Pexels @ Daniel Semenov

A Versatile Staple: The Little Black Dress

The little black dress; an iconic, timeless and classic staple for any wardrobe.  From its roots it showed that fashion did not have to be referenced.

The Roots of the Little Black Dress

The roots of the LBD began in 1926 as Vogue published a drawing of a simple black dress from designer, Chanel.  A simple design in crepe de chine, with narrow sleeves and accessorised with a string of pearls. The publication of this dress was dubbed as ‘Chanel’s Ford’, in other words it was classy but simple and accessible to women of all classes. Chanel was later quoted saying: “I imposed the black: it’s still going strong today, for black wipes out everything else around”.  The timing was of course, perfect. The dress was released in the Great depression era, where simple and affordable was key. Later, during the war, textiles and fabrics were rationed and the simple black dress remained the outfit of choice. It encapsulated elegance without breaking the bank!

Since Chanel’s little black dress, the premise has gone from strength to strength. After the war, Christian Dior produced his version. With cinched waists and flared skirts gave it a sexier update. The little black dress was able to transcend class constraints; it became a badge of liberation and modernisation.  

Little Black Dress goes to Hollywood

The little black dress then entered the world of Hollywood. Notably, the iconic scene in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Audrey Hepburn wearing a black Givenchy dress whilst she munches her croissant; sips her coffee and browses the Tiffany’s jewellery. Showing the real diversity of the outfit, no matter what you are doing you can look sophisticated in the LBD.  That little black dress is arguably one of the most iconic dresses in cinematic history. In 2006, the dress fetched £467k at auction.  Since then, the LBD has continued to drape celebrities and all and sundry alike. In 1994, Princess Diana showed everyone how to do post break up glamour, in what was dubbed the ‘revenge dress’.   Even today, the LBD is a classic staple for any woman. We see it on a Saturday night and strutting the red carpets. Nothing and no one are off limits!

Local LA road leading to the Hollywood sign in the background
Daniel Semenov @ pexels
The LBD meets the iconic Audrey Hepburn in Hollywood

Find your Perfect Little Black Dress

Pear Shape:  You can highlight the upper part of the body with a snug top and skim the hips with a fuller skirt. This will create flattering lines that compliments your body perfectly! 

Apple Shape:  Accentuate the bust line, highlighting curves in the upper body with a wrap style dress, which can be super flattering.

Rectangle Shape:  A peplum style dress can be a great option to help create curves, with a nipped-in-waist and more volume in the hips.

Hourglass Shape: A body-con dress with a fitted waist can look amazing on your body shape.  Accentuate your natural curves further with a side slit if you’re looking for a little extra.

Inverted Triangle Shape: A fit and flare style with a nice classic scoop or v neckline is a good bet.  Keeping the upper part of the body simple, with a fuller skirt to add volume.

The classic LBD in a mini length can be a great option for both taller and petite frames.  Though if you are looking for elegance and glam, a longer length skirt with a side slit can be an amazing option.  

Woman walking down the road in a black plunge maxi dress with spaghetti straps and a hip height side slit
Sampiccs @ pexels
Find your perfect little black dress to wear for any occasion!

The Little Black Dress is a blank canvas. It can be whatever you want or need it to be. Whether that’s sexy and seductive; conservative and practical or smart and sophisticated. 

No other colour has quite the same effect and no other item has the same versatility. The little black dress is a timeless trend that is here to stay. It’s iconic.


Like what you just read? Share it on:

About Olivia Baggott

Hi, I am Olivia- a history graduate with a strong passion for sharing my knowledge about sustainable fashion! However, I really don't know everything yet and I can't wait to share my journey of better education around sustainability, ethics and the fashion industry with our likeminded Curobe community! The more we know, the better decisions we can make!

Read more blog posts