The “Little Black Dress” or as some say, LBD, has managed to leave a significant mark in popular culture when Coco Chanel designed the iconic piece almost a century ago. Throughout the years, the classic design has been interpreted with the style of the time; Audrey Hepburn making the LBD chic and sophisticated in the 50s/60s, Princess Diana with a stunning black dress and pearls demonstrating the glamour of the 80s, and Rihanna adding a little bit of edge with it to perfectly go with the 2010s.
There could probably be an entire research paper on what makes the LBD so timeless, but what stands out to me is the individuality that comes with it. There is not one cut, silhouette, length, fabric, or any accessories that must be included to be considered a little black dress, giving the power completely to the wearer. It’s essentially your canvas, where you can put your own unique idea on the look, nothing off limits. And it exemplifies one of the best components of fashion: being in complete control of how you want to look and feel.
With all my adoration for the LBD, I seemed to never go out of my way to find one. For one, I don’t actually have that many dresses and the ones I do have are more for a casual summer day when it’s too hot to wear any type of pants. With that, most of my dresses are patterned and even my nicer ones aren’t black. So I don’t have a literal little black dress, but I have an article of clothing that I call my take on the LBD.
I was in my senior year of high school when I stopped into a boutique in my city looking to spend some money I saved up from my first job on a nice piece of clothing. There were so many things that stood out to me, but nothing greater than what would become my LBD. What I came home with that day was a short-sleeved, buttoned down the back jumpsuit that was, you guessed it, all black. The jumpsuit felt so perfect on and let my imagination go wild with the number of ways I could style it. I felt the power of the little black dress while wearing this jumpsuit and came to realize that this is my own LBD.
As an ode to my own little black dress, this collage series features myself reimagined in this jumpsuit in a number of ways, showing how versatile and endless it is.
I love beanies and Doc Marten combat boots just as much as I love my jumpsuit. So together, it can only be a match made in heaven. I call this Electric Lady because wearing this look makes me feel that I transported to an alternate reality where I live in a city full of neon lights and bright, fun colors all around me (OK, so maybe I did just watch Maniac on Netflix). I consider this a street style look. You’d see me in this on a day where I want my jumpsuit to highlight my other accessories I’m wearing.
My Own Classic
There’s nothing I love more than wandering around museums or old buildings and taking awe at the architectural details within the structure. Historic places give me the inspiration to build off the old to create something new. This also somewhat describes my jumpsuit itself. The cropped fit of the top and open back bring a breath of fresh air into the design that add a sense of uniqueness to the classic lines. This I could see in an old city as I explore all the historic sites and find my own. When I imagine being in such a beautiful place, I like to think of myself in the jumpsuit with maybe my favorite heels and a necklace.
When you hear the word “casual” pertaining to clothes, it may not seem as exciting as a formal or avant-garde look. However, there is so much beauty in the casual that often gets overlooked. What makes casual fun is being completely you in an everyday setting. This could be my walk in the park look where I stop and smell the daisies (sorry roses I like daisies more) or my look I wear in my everyday routine where I often catch myself daydreaming. Basically, I can wear this jumpsuit anywhere, anytime, anyday.
What I have learned from all of this is that the LBD is stronger as an idea than it as the physical piece itself. The LBD is for any person, any setting, and any time. And more importantly, it may not even be a dress! I define the little black dress of being that one piece of clothing you have, where you feel that you can take on the word and be your full authentic self. Fashion doesn’t have to be about fads that only last a couple of seasons or wearing something because you feel that you should. Think about that blouse, or pair of jeans, or any article of clothing makes you feel your best: use that as your own “little black dress” to come up with your own unique style and make that YOUR own timeless piece where you can be anyone and do anything when you put it on.