An ongoing love affaire with all things fashionable, tasty and fun

The Little Black Dress

“You can never be over – or underdressed in a Little Black Dress.” – Karl Lagerfeld

As far as I’m concerned, truer words have never been spoken. When Coco Chanel invented the Little Black Dress (aka LBD) in the 1920’s she had no idea what she was opening the fashion world up to. And with that brilliant idea the color of mourning was transformed into the chicest color of them all and the cocktail dress became the epitome of style and elegance.

In the years since its origination the LBD has come in many guises – formal, informal, short, midi, strapless, long sleeves, cotton, velvet, silk, lace, satin…

Evening-Appropriate:

The original LBD was intended for an evening out on the town and that tradition definitely lives on in this day in age.

Short, sassy, chic.

Perfection! It's fun and sexy and one-of-a-kind. What more could you ask for in a cocktail dress?

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Kristin's look is everything you want from a LBD - Fun and eye-catching. The fabric makes it unusual and catches your attention when she walks by and her accessories perfectly add that needed zing to the look. Also, the tights make it warm enough to wear year-around.

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This is the perfect example of showing some skin in a LBD but keeping the look chic rather than tacky. She looks sexy as hell, but classy and tasteful.

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And of course, we’ve got to discuss the 2012 red carpet It Girl who wore LBDs almost exclusively for her Girl With The Dragon Tattoo appearances and premieres…

If you want to up the drama for evening try cut outs, lace, or panels of sheer fabric. They give the illusion of showing more skin than you really are and give a dress a unique and one-of-a-kind feel. I love that despite the modernity of this Prabal Gurung dress, she still looks like Audrey Hepburn!

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The quickest & easiest way to make a dress evening-ready is to add jewelry and killer heels! Just keep them in your day bag and pull then out when cocktail hour arrives.

Work-Appropriate:

Wearing a LBD for work is all about length and appropriateness. You’ll want to stick with a drama-free dress, something sleek and approaching knee-length would be ideal.

A slinky sheath dress is the ultimate LBD for the office. The clean lines and chic silhouette are perfect for work and depending on the neckline and sleeves all you may need is a blazer to be meeting-ready.

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Obviously Cara's boots aren't the perfect office shoes, but this is a really cute dress that could easily fit into a business-casual office with the addition of tights and a pair of basic pumps in either black or a fun color.

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A wrap or criss-cross front dress is a great option for the office. Depending on the formality of your dress code you may need to add a blazer, cardigan, or closed-toe shoes to this beautiful Bottega Veneta dress.

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A LBD with sleeves is an easy choice if you're heading into work, virtually any hemline below mini skirt level will balance out with sleeves. And a dramatic shoulder like this gorgeous velvet Nina Ricci dress will make it stand out all the more!

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And the best part of wearing a LBD to work? Take off your blazer or tights and switch up your shoes and you’re ready for a night out on the town!

Day-Appropriate:

Wearing a LBD during the day is a breeze, it’s all about picking one that suits your plans since they come in all shapes, sizes, and styles these days. Brunch, sight-seeing in a new city, traveling – You can easily add a little class to these activities with the perfect frock, dressed up or down.

You'll stand out in a crowd in a dress like this one! This type of dress could easily go from day to-night and she did a great job of keeping things casual by adding low-key accessories. Great platform t-straps and I like her decision to add the faux fur and leather jacket to stay warm. And that purse! 🙂

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You can easily add a boho feel to your LBD with a cardigan or duster and layers and layers of funky jewelry. These boots are a great, unexpected way to finish this look off.

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Adding brightly colored or patterned tights to a LBD is a great way to spice it up and make your look wholly original. I love love love the little white Peter Pan Collar on this Asos dress, it's definitely something I would wear with ballet flats!

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Such a cute dress! The oversized pockets show you how little details can set a LBD apart from other dresses. And those shoes! Too cute - A fun, interesting alternative to ballet flats.

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In my Real Girls Need Real Closets post I discussed the basics that a well-rounded wardrobe should contain – including the LBD. Similarly you can check out My Ten Essential Closet Pieces from Wendy’s Lookbook.

So what do you think? Are you ready to try adding a Little Black Dress to another part of your life?

Have a great weekend, I’ll be back from sunny Sea Ranch on Sunday with some great vacation clothes shots! If you’re interested in real-time updates, photos, and reading links that I’m loving, follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

2 responses

  1. Pingback: MCLV Style: New Years Eve « Moi Contre La Vie

  2. Pingback: Real Girls Need Real Closets « Moi Contre La Vie

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