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The Fashion Memo

The best little black dresses

Designer – and master of the body-con dress – Azzedine Alaïa with model Frederique van der Wal in Paris in 1986

Solving sartorial dilemmas since day one, the LBD is a crucial part of a really great closet. Invest now and wear forever


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 hard to see why. Striking the perfect balance between elegant and effortless, it works for all manner of occasions, from dinner with friends to date night. As enduring as it is alluring, the LBD found favor with everyone from Debbie Harry and Madonna to the Supers 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 Chloé’s romantic ruffles, Saint Laurent’s understated designs or Versace’s sensual silk slip, the new souped-up LBDs promise to take your look to another level. Add a pair of combat boots during the day, then, after dark, switch 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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