The Little Black Dress

A short history and tips on what you need in an LBD.


Today is Black Friday and in honour of the day, I’ve decided to wear an LBD this evening. Of course, you know the abbreviation but did you know that it wasn’t until the ’20s that the little black dress was accepted as pretty party wear? Up until then, black frocks went uncelebrated and were largely reserved for funeral attire and other not-so-glamorous occasions. But Coco Chanel offered a new approach to chic and when Vogue famously heralded the little black dress to be a uniform for every girl, the die was cast for the future of the fashion.

Let’s look at a few famous little black dresses throughout the years and some words of wisdom to go along with them and then, I’ll give you a few tips that might prove helpful if you’re in the market for this wardrobe essential. This might be the most relaxing Black Friday-inspired piece you will read all day.




“Fashion changes, but style endures.” -Coco Chanel




“When a little black dress is right, there is nothing else to wear in its place.” Edith Piaf





(Marilyn Monroe barely looks like herself here, but trust that this is her.)

“One is never over-dressed or underdressed with a Little Black Dress.” - Karl Lagerfeld





Jackie O embraced all things classic.

“Fashions fade, style is eternal.” – Yves Saint Laurent





Audrey Hepburn possessed an easy, beautiful style.

“You can wear black in any moment of the day, no matter your age. You can wear black with almost any occasion. A black dress is essential for every woman.” — Christian Dior







Princess Diana was chic and refined, relative to ’80s sensibilities.

“When a little black dress is right, there is nothing else to wear in its place.” -Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor






“If I can have any impact, I want women to feel good about themselves and have fun with fashion” -Michelle Obama






And my favourite match up of a picture and quote: “You should always own a black dress because no one ever remembers a black dress.” -Eleanor Roosevelt, who clearly hadn’t seen Angelina’s get-up.


Now for a few reminders:

*When you’re picking a black dress for your closet, the idea is that it be a staple, versatile enough to wear many times to different occasions with the aid of styling.

*Opt out of big trends like Angelina’s leg slit, puffy sleeves, or anything else that makes a statement of the exact month and year.

*Choose a fabric that will stand the test of time and keep in mind that you might have to spend a little more to buy a quality garment.

*Dress for the shape you are, not the shape you hope to be sometime in the future. Choose cuts that show off your best body parts, and remember that disguising is best done by skimming your body not swimming in fabric.

*If you’d like to picture the dress going from a Christmas party one night to a ladies’ lunch the following week but your imagination is on the fritz, ask the clerk to style the dress in a few different ways so you can get ideas of how to use your existing wardrobe to transform the look.

*When you do style your dress, add shine where you’d like to attract attention. Feeling confident about your waist? Encircle it in a trendy metal belt. Getting an updo? You need sparkly earrings, my friend. Ditto this sentiment for colour, although there’s not a thing wrong with monochrome.

*You can change your LBD into a more casual piece with a cardigan or boyfriend blazer. The whole point of the piece is that it’s a staple, so don’t be afraid to wear it and wear it and then wear it some more.