Week 2: Adding a collared bib to a LBD

In this installment of the BusiChic Black Dress Project, I add a collared-bib to my Bento Ruby Little Black Dress (LBD) from fellow Aussie designer, above.

My friends will know of my personal aversion to wearing anything with a collar. Being of the rounded-cheek variety, I find that collars are simply too close to my cheeks for comfort! Silly as it may sound, it is the reason why I usually look for variations on the collared shirt. However today’s accessory caused me to reassess this aversion.

Long-time readers of BusiChic might recall my passionate post waxing lyrical about above’s collection I saw at Melbourne Spring Fashion week last year. The label’s clever use of colour but more importantly, what appeared to be cut-out technique had me transfixed as to the opportunities of how to style above for work!

So while I have generally been avoiding sales like the plague, I simply had to stop by the Grace Darling Hotel yesterday where awesome Aussie designers like Nyssa (the creative behind above) were on hand selling their past collections at discounted prices! I picked up one of above’s double-collared bibs in what’s become their signature burnout technique. I thought that it’d be a great way to add structure and formality to my black dress with a collar that wasn’t too in-my-cheek, literally. Now, what do you think of this office styling effort of mine?:

Add formality to a LBD via a structured collared bib like this one by above.

LBD: Bento Ruby Dress bib: above bag: Jacinta by Witchery shoes: Naturalizer – check your sound is down if you’re going to open this last link in the office, it has a rather loud autoplay clip.

Close-up of burnout double-collared bib by above

Nyssa, it was great to meet you and I look forward to working with some more great Aussie designers soon to showcase their upcoming collections over the next 50 weeks of the BusiChic Black Dress project! Many thanks to Phoebe of Simply Phoebe and Julie at TractorGirl for already getting in touch! If you are a designer or crafter who would like to contribute, please leave me a comment or write me cheryl[at]businesschic[dot]com[dot]au

KARL by Karl Lagerfeld
Designer Karl Lagerfeld is a protean professional who has designed for Chanel since 1983 where in his first collection for the house he used Australian Jenny Kee’s Black Opal print. He was one of the first luxury designers to collaborate with the high street when he worked with h&m in 2004. As a student living in Berlin some months after the launch, I remember the excitement of finding one of the dresses from this collection on the sale racks and it became the basis for my uniform through my time studying, living and working (umsonst!) in Berlin. Earlier this month, Lagerfeld released an online-only collection that appears to be a distillation of classic Karl. The monochrome collection includes cropped finger-less leather gloves and sequinned skirts but what particularly caught my attention in light of my own styling, was Lagerfeld’s detachable collars. He has released them in leather and cotton; I’d advocate the latter if looking to try this look with a LBD in the workplace. I love how Lagerfeld has created a detachable cameo collar to be styled with the LBD in his collection that is perfect for stylish ladies who are upper-arm conscious.

So what do you think of my collared bib and Lagerfeld’s collars? Will you be trying a detachable collar in future and please share your source if you find any others!

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Also a quick thank you to each of you who have supported the project with your likes, tweets and shares so far – I’m really touched! Thank you also to friend and Bento designer, Samantha Hardman for this lovely post full of helpful styling suggestions. I didn’t tell Sam that I had chosen her Ruby dress for this project prior to announcing it via the first post and Sam, I appreciate your enthusiasm so far because we are now two office black dress looks down and 50 to go!

Click here for an overview of the BusiChic Black Dress Project!


  1. OMG! I LOVE that bib!!!! Wished I could’ve gotten to that sale and got myself one!

    • Oh Norlin, this would look smashing on you too! Well if you don’t manage to get one through above. then you know where to come if you’d like to borrow 🙂

  2. Amazing!!! What a fantastic idea!!! I would love to get such a double-collared bibs. Is there an online sale, too? I am looking forward to more creative-black-dress-outfits.


  3. Sandra Paterson says

    I love the crisp white accent against the black – you really cant go wrong with this combination. The cut outs in the shirt also bring the black through and ensure that the collar is eyecatching – a very clever use of butler style collar bib…. love it so far…can’t wait for next weeks instalment.

    • Hi Sandra! Thanks for your comment, I love how you’ve broken it down into the elements that caught my eye at least. The next few outfits will still be office-appropriate but more relaxed especially as we’ve had such hot weather recently. Tune in on Sunday at 6.30pm AEST for the next instalment 😉

  4. Looking gorgeous (as always) Cheryl! I love the idea for the project and Bento’s Ruby Dress was a perfect choice. Can’t wait to see what else you come up with! x

  5. Cheryl… I absolutely LOVE this look! So innovative and fashion-forward, yet totally office appropriate. Gorgeous!

  6. Love love love this outfit!! So chic!

    The bag is the perfect touch, I remember seeing it in the store window in the beige and immediately loved it.


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