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Black is back! Is your wardrobe ready?

It's a sure thing for day-to-evening sophistication and mistake-proof ease. "Today" style editor Judy Gordon shares a look at the season's best bets for black.

Rejoice, for black is back — but did it ever really leave our wardrobes? Probably not. We love it for its day-to-evening sophistication and mistake-proof ease. We also love the sexy new ways to wear it this season. It's all right here in this week's edition of The Trend Report!

The little black dress
It's hard to live without a favorite little black dress. Even when it was trendy to wear a brightly colored or printed dress for an evening or special occasion, you were probably tempted more than once just to go for the LBD and keep things simple. Now the LBD has returned for day and evening, made new with flared or ruffled hems (Bloomingdale’s has one for $129), slinky wraps or extravagant beading and embellishments.

True fashionistas know that when a trend comes around that they simply adore, it’s time to stock up for future seasons. Get your LBDs now!

Boot camp
What to wear with your LBD? A great pair of black knee-high boots, of course! This is the season to walk tall. Pair your sexy black leather or suede boots with dresses, skirts and cropped pants — and wear them over your jeans as well. Fun trends to look for include lace-up styles, metal studs (MICHAEL by Michael Kors has a pair for $249), faux fur trim, crushed or “ruched” styles or even colorful embroidery (the last two are best in black suede).

Flat boots, high-heeled boots and wedge-heeled boots are all in style, so just choose your favorite — you can’t go wrong!

The little black jacket
If you’re looking for a wear-with-everything piece that will take you from now through the holidays with style, we suggest the little black jacket. This season’s jackets are oh-so-special — they can shine in luscious fabrics such as velvet or brocade (Nine West has one for $159) and they can sparkle with beaded collars, cuffs and trims, sexy ribbon ties at the waist or lace insets. Wear yours with jeans now, and over your LBD or slim skirt or pants later. Perfect!

The trendiest little black jackets are cropped in length, hitting at the waist or right above the hip.

Black bagging it
This season’s handbags are, in a word, extraordinary. Embellished, studded, detailed or beaded to the nines, they combine all the best trends in one wonderful accessory. That’s what makes them new! So set aside your plain and ordinary black handbags and open your heart to these new all-stars. Whether oversized with metal trim for day, or petite and as pretty as jewelry for evening (Banana Republic has one for $48), the black bag is back.

One of the trendiest styles of the season for both day and evening is the old-fashioned framed bag with a kiss-lock top.

Beads and jet and charms, oh my!Black jewelry is hot, hot, hot, and there are lots of ways to capture this dramatic trend. How? For both day and night, go for layers of black beaded necklaces (both jet or jet-like stone beads and matte beads are A-OK) … or you may like the more romantic look of Victorian-style jet necklaces with gold filigree trim, or layers of black chains and charms (John Wind at Fragments has one for $149).

Necklaces are the most popular jewelry piece right now, with wide cuffs and dramatic jeweled earrings running a close second.

Judy Gordon is a New York-based style consultant and the “Today” show’s style editor. She has been covering the fashion and beauty beat for the past decade. To learn more about Gordon, you can visit her Web site, , which highlights style trends in America and across the world.

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