Everything You Want to Know about the LBD: A Comprehensive Guide

Matthew Brown - June 19 2021

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. 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 this 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 “The Chanel ‘Ford’—the frock that all the world will wear” 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.

The Famous Looks

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. From Audrey Hepburn to Princess Diana, every person in the public eye has made sure to dive into this timeless fashion piece. Let’s discuss some of the famous examples of the little black dress. 

Audrey Hepburn

  • 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.

Elizabeth Taylor

  • 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.

Marilyn Monroe

  • 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

  • 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.

Princess Diana

  • 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.

5 Reasons Why Every Woman Must Have Little Black Dress

1. Classic

The little black dress is so classic that it will never go out of style! Fashion trends change rapidly, and new elements, such as small broken flowers and small daisies, appear every season, the public's aesthetic will inevitably be tired. It has to be said that only classic can always have a seat in the reincarnation of fashion. Little black dress exist in fashion circles like this.

 2. Ravishing

Fashion is an eternal cycle, while the little black dress shows the eternal charm of women. Even in the past few decades, it is as elegant as ever, and countless people are intoxicated with its unique charm. Little black dress not only has avant-garde and elegant design, but also meets the needs of women's clothing, which once set off a wave of women's fashion reform.

3. All-match

As we all know, black is a versatile color, which can be easily matched with any color. The style of little dress, no matter matching with T-shirt, shirt or suit coat, are able to express your unique taste in fashion. It's really fun to play various styles with little black dress! You can make it even more interesting by adding different jewelry, accessories, and shoes.

4. Versatile

Little black dress is a versatile piece of clothing. It is suitable for almost any occasion, whether it is a cocktail party that needs to be dressed up, a formal business meeting or a relaxed coffee shop. A small black dress with a sense of design can be competent.

5. An Emergency Essential

The LBD is not only "the one that will always make you the most gorgeous", but also "the one that will never make mistakes". We have all said even for once in life: I don’t have anything to wear. In those moments of despair, LBD can be your lifesaver. Say goodbye to the stressful rummage. A little black dress makes you stand in front of the mirror with confidence to deal with various occasions.

How to Flatter Your Body Type with LBD

Apple Shaped--Broad Shoulders, Thin Limbs

  • Properly expose the neck and chest. The styles of strapless and off shoulder are excellent choices.
  • The skirt length can be shorter to show your slender legs and divert attention from the waist.
  • The waist is just loose or the waist line is not in the waist position, which is the most important. Little black dress with waist Ruffle decoration and imperial high waist line are fantastic.

Pear Shaped--Narrow Shoulder, Wide Hips And Thighs

  • Stiff and easy-to-shape fabrics are the best choice.
  • Designs that have a sense of expansion in the shoulders, such as using shoulder pads to increase the proportion of the upper body.
  • Don't choose too close fitting skirt for the lower body, umbrella skirt is pretty suitable for pear shaped figure. Remember to be concise without decoration.

Hourglass Shaped--Small Waist, Wide Hips

  • The smoother the overall line of the skirt, the better, highlighting the original body advantage.
  • Fitting and slim cut, but not too tight style.
  • The waist line should be in a moderate position, just below the navel is a great position.

Inverted Triangle Shaped--Wide Shoulders, Narrow Hips

  • The neckline must be large and deep enough, and the neck and chest should be properly exposed.
  • The upper body should be simple and not over decorated. Slim or even tight tailoring is the best choice.
  • Dress with pleats, flare and A-line design elements are mainly selected for the lower body, which is conducive to the formation of a sense of expansion visually.

Occasions Where You Can Wear LBD

1. For 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.

2. For Date

The little black skirt is always just right. It won't appear too simple or too publicity. Don't know how to dress for a date? Just choose it. You can play a little sexy appropriately, wear tight suspenders and small black skirts, and show your fasinating figure! 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.

3. For Workplace

The little black skirt is always just right. It won't appear too simple or too publicity. Don't know how to dress for a date? Just choose it. You can play a little sexy appropriately, wear tight suspenders and small black skirts, and show your fasinating figure! 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.

4. For Formal Dinner

A formal dinner is an important occasion with potential business partners, your existing colleagues, or shareholders. A little black dress can keep a sense of formality and simplicity along with an uplifting sense of grace. Pick something more elegant, V-neckline, and textured fabric, and match it with a delicate makeup to show your noble status and impress everyone present!

5. For Everyday

Little black dress is not a completely elegant piece of clothing, it can be styled for casual events as well. Wearing a white T-shirt inside a little black dress with suspenders, canvas shoes and small white shoes are its best partners, which is young and energetic. Daily wear can become quite boring when you wear all the same, right? Casual and fashionable must be a little black skirt!

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!

Although the black dress is a pretty classic piece, it is still a little boring to wear one alone. At this time, accessories are needed to make the shape stand out! 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!

Wearing a black dress may be difficult to distinguish the proportion of the body, especially wearing a loose black dress. But matching it with a belt can show a different sense of fashion, which can not only make the dress more in line with your body, but also help highlight the waist line and make the body proportion more perfect.

Speaking of having a casual feel, if you’re going out with your friends for a fun time, then pairing your LBD with a blazer and boots would be the perfect vibe. It's neither too weak nor too manly, which can be a perfect elegant and handsome shape. Of course, it's also fun to put on a loose Plaid suit coat to break the dull feeling of modeling!

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!

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