The Fashion Memo

The enduring appeal of the little black dress – and this season’s most covetable offerings

Solving sartorial dilemmas since day one, the best little black dress (or LBD) is a crucial part of every great closet. Invest now and wear forever

LBDs on the FW20 runways: puff-sleeved dress, and one-shouldered dress, both Isabel Marant; tie-neck dress, Khaite; blazer wrap dress, Valentino

The term ‘investment piece’ gets bandied around quite a lot in fashion, but few items are more deserving of the moniker than the little black dress. This iconic piece has been a mainstay of women’s wardrobes since the 1920s – and it’s not difficult to see why. Striking the perfect balance between elegant and effortless, it works for all manner of occasions, from intimate dinners to date nights and low-key festive events. As enduring as it is alluring, the LBD found favor with everyone from Debbie Harry and Madonna to the Supers of the ’90s and the late Princess Diana – a testament to its universal appeal.

So, how can you improve on a classic? This season, designers have revisited this wardrobe staple and turned it into a trophy piece. Whether it’s Khaite’s velvet-trimmed mini with romantic ruffled sleeves, Saint Laurent’s feather-trimmed knit, or Tove’s clean, understated flippy dress (which works just as well in summer as it does in winter), the new LBDs promise to be a wardrobe ally for seasons to come. Add a pair of chunky Chelsea boots during the day, then dress it up with barely-there sandals or square-toed mules. Bottom line: an LBD goes with everything; it may be little, but it sure packs a punch.


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