees – and especially the fact that you can throw it in your suitcase and hang it up on your arrival and put on without having to worry about creases – a must have travel item it seems.

  4. Jo, that is a definite winner in the LBD department. It looks stylish and comfortable and I think would flatter most figure types. Good choice!

    • Thanks Kathy, and yes definite in the champs for the LBD department! Big, small, long, tall, short – you’re right, it would look good on anyone.

  5. Wow! You look very glamorous, as always, in this lovely dress. The best selling feature for me is that it’s a minimal crease number which is perfect for those of us who love to travel. Obviously the age-appropriate design is a real bonus! I haven’t bought clothing on line before but I’ll be heading over to Verily to see what other little gems they have to offer. Would you mind telling me what size your dress is, just so I have a guide as to what size to order if I decide to buy one (or two, or three!) for myself?

    • This is a size 12 Catherine – it’s nicely ‘roomy’ on me. I hope you find something nice for yourself at Verily – it is just the sort of clothing for someone active like you – would pack up neatly in a rucksack to slip on after a bike ride for instance 🙂 Thanks for your nice comment too 🙂

  6. Rae Hilhorst says:

    Love the dress on you, you look fabulous, have looked at their site and am thinking about ordering one for work, I can’t find anything about a returns policy or what state they are in, thanks Johanna

  7. Rae Hilhorst says:

    I take that back I have found their return policy, sorry xxxx

  8. Leonie Macleod says:

    Hi Jo, you look gorgeous in the Bell Twist Dress. I agree it is a very easy to wear dress. Just to let your readers know, all the information on returns and sizing is under ‘customer services’ to the right of each page. Verily is designed and made in our own studio so we offer very personal service. Please feel free to email me if you or your readers have any questions at [email protected]

    • Thanks Leonie! And thanks for popping by with that reassuring information. It’s always so much nicer to have personal service on internet stores.

  9. I am wondering why it is recommended for over 50’s to wear dresses past your knees. Maybe I am in denial but I always prefer a dress just above the knee.

    • I’m not sure Allyson 😉 I also wear shorter dresses, and if they suit you and you feel comfortable then why not indeed! Go for it. My knees are a bit knobbly, but once I’m over that little vanity hurdle I’m ok! How about sending a pic of you in an above the knee dress for a future post? Pretty please?

  10. Fair, Fake and Fifty says:

    What a great dress and you look stunning in it. Your accessories also add a really nice touch.

  11. Denise Gillies says:

    The dress is lovely, Jo. I’ll be looking up their website – need something nice for a wedding!

  12. Love the dress Jo (I want one) and that is a perfect number for travelling … you know where ever you go – you need an LBD just in case you go out for a special dinner function … one never knows! And this is perfect for that – I will definately try the Bell Twist , and it seems that they offer good service, such as if you needed to change it for another size they would be accommodating.

  13. What a gorgeous dress!! I love it, simple and stylish! I wonder if I could do red??? I’m off to check out the website 🙂

    • I’d love to see someone in the red version Julie! Go for it – and if you purchase it, please send me a pic so that I can put you on Lifestyle Fifty 🙂

  14. Jo, this is THE perfect dress! I actually visited the Verily website before Christmas and tossed up whether or not to buy this dress in red. I didn’t – and now I’m kicking myself! The black looks great on you and would be so versatile – as you say it could easily be dressed up for a more formal occasion. I’m a bit of a sucker for red, though, so I’d probably go red. The ‘no crease’ promise has me hooked – perfect for travelling. Oooohh, do I really need another dress? Well, yes, maybe I do 🙂

  15. What a great little number Jo! Looks comfortable, stylish and low maintenance. And, since I’m a girl for ‘little numbers,’ that dress might just work nicely. Although, not as nicely as on you!

    • I’m sure that dress would work even more nicely on you Wanda 🙂 But thank you anyway 🙂 Yep it’s comfy, stylish and gloriously low maintenance.

  16. Looks like the perfect dress – I’d like to see you in the red one too 🙂

  17. That dress looks amazing on you.

  18. This dress really looks fabulous on you Johanna. Its the perfect cut. Any dress with the added bonus of a sleeve always gets my vote xx

  19. This looks like an amazing LBD- I especially love the sleeves! Floaty but not too bohemian. I am off to check out the shop.

  20. Looks gorgeous on you. I’ve got my own LBD challenge going on at the moment. It’s such a classic wardrobe staple, I don’t know where I would be without it.

  21. Kim-Marie from Kimba Likes says:

    Thank you so much for joining me for Wardrobe Wednesday! I’m a bit partial to the lovely Leonie and her fabulous creations too. She is a magician!

    • Love Wardrobe Wednesday Kim-Marie, thank you for hosting it 🙂 Yes, Leonie makes clothes to magic away the bumps and lumps that we don’t like, doesn’t she 😉

  22. Thanks for linking up with my LBD challenge this week. Just love your style.

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