Monday, 6 August 2012

The Little Black Dress

We have spotted the profusion of little black dresses in our inventory at the moment so its got us thinking about that classic and essential wardrobe item.

Our latest range of classic LBD's- all shapes and sizes, more coming soon.

Origins of the LBD

Black dresses have existed since dresses existed but what is it that is so special about a little black dress?  And when and why it moved from a dress of mourning to a your staple saucy wardrobe date wear?!

The original LBD
Black dresses in the Victorian era and before were synomonous with death and mourning.  But in the 1920s it made it's spectacular, and essential, d├ębut to every woman's wardrobe when Coco Chanel showed that a black dress need not be exclusively for mourning (phew- I wear them a lot so this was a good change in social fashion).  To be precise it was 1 October 1926 when the American Vogue magazine ran with a small image of the Chanel dress they referred to as the "model T" in reference to the Ford model T.  According to Vogue in Paris the following month it was considered the "uniform for modern women".

But then what?  Was every women seen clad in a slinky black dress at the word of Coco Chanel following,what legend tells us, was the outcome of the death of her lover, Boy Capel, in 1919 leading her to wear black.

There were various stages of the LBD following this splash moment.  Christian Dior's New Look included a little black dress in every range.  Between the late 1960s and 1970s bright colours seems to have been the main-stay of fashion, until the LBD made it's return in 1980s since when it has been ever present wardrobe staple.

The reason that millions of women have loved little black dresses are endless- they are slimming, dramatic, black is a colour that suits nearly everyone, and down to basics it is just a sexy look.

Iconic Little Black Dresses

There are so many instances of little black dresses in fashion history you can get lots of inspiration of how you choose to wear one.  Here are three of our favourites and the most well remembered black dress wearers.

The original Little Black dress wearer Coco Chanel (Image source)

Wallis Simpson in her iconic look:  "When a little black dress 
is right, there is nothing else to wear in its place." 
Audrey Hepburn is an iconic black dress wearer and this dress from breakfast at Tiffany's is simply glorious. Source: Glitterazi
We would love to hear about your favourite little black dress, and what makes it so special?  Post any images of your favourites on pinterest tagged #lesleysgirlsLBD and we'll repin them on our Little Black Dress board.


  1. i used to have a little black shift dress and i regret getting rid of it, it would be perfect for now!

    1. I bet you could find something like it agian- the beauty of Etsy!

  2. What a great post- I love all the photos! One of my friends had all of her bridesmaids wear their favorite LBD. Definitely my best bridesmaid dress ever!

    1. Thanks for your comments! Wow now that is a brilliant and generous bride (seen some monstrosities on bridesmaids before!)

  3. Whether for day or night, LBDs are an absolute staple of my wardrobe and something that I will never tire of. It was a joy to learn more about them and see the lovely examples you corralled for this marvelous vintage fashion post.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. Thanks Jessica, I really appreicate your comments. Black dresses are a winner (I have dozens of them!)


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