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Reasons why a black dress never dates

If there is one item of clothing every woman should own, it has to be the little black dress. It is the essential item for your wardrobe, which will see you from day to evening, from winter to summer and those times in between. The little black dress speaks of elegance, style, glamour and confidence. It effortlessly takes you from the office through to the evening party, as it blends comfort, class and style. But why does this piece of clothing never date?

Origins of the LBD

It was in 1926 when the first little black dress was identified as the dress of the future, when American Vogue had the first drawings of a new Chanel design. It was stylish but simple, with narrow, long sleeves in black. This was a time when women’s hemlines were becoming shorter and women were showing more skin. Coco Chanel’s little black dress was originally designed for the widows of World War I, who despite being in mourning needed to express their desire for a future. Chanel revolutionised fashion for women and her simple black dress became her signature piece, with American Vogue labelling the dress as her ‘Ford’, after the Ford Model T car, which was targeted at everyone. The magazine even stated that the dress would become ‘a uniform for all women’.

Audrey Hepburn is seen as one of the original little black dress wearers, when she wore a beautifully elegant shift dress by Givenchy in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. More recently, Karl Lagerfeld, who heads up Chanel, has paid homage to Coco Chanel’s first designs by designing whole collections of couture entirely in black dresses. In fact, he was once quoted as saying, “One is never over-dressed or underdressed with a little black dress”.

Why the LBD Transcends Time

First and foremost, why black dresses for women are timeless is because the colour, black is slimming and can be worn by any shape and size. The colour, black creates the illusion that the dress becomes the background and the woman’s face and personality become the foreground. For women with wider hips, they can choose a dress that sticks to their contours. For those women with a less curvaceous figure, they can choose a dress that adds curves.

A little black dress can be anything you want it to be and with the array of styles on the market (for example, there is a good range at New Look), there is a little black dress to suit all tastes. Coupled with its versatility, it can be very easily combined with accessories. It is possible to team up a black dress with utility boots and tights, or wear it with pumps to dress it up. It can be perfect for the business meeting with a jacket over it or can be worn over a pair of trousers. The LBD can therefore become the person who is wearing it and remains a timeless and on-trend staple.