After the coldest winter I have ever experienced in my 23 years, no longer needing to wear my faux fur lined jacket marks the beginning of a much anticipated summer and an even more awaited holiday. Days slowly transition to night with the only difference being darkness after 18h30, or a sudden, yet very consistent, thunderstorm at around 16h00. It is at this time of the year that I juggle a large dose of excitement and anxiety. Excitement because it’s time to put on my bikini and never take it off, and anxiety because holy shit it’s already the end of another year.
I haven’t done a style post in a while, so here I am in a style icon: The little black dress; petite robe noire. Nothing new to see here, except for the wardrobe essential of the century, and if you identify yourself as feminine, you’ll most definitely have one, or five. Synonymous with Chanel and Breakfast At Tiffany’s, the LBD is ubiquitous in the fashion realm, and for good reason.
In 1926, Chanel published a picture of a straight, calf-length black dress in American Vogue, which was later named ”Chanel’s Ford”. Chanel helped disassociate the colour black with mourning, and reinvented it as ”a sort of uniform for all women of taste”. During the post-war era and the sexual conservatism of the 1950s, the little black dress became a symbol of the dangerous woman; Hollywood femme fatales and fallen female characters were often portrayed in black halter-style dresses in contrast to the more conservative dresses of housewives or more wholesome Hollywood stars.
What I love about a neutral colour and the shape of this dress in particular, are the countless outfit opportunities. Dress it up with heels, or down with an old pair of Dr Martens, layer it with a kimono, pair it with some stockings, wear it under an over-sized denim jacket… I’m going to stop now before I talk myself out of new post ideas.
My favourite part about this dress is the chest detail, with the button and opening. It gives this seemingly simple dress an alternative edge. My aunt really knew what was up back when she made this dress for my mom circa 1985. Stylists often refer to a few basics that you can use to create many outfits, and the LBD is always one of them.
I’m all for a small, curated wardrobe, consisting of timeless pieces that you can mix and match endlessly. Vetta Capsule, an ethical and sustainable fashion brand based in the US, did a really cool thing when they created The Ultimate Capsule Collection. This selection of clothing was made with versatility in mind, helping their customers mix and match five pieces to create a month’s worth of outfits.
My closet is far from perfect, and I feel a lot of angst when I get dressed in the morning. I have loads of vintage clothing that I’ve acquired over the years, clothing that isn’t necessarily my style anymore, but because of my aversion to getting rid of clothing, I’ve hung onto half a wardrobe of clothing that doesn’t even reflect my personality anymore. As I’ve said before, I probably only wear 10 pieces out of a wardrobe of maybe 50.
I’m learning a lot more about the importance of basics in a wardrobe, and their role in tying an outfit together. Having a closet fill of bold prints and colours gave me a lot to work with in my teens but fails to give me a cohesive outfit now.
LBD/black dresses that I’m currently crushing on:
Sitting Pretty | here
Hannah Lavery | here
Phoebe & Knox | here