A cocktail, a dinner, an important meeting, a date and maybe love at first sight, another day of “nothing to wear” or a party on one of your trips (maybe Canada? wink) and you still don’t know what to wear? Keep in mind just one thing: the-little-black-dress-is-and-will-always-be-très chic. We all have a little black dress, an essential in our wardrobe and if not, it’s certainly time for you to go shopping. It is the wardrobe “must have”.
Short, long, corsage or not, in winter or summer, we all have a little black dress that is waiting for us somewhere in a shop.
First let’s go back in time and be immersed world of Chanel. Do you know the real story of the little black dress? Far from the glamourous and the sparkling reputation it has today, la petite robe noire (the little black dress which was not so little at this time) was reserved for widows after the First World War. During the 20’s, women decided to give black a chance and the black dress started to appear in a lot of fashion magazines. It was in 1926 that Coco would draw attention to it by promoting the little black dress even more; she seduces women and the fashion industry by her simplicity. Indeed, less is more. The Americans are totally under the spell and see in it the expression of a modern woman, they even call the dress “Chanel’s Ford”. And voilà how the little black dress became your best friend.
Indeed the little black dress is like a true friendship. She will never disappoint you, she will be there for you when you’re confused in your choices about what to wear, and she will travel with you. You need to find the right one, the one you know that will be in the “life of your wardrobe” for a long time. Finding the right dress is one thing but to know how to wear it is another.
For this, here are few rules to follow and to avoid the little black dress faux-pas.
Bet on restraint, a timeless chic
As Chanel said “Simplicity is the keynote of true elegance”. When you choose your little black dress, make sure it’s not too much. The power of the little black dress resides in its simplicity. When Chanel redesigned the little black dress, she deleted all frills to be able to wear the black dress at any time for day and night. Avoid the details that hide the elegance of the dress such as flashy buttons or a collar that is too impressive. Do not hesitate to invest in your little black dress by choosing noble materials (please no synthetics) and make sure the shape is timeless. Don’t forget that this dress will follow you for a long time and will be certainly a part of important events in your life.
When you choose simplicity, you can change the style throughout the years by accessorising the dress.
Time to go back to the previous issue where I speak about accessorises. I will never cease to repeat that accessorises are your assets. But the same approach applies, make sure you find the right ones and do not over-accessorise. By picking the right accessory for your dress, you will accentuate your personality. You want people to see you so take on board the words of Chanel, if you “dress shabbily they notice the dress. Dress impeccably, they notice the woman”.
Finding beautiful jewellery that will highlight your complexion to offset the black that can be tough; I always have a preference for “sautoir” (long necklace). But remember if you wear earrings, you don’t need a necklace and vice versa (my motto less is more).
Now you found your perfect sober little black dress, you can allow yourself a bit of fantasy. The most common faux-pas in my opinion is to wear black shoes with a black dress. However, I will have an exception for this. It depends on the occasion you wear it. If you are looking for a look grunge chic, my only exception would be black studded boots.
During the day you can wear flat print shoes (ballerinas, runners or sandals… For the print I find it totally chic and bold to wear leopard) and during the evening, high-heals will be so perfect to give an elegant side to your dress. And for this occasion, please no black and beautiful leather will be recommended.
For those who are looking for an original style, you can choose to wear a pair of tights with sparkles or stars to break with a style that is too classic.
And remember you create your own style, be yourself and find the right outfit to feel bien dans votre peau (good in your skin). Do not be scared to try different outfits, go shopping at your favourite places, and don’t hesitate to ask the sales assistant for advice; they are there to help you.
But trust me about something, once you will find your little black dress, you will know… it will jump out at you clearly, like a real friendship.
La petite robe noire allows for all styles, let me give you 3 examples that will prove you that the little black dress is your meilleure amie (best friend):
- At last, the date with this man that you were hoping for so much is coming up. Panic… you want to impress but at the same time you don’t want to show off and make him believe that tonight is in the bag. Let me him desire you. To seduce him, you don’t need to spend hours thinking about what to wear, your little black dress and your self-confidence will be your perfect asset.
- How to turn your daytime little black dress into an elegant evening dress: an expected evening after work, you don’t have so much time and by chance you are wearing your little black dress. It is the perfect scenario to show that you have style by turning your dress into an elegant outfit for this special occasion. The same motto: play with accessorises. Find a beautiful scarf in silk or wear a colourful belt. Regarding the shoes, I will always go for flashy shoes to cut off the mood style of the day. For a bag by preference a clutch will be the perfect choice. Et voilà, in few minutes with simple changes, you’re ready to go.
- Show off your rebel mood with a rock’n’roll style: time to be imaginative and search in your drawer for everything that can give you a trendy rock chic – studded boots, leather, metal, jewellery, red lipstick, and of course without forgetting the French touch with messy hair.
If you can be sure about something, it’s that with the little black dress you can never make a mistake if you learn how to wear it and as Karl Lagerfeld said “one is never over-dressed or underdressed with a little black dress”
The little black dress that I pick for you
Zadig et Voltaire – Dress in 100% silk – Caroline Lace Camisole
Loving the simplicity and the details. A light dress easy to wear in every occasion
Photo source: Zadig & Voltaire