Fashion & Beauty Packing

8 Great Little Black Travel Dresses

The Little Black Dress is a staple of fashionable women everywhere. The LBD, as it’s affectionately known, offers a sleek, sophisticated look that flows effortlessly from day to night and from office to bar. The LBD, however, doesn’t have to stay at home when you explore the world—in fact, the little black travel dress is an underutilized powerhouse of the suitcase wardrobe.

The perfect little black dress for travel has a few key features. It’s made with fabrics that wash easily and don’t wrinkle. It may have a hidden pocket or two. It is chic enough to stand out in a style-forward world fashion capital like Paris or Tokyo but offers enough coverage for more culturally conservative destinations. Find the right little black dress for travel, and you’ll be airplane cool, museum ready, and suited up for any night out, all at the same time.

Here are some of our favorite little black travel dresses.

Leota Perfect Wrap Dress

If there’s one dress brand you haven’t heard about but should absolutely have in your travel wardrobe, it’s Leota. The brand’s dresses are ultra-flattering, super comfortable, and extremely wrinkle-resistant. The Perfect Wrap Dress is a knee-length, faux-wrap dress made of comfortable no-wrinkle fabric. The secured wrap offers dependable coverage, and the drape of the skirt is forgiving but not frumpy. It comes with a removable belt, which is great for travelers who can travel with multiple looks just by bringing along an extra belt.

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Betabrand Sweatshirt Travel Dress

Betabrand somehow manages to be both more serious and more playful about travel dresses than just about any other brand. It regularly thinks outside the box to design dresses that deliver travel-specific features without sacrificing style. Best known for its ultimate traveler-friendly Round Trip dress (four form-flattering dresses in one), BetaBrand takes the little black dress in a transit-ready direction with its Sweatshirt Travel Dress. This soft silk-blend jersey dress has a swingy A-line shape. It’s the perfect way to dress up for a long flight—you’ll get pajama-level comfort and arrive at your destination ready to go out to dinner. Two hand pockets plus a hidden zippered pocket offer travel-friendly functionality, and its above-knee length and fitted (but comfortable) sleeves keep the dress looking chic.

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PrAna Foundation Dress

If you think of PrAna as just a yoga brand, you’re missing out on the label’s travel-friendly designs. Its beloved Foundation Dress is a kind illusionist—it looks fitted, but with its fully lined shirred pencil skirt, it manages to smooth and flatter belly and thighs. The dress is casual enough to wear with sneakers while sightseeing but versatile enough to embellish with nicer shoes and jewelry for an evening out. It’s extremely comfortable, and it simplifies packing, since it combines the comfort of a T-shirt with the coverage of a dress.

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Elan Cover-Up Slip Dress

Elan’s Cover-Up Slip Dress is the little black dress that loves the beach. Designed with travel in mind, this swingy pullover dress has a relaxed fit that hits just above the knee. It’s ideal for looking smart but casual in warm climates, and it’s as at home on the sand as it is on the dance floor. Pair it with a black tank or sports bra to keep the sleek look, or with an underlayer in a contrasting color for a more playful look.

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Athleta Santorini Thera Dress

With its everyday design and bare shoulders, Athleta’s Santorini Thera Dress offers great adaptability in little black dress form. Wear it with a sweater for a more conservative LBD look, or bare your arms for a sexy-but-classy vibe. This semi-fitted swing dress pairs a form-fitting bodice with a flared skirt that sits just above the knee. Built for travel, the lightweight, wrinkle-resistant fabric is incredibly breathable.

Arc’teryx Cala Dress

The Cala Dress from Arc’teryx offers a futuristic take on the Little Black Dress. A high collarless neckline and crisp cap sleeves give it a space-age edge, while the tailored fit and above-the-knee length give it a timeless silhouette. The soft and lightweight Diem polyester offers comfort stretch and wrinkle-resistance. The dress has hand pockets (always a plus), one of which includes a zippered security pocket.

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Longwu Long Sleeve Bandage Party Dress

Flirty and ultra-affordable, the night-out-ready Longwu Women’s Loose Casual Front Tie Long Sleeve Bandage Party Dress is an Amazon favorite. This lantern-sleeve mini-dress has a wrap-around tie middle that lends the A-line dress hourglass definition. The silhouette is flattering on a variety of body shapes, and can be worn as a dress or as a tunic paired with pants.

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Everlane Japanese GoWeave Short-Sleeve Wrap Dress

Everlane’s Japanese GoWeave Short-Sleeve Wrap Dress offers a drapey, wrinkle-resistant look that’s essential for travel. It’s both cute and comfortable, with some added stretch for easy movement. Perfect for this season (and for the next decade), this dress is built to outperform and last a lifetime.

More from SmarterTravel:

Christine Sarkis dresses up for travel. Follow her on Twitter @ChristineSarkis and Instagram @postcartography for more advice about making every vacation the best vacation.

Editor’s Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and “cool factor.” Some review products are sent to us to test free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at

By Christine Sarkis

There's a 95 percent chance Senior Editor Christine Sarkis is thinking about travel right now. Follow her on Instagram @postcartography and Twitter @ChristineSarkis.

Christine Sarkis is an SATW-award-winning journalist and executive editor at SmarterTravel. Her stories have also appeared on USA Today, Conde Nast Traveler, Huffington Post, and Business Insider. Her advice has been featured in dozens of print and online publications including The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, and People magazine. She has also shared travel tips on television and radio shows including Good Morning America, Marketplace, and Here & Now. Her work has been published in the anthologies Spain from a Backpack and The Best Women's Travel Writing 2008. She is currently working on a travel memoir.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: The Trtl Pillow. It's easy to pack and comfortable, and makes it so I can actually sleep on flights.

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Seeing the Aurora Borealis from the comfort of somewhere warm, like a glass igloo or hot spring.

Travel Motto: Curiosity is an amazing compass.

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: Aisle all the way.

Email Christine Sarkis at

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