Black is the color of simplicity, class, elegance, and so much more. Women worldwide have this consensus that black is a timeless, classic color that is a must-have in wardrobes. The little black dress has quite the history behind it, and it’s fascinating to see how it evolved from being a mourning garment to an essential signature piece.
Definition and History
The little black dress (LBD) is a versatile dress that can be worn on any occasion. However, it is usually a cocktail or evening dress. Black dresses can come in many sizes, but the little black dress is usually very simple and short. It doesn’t need to be fancy – it’s a statement piece in itself.
The color black was usually associated with mourning and death, which is a far cry from its current use. Black clothing was only worn on funerals, and wearing it on any other occasion was unthinkable.
However, there was a time before this when black was symbolized differently. In the sixteenth century, it represented wealth due to how difficult it was to produce color.
In the eighteenth century, black was the color of romance and having an artistic nature, and it was considered poetic. In the nineteenth century, black was deemed to be melancholic and taken over by the Romantics. It was only in the Victorian Era when black became the color of mourning.
Flash forward to the mid-1920s, when Coco Chanel revolutionized the little black dress. A picture of a simple little black dress was published in Vogue, and this is when black became chic and tasteful.
During the Great Depression, the little black dress only became more popular due to its affordable and economic nature. It was easy to look elegant and also not waste money on clothing. It later became a uniform worn by women, which further normalized its use.
Afterward, Christian Dior came into the picture and modernized the little black dress by giving it a boost that caused Hollywood stars to adopt the look. It was especially helpful since the color black came out vibrant in the black-and-white films, while other colors would look blown out.
Thanks to these fashion geniuses, the little black dress is now an iconic look that can be worn to any event, is very affordable, and super easy to dress up or down with various accessories.
When you speak of a little black dress, there is usually an image that comes to your mind. This image is generally of a celebrity that adorned this classic look. Let’s discuss some of the famous examples of the little black dress.
When talking about the little black dress, one has to mention the gorgeous look by Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” This 1961 look broke the film industry and made the little black dress massively popular in the fashion industry.
Before this look, Elizabeth Taylor wore the little black dress in the 1950s. It featured a full skirt and a bustier look yet remained very simple. This look became the staple of women’s fashion at the time.
The famous Marilyn Monroe, known for her iconic looks, was seen in a little black dress in 1956. This dress was a sleeveless, longer one that hugged her figure. This simple dress was considered very trendy and elegant.
Sophia Loren had a couple of different famous little black dress looks. She was seen in a pleated black dress in 1955 and later spotted traveling in a black belted coat dress in 1965.
Finally, it is important to mention Princess Diana’s “revenge dress” from 1994. This was a fitted, off-the-shoulder little black dress she was wearing right after her divorce from Prince Charles.
Occasions where you can wear LBD
This versatile little black dress can be worn to any occasion and make you stand out in the crowd! Here are some events that would be perfect to wear LBD to:
- To a party
You could host or attend a party wearing an elegant little black dress, which is classy enough to fit right in and simple enough not to go overboard. This also leaves room for you to add any accessories you’d like to add the finishing touches.
- To a date
Wearing a little black dress would leave quite the impression on your date. It would be attractive enough to leave them wanting more yet subtle enough to maintain a sense of decency. It can also look good as a day or night dress.
- To a job interview
Wearing a classy and sophisticated little black dress to a job interview can give your potential employers the impression you have dressed to impress. It shows that you are confident and professional and mean business!
- To a formal dinner
A formal dinner is an important occasion with potential business partners, your existing colleagues, or shareholders. By wearing a little black dress, it can keep a sense of formality and simplicity along with an uplifting sense of grace.
How to style LBD
The thing that makes the little black dress so great is how easy it is to add different accessories to it if you want to fit it to a specific occasion. Whether you want a more casual look or a more professional look – the little black dress has you covered!
You can add different jewelry pieces, like a pearl necklace or earrings, and the dress would be transformed to fit a cocktail party or formal event. Wear the look with some black heels, and you’re the star of the show!
You can add a belt to give your waist a thinner look and make you seem taller. It would also be perfect with a flared-out bottom to provide it with a more flowy and casual feel – perfect for summers!
Speaking of having a casual feel, if you’re going out with your friends for a fun time, then pairing your LBD with a jacket and boots would be the perfect vibe.
If you’re interested in buying a little black dress and would love an elegant look at an affordable price – then look no further! We at Bella Barnett strive to give women high-quality apparel at low rates. Visit our online store and find your little black dress today!