little black dress

The Little Black Dress

Inspired by utilitarian uniforms of maids and shop-girls, Coco Chanel introduced the little black dress in the 1920s, now informally the ‘LBD.’ At the time, Vogue magazine likened its invention to that of the Model T. Rechristened the “cocktail dress” in the 1950s, it was immortalized in the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Audrey Hepburn, who accessorized it with sunglasses and a martini. She made the little black dress sophisticated and playful – the essence of charm.

Its color is the foundation for its success.


  • Hides stains
  • Detracts from poor tailoring and general wear
  • Goes well with color
  • Even the cheapest of fabrics look decent in black
  • It dresses up
  • Can be elegant, classic, sexy, funky, or mournful
  • Imparts timelessness
  • Has an impressive pedigree – Nuns, Audrey Hepburn, Beatniks, Morticia Adams, and the uniform of fashion editors worldwide
  • Can do summer or winter
  • Unique ability to stand out, blend in, seduce, or repel

What other color can do all this and take off ten pounds?

The embodiment of sophistication, simplicity, versatility, and timelessness, the well-fitting black dress is one of the few pieces you will never give away.

The LBD gets a long awaited update this season, reincarnated in split-skirted, leather embellished, belted, and tuxedo-inspired forms. There is a lot to choose from. You can’t go wrong with a beautifully tailored little black dress.

To quote Karl Lagerfeld:

“One is never over-dressed or under-dressed with A Little Black Dress.”Ralph Lauren, Knotted Jersey Dress

Ralph Lauren, Knotted Jersey Dress, $125

NIC + ZOE Studded Every Occasion Dress, $178

Ming Wang V-Neck Dress, $275Michael Kors High Neck EmbellishedMichael Kors, High-neck Embellished Dress, $395

Lafayette NY 148 Talia Dress

Lafayette NY 148, Talia Stretch Cotton Blend Dress, $398

Tahari Leather Dress

Elie Tahari, Lesa Leather Dress, $748

Erdem Hilma Tie Neck

Erdem, Hilma Tie Neck Midi Dress, $1,420

Now, you’re ready for anything – but what about shoes?

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