The Little Black Dress

Hello there, readers

When I was coming up with ideas for some new posts, I thought to myself that I have never done a blog about the iconic ‘Little Black Dress’ even though my blogs name is an homage to it. Then I thought ‘Well what topic about the little black dress do I write about’. Do I write about the history of the iconic garment or do I do a ‘Thing to Buy’ post about it. Then I visualised in my head the idea of a post that shows the evolution. From when it first began all the way too how it is designed in the 21st century.

As with all stories the place start is at the beginning. Of course the a black dresses have been around for many years. Technically Queen Victoria of England made wearing black dresses popular, but not for style and fashion but for women who were in mourning. In the Victorian times if somebody had died in the family, the women who were closely related to the deceased were in ‘mourning’ and therefore were only to be seen wearing black.

Victorian mourning dress

As the years went on black dresses were seen more and more in fashion houses for evening wear but the designer who made set the dress on the path of becoming the iconic style it is today is ‘Coco Chanel’. Her black and white pallet seen in her early work and still can be seen today in the Chanel collection was making her a household name. But it wasn’t until 1926 when American Vogue published one of Coco Chanel’s drawings of the LBD and called it ‘the frock that all the world will wear’ was when this dress started its legacy.

In the 1920’s the little black dress started as a loose fitted, straight lined and was very different from the corsets that were fashionable before. The LBD was no longer for women who were in mourning but for were being worn by women for all occasions.

chanel vogue

As we come into the 1930’s the ‘flapper style’ was defining this era fashion style but the LBD was still making its mark. The flapper style was all glitz and glam. The frills the spills. Women were becoming more free and open about their sexuality than they ever could before.

black 1930's dress

The 1940’s were a dark time. As the war was drawn on and on and rationing got more and more important. Any spare material was being used to make parachutes, uniforms etc for the brave and courageous soldiers. People back home were having to reuse what they already had. The LBD wasn’t just for day or night but was being used more and more for all occasions and was being accessorized as much as the ladies could. The style of the dress was very different from the decade before. With the flapper style being all about showing off. The LBD in the 1940’s was all about simplicity due to as little fabric being used as possible because of rationing and the rest being used for the war efforts.

1940s dress


The War was over and rationing had almost disappeared completely. Dior’s ‘New Look’ was setting pulses racing. With a full skirt and cinched in at the waist. But where ever there was a little black dress, no matter what the style everyone always thought of Chanel’s iconic piece. The hype of Glamour Hollywood was at its peak. The little black dress was simple and elegant.

Marilyn-Munroe-1950s-Little-Black-Dress-Asphalt-Jungle Dior New look

In the 1960’s, style became more open and free. The younger generation had the ‘mod’ style. The ‘mod’ style had short hemlines, slits in the legs. The mini dress was a firm favourite of these fashionistas. In this decade when you think of the Little black dress there is only one actress that you think of,  Audrey Hepburn. In 1961 the film ‘Breakfast a Tiffany’s’ was released and Audrey Hepburn’s iconic seen holding the coffee and the pastry and wearing that black dress with the pearl necklace became legendary. Now whenever anybody thinks of the LBD they think of two people Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn.


In the 1970’s the LBD still had a short hemlines with the younger generation but the fit became looser and a more straight up and down cut. With a colourful belt to accessorize it. However in this era colour was a favourite trend, so the little black dress took  a step back out of the limelight but not for long.

1970's dress

In the 1980’s the LBD came back into fashion and always seen with as much accessories as possible. It has to be said that Madonna was one of the main reasons the LBD became so popular with the public again. In the 1980’s everybody wanted to copy Madonnas style, her outfits were wild and revealing (which they still are to this day). A popular saying for this era was differently ‘the bigger, the better’ and that was seen in fashion. The accessories were big and bold, the hair was teased and crimped and covered in hairspray. The shoulder pads and bows which was seen on many outfits were big and puffy. The 1980’s were rebellious in so many ways, government, punk, and also fashion. This was the era where designers could let go and be wacky and wonderful and that was seen in the LBD.


As the 1980’s became the 1990’s the LBD had become simpler and the hemlines could be seen in various lengths. The LBD became simple and made from simple fabrics. The dress wasn’t just to be seen in on nights out or on stage but was seen in the publics everyday style and paired with such and array of accessories. Spaghetti straps were very popular in this decade.

1990's dress

From 2000 and onwards sexuality has become more open and that can be seen in todays fashion. Shorter hemlines, plunging bust line can be seen in the showbiz world but for those of all shapes and sizes if you know where to shop you can see the LBD cut in so many different ways. Today were are more open than ever to different styles and are always looking for something different.

So whatever your style there is a little black dress out therefore you and I believe that every women needs on in their wardrobe. I know I have mine.

my black dress

To all my readers and future readers, I would love for you opinions on the LBD if you think I missed anything in this post, your opinion on the LBD. Do you think its time has been and gone or do you think it’s a must in any fashion lovers wardrobe. Also share your pictures of your LBD I would love to see your style and how you work it.

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Nicky xxxx


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