There are a few key wardrobe staples that every woman should own — a statement handbag, a crisp white blouse, a gorgeous scarf. However, the little black dress is undeniably the most essential garment for a woman to have in her closet. No other garment is as uniquely right for every occasion as the LBD. No other garment is as effortlessly striking and chic. Perhaps the most iconic little black dress was the beauty designed by Hubert de Givenchy, worn by Audrey Hepburn in the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. However,  the LBD has a long history, and many have contributed to the genius that it is today.

Prior to the creation of the little black dress as we know it, black was reserved for those in mourning. In fact, during the Victorian era, it was considered inappropriate to wear black unless you were grieving. Widows were expected to wear black for a minimum of two years. At that time, wearing black was also an indication of wealth because black fabric was very expensive.

WWI and an outbreak of the Spanish flu set the stage for the introduction of the LBD. It became very common to see mourning widows wearing black. Also, due to wartime uncertainty and hardships, women leaned towards simple, more economical fashion. Black was no longer seen being worn only by the very rich, and women were ready for a garment that was elegant, yet easier to wear.

The little black dress was first made popular by Coco Chanel. In 1926, Vogue published the sketches of her iconic, black crepe-de-Chine sheath. They called it the Chanel “Ford” because it had the same sort of mainstream appeal that Ford’s Model T did. Vogue also ardently predicted that the little black dress would become the uniform for women with taste of all classes. They were right! A woman’s wardrobe has never been the same since.

The little black dress has evolved greatly since Chanel introduced her iconic black dress to the world. Throughout the Great Depression, the LBD was popular as a simple and inexpensive way for women to dress elegantly. During WWII, textile rationing made it a uniform color to wear for the hoards of women who were forced to go to work. Later, during the conservative 50s, it was considered risque to wear a little black dress. The LBD remained an uncommon sight during the flowery, hippy culture of the early 60s. But the mod, mid to late 60s, wild 70s and energetic 80s saw its revival as a staple in every woman’s closet. The length and styles of the LBD were dramatically experimented with, but it has never been out of style since. Today, designers continue to explore and modernize the look of this icon. The LBD remains an integral garment in every woman’s wardrobe.

There is a power in wearing an LBD. It at once makes a woman seem confident and elegant, chic and glamorous. When wearing an LBD, her best features are enhanced, never hidden. It is stylishly reliable and can be remade to suit any mood or occasion. It is, quite simply, the only garment in a woman’s closet that is always the right thing to wear. LBDedited.com is a modern collection of this most essential fashion phenomenon. We celebrate the statement that is the LBD.