This item is uber essential that it deserves its own article. The little black dress, chicly known as the “LBD”. It’s little because it’s streamlined and advocates simplicity. It’s black because it’s elegant and yet accessible, mysterious and yet powerful. It’s a dress because it celebrates the female form and delicate nature. Everyone would always refer to the LBD made famous by international fashion icon Audrey Hepburn in ther 1960’s movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” but the LBD came much earlier – 1926 to be exact when fashion innovator Coco Chanel published a photo of a short, simple black dress on American Vogue dubbed “Chanel’s Ford.”
Before Audrey, there was Coco Chanel - the woman who started the LBD revolution in 1935. Photo credits: Rex Features
However, it’s not a maxi dress or a one-size-fits all kinda item. It’s the concept of simplicity, elegance, mystery and accessibility that has shaped this fashion item from an “essential” to a “must-have” or even a “should-have.” So how do you now choose the best LBD fit for you?
Follow these steps and come out fabulous.
STEP 1: CHOOSE THE RIGHT CUT. This will mainly depend on your understanding of your body. Know if you are top heavy or bottom heavy – to know if you would need an empire cut or pencil cut, mermaid or flowy even asymmetric. Then work on the concept of highlighting your assets. This will give you an idea of what you would have to consider when it comes to length of sleeves, depth of neckline and the type of skirt.
STEP 2: LENGTH OF THE DRESS. The term “little” might have been used loosely since the LBD may come in different lengths – case in point, Audrey’s Givenchy. It may be daunting but you have to face the mirror once again and understand your proportions. If you have a longer torso and shorter legs, having a long dress might not be an option. Same goes if you are not so tall.
STEP 3: CHOOSING THE RIGHT FABRIC. I do understand the term “suffering for fashion” but if the decision is solely up to you, comfort may be the best way to go. Given your country’s climate and the possibility of using more in certain seasons, you might need to choose a versatile fabric that can not only give you comfort but also functionality.
STEP 4: FINALISING THE DESIGN. Remember that one of the key elements of having a little black dress is its simplicity and elegance. A streamlined design will work to your advantage as it will complement you and not overwhelm your look. If you are thinking of an accent, choose one element of the dress with the same concept – a belt, translucent sleeves, an off centre flowing fabric or even a laser cut detail near the face.
Always remember the rule of thumb – if it doesn’t highlight who you are, it may not be the right dress for you. People would want to see you and not just your dress. When you find that LBD meant for you, it might just be the best thing you’ve ever worn .. especially this coming Valentines Day.