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Wardrobe Essentials 101: The Little Black Dress

Wardrobe Essentials 101: The Little Black Dress

“One is never overdressed or underdressed with a Little Black Dress” —Karl Lagerfeld

 

 

Karl Lagerfeld couldn’t have said it better. Gabrielle Chanel herself, the founder of the fashion house for whom Lagerfeld is creative director today, would undoubtedly agree if she could. After all, the LBD is the “democratic dress:” infallible, unassuming yet makes a statement, does not put its wearer in a box and is as versatile as they come.

 

But a quick history lesson reminds us that this wasn’t always the case. For most of the ‘20s, black clothing was strictly reserved for mourning, if not, servants. Worn at any other point in time or by anyone exempt from a life of servitude and it was considered distasteful or amiss.

 

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, like the true game changer she was, pressed ahead to do away with the archaic rule. With that, the little black dress was born: a dress for women from all social classes, a dress to suit just about any occasion. To boot, this was a move Vogue responded to favorably. In 1926, the magazine commended Chanel’s first little black dress by putting it on the cover of its October issue. “Chanel’s Ford,” hailed Vogue. “A sort of uniform for all women of taste.” And the rest is history.

 

1961

1961 - Wardrobe Essentials 101: The Little Black Dress | Wonder

via Fashion Gone Rogue

 

1985

1985 - Wardrobe Essentials 101: The Little Black Dress | Wonder

via Pinterest

 

1994

1994 - Wardrobe Essentials 101: The Little Black Dress | Wonder

Photo Hulton Royals Collection / Getty Images

2006

2006 - Wardrobe Essentials 101: The Little Black Dress | Wonder

Photo George Pimentel / Getty Images

2010

2010 - Wardrobe Essentials 101: The Little Black Dress | Wonder

via Pinterest

 

2018

2018 - Wardrobe Essentials 101: The Little Black Dress | Wonder

Photo Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

 

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Flash-forward to Audrey Hepburn’s iconic Breakfast at Tiffany’s dress by Givenchy, Princess Diana in Christina Stambolian (the original freakum dress, in our honest opinion), the spaghetti-strap Jacquemus mini on Selena Gomez: the countless LBD spin-offs churned out time and again by fashion designers prove that you can never go wrong with some variation of the little black dress.

 

Industry veteran Tadashi Shoji, for one, has embraced the LBD as the centerpiece of a quintessential eveningwear wardrobe. After thirty years of dressing real women, it’s the one piece he realized never falters.

 

Tadashi Shoji - Wardrobe Essentials 101: The Little Black Dress | Wonder Tadashi Shoji - Wardrobe Essentials 101: The Little Black Dress | Wonder Tadashi Shoji - Wardrobe Essentials 101: The Little Black Dress | Wonder

Photos Tadashi Shoji

 

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“If you want to build a sensible wardrobe but don’t know where to start, go for a little black dress and you’ll be on the right track,” Shoji tells Wonder. “For eveningwear, it’s the black cocktail dress, the easiest one to work with. This is your foundation—your canvas—that you can build on: either with a classic brooch, a statement earring, a shoe with a lot of personality.”

 

Abiding by the playbook of Shoji among other experts with sage style advice (and just in time for the whirlwind, back-to-back events this holiday season), here are key accessories you can style your little black dress with:

 

ETRO - Wardrobe Essentials 101: The Little Black Dress | Wonder

ETRO 

Gold-Tone, Bead and Enamel Brooch

$487

SEEK THE UNIQ - Wardrobe Essentials 101: The Little Black Dress | Wonder

SEEK THE UNIQ

Vaqueria Oversized Earring

P1,200

WEAVE - Wardrobe Essentials 101: The Little Black Dress | Wonder

WEAVE

U Earring

P1,295

ARANÁZ - Wardrobe Essentials 101: The Little Black Dress | Wonder

ARANÁZ

Flamenco Clutch

P12,950

 

MUNI MUNI - Wardrobe Essentials 101: The Little Black Dress | Wonder

MUNI MUNI

Padma Mules

P1,750

 

N21 - Wardrobe Essentials 101: The Little Black Dress | Wonder

N21

Embellished Satin Wrap High Heel Sandal

P44,895

 

 

 

Art Alexandra Lara

About The Author

Sometimes a stylist, sometimes a writer, powered by coffee.

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