A time-honoured wardrobe staple, the little black dress is as popular now as it was back in 1920 when first designed by Chanel. Available in a multitude of different designs at both high street and designer retailers, this classic style is always a winner in the fashion stakes, effortlessly seeing its wearer through from daytime sophistication to evening time chic.
Usually made from plain black fabric, the little black dress is ideal as a blank canvas upon which to add style and individuality. Its strong silhouette focuses the eye on the garment’s outline and cut, and its dark colour flatters all shapes and sizes, exuding an air of authority and sophistication. Worn by millions of women all over the world, it’s not difficult to see why the little black dress has such widespread and everlasting appeal.
Perhaps one of the most obvious ways to wear the little black dress is as it was originally intended by Chanel; styled by the wearer and played down to its bare essentials, with accessories kept to a minimum. Chanel’s mantra “always take off, never add on” rings as true today as it ever did. In its first guise the
little black dress was cut in matt black crepe with a high neckline, long fitted sleeves and a hemline that stopped just above the knee. Simplicity was key as it was devoid of unnecessary detail, such as buttons, beading or embroidery. The idea was that the wearer could dress it up – or down – in her own way, embellishing it as they saw fit.
Black satin bandeau dress, £35, at Debenhams
Black pleat lace dress, £25, at Dorothy Perkins
Petites black cutout dress, £37, at Miss Selfridge
50s frill dress, £65, at Oasis
Here we run through just a few of the many ways to wear the little black dress:
The little black dress for work
Team a structured little black dress with a cute bolero or pretty cardi for a stylish 9 to 5 look, or add a big necklace and scarf for something that still makes a statement but in a more a business-like manner.
The little black dress for the weekend
Why not give your little black dress a boho vibe by wearing it with a brightly-coloured vintage or paisley-print shirt underneath. You’ll need the right
little black dress to pull this look off – go for one that’s more plain tunic than sexy evening wear. Alternatively, accessorise a simple shift dress with ballet pumps, one of this season’s longer length cardigans and a quirky belt, bright tote or chunky jewellery for weekend cool that’ll take you from shopping with mum to lunch with friends. Just don’t forget the Jackie O-style sunglasses.
The little black party dress
For that hot date or posh party don’t be afraid to go all out for lace, sequin or feathered accessories. Now’s a great time to really up the
little black dress ante. Turn heads with super-high heels and make sure you look the part makeup wise too. A quick sweep of glitter eyeshadow adds subtle sparkle, while a slick of hot red lippy will instantly glam up your look for maximum party appeal.