Little Black Dress (LBD)

What’s classic wardrobe staple for you. Isn’t the Little Black Dress (LBD)

A little black dress is every woman’s safety net. It can make you look taller and thinner and is timelessly chic. There are so many variations on the little black dress and it’s possible to find one to fit every occasion and mood. From a basic shift dress to an elegant cocktail gown, the only fashion rule is to find one that really does justice to your silhouette.

Such is the longevity and versatility of the LBD, it is with investing both time and money in finding one that fits you perfectly, and shows off your figure to its best advantage. This is one outfit that should be chosen carefully. If you want your black dress to transcend seasons, then avoid buying high-fashion styles like puffball or tulip skirts and big bows or fringes that will date quicker.

If you think wearing all black it too harsh for your skin tone, then black can be made less black with a touch of white or cream in the design, often at the collar.

Individualize Your LBD

To feel individual and unique, this classic wardrobe staple needs to stand out, when faced with a room of other little black dresses. The great thing about a LBD is that you can ring the changes by altering your fashion accessories (jewelry, belt, scarf, shoes and bag), so it’s possible to wear the same dress several times a week.

Black dresses have an even greater slimming effect if worn with metallic-colored shoes. Wear red footwear and matching bag for some additional sex appeal, or black patent for a professional look.

Variations on the Little Black Dress

The classic black shift is perfect for the office, a lunch with the girls or a garden party. Make sure it skims the body rather than clings, and is demure enough to drop to knee-length, or just above. Think Audrey Hepburn in her iconic Givenchy shift (Breakfast at Tiffany’s), and you get the picture.

A strappy or cut-out black dress is perfect for a big date or important occasion. Wear wrap to cover your modesty, and accessorize with some sky-high heels, elegant rather than tarty.

Although black is now accepted attire for a wedding, a black and white print dress is probably a safer bet, if you are unsure of the dress code. Spice it up with some colorful eye popping shoes and a clutch purse.

The LBD is much more than a wardrobe classic this season. Fall fashion runways for 2018 have modernized the little black dress with dramatic designs with architectural cut-outs at the shoulders, sculpted collars, voluminous sleeves and one-shoulder styles.

The History of the Little Black Dress

The success of the LBD is attributed to Coco Chanel, who in 1919 observed a charity ball where she perceived the colors that women guests were wearing as “too awful.” Chanel claimed that the women looked ugly, and ought to be dressed in black. She went on to design strong, simple cuts, which could flatter any figure.

Little Black Dress Exhibition in London

In celebration of the little black dress, London’s Fashion and Textile Museum is running a Little Black Dress Exhibition until 25th August 2018. It features the history of the LBD, from its inception, to iconic status, to the runways of the fashion world today.