The New Little Black Dress

“The little black dress must be sensual, diaphanous, exotic, lush, frivolous...

...but above all, it must be simple and little and black."

- Carolina Herrera

In the 1950s they were pressed, starched, and perfectly pointed a-line silhouettes. And in the 90s they were reconstructed into skin-tight, curve-hugging mini versions we now call bodycon. We're talking about the Little Black Dress. The Little Black Dress, or L.B.D., has been a staple going back to the closets of our mothers and grandmothers. Over the last decade we’ve seen the LBD hop from generation to generation, each new one adjusting the fit, the length, the sleeves – but never have we seen it completely re-imagined like what’s being done today. And the revolution is right on-trend.

black chiffon sleeve with rhinestone cuffs black midi length dress in connected apparel lbd blog

If we look at the last few eras of the LBD, the options for the new, younger faces to put their own mark on this fashion icon were waning. Since the early 2000s celebrity stylists, bloggers, and even revered fashion publications have spun “How To Wear An LBD” in ‘x’ different ways. We were told to layer and accessorize and to come up with the formula that would give us our own personalized LBD. It was complete style confusion. The Little Black Dress had reached its limit.

Lifestyle expert Tim Ferriss once said, “The only rules and limits are those we set for ourselves.” And in the case of the LBD, lifetimes had been spent making every alteration designers could dream up. The solution? Go where no LBD had gone before... Traditionally an LBD is, well, in the name: Little. Black. Dress. LBDs have consistently been monotone, plain fabric dresses that offer a range of versatility. But for the new era of Little Black Dresses - question everything you've ever known. Get ready to be on-trend for the upcoming seasons as we cover the changes being made to this fashion icon.


Let's channel back to the most recent 21st century edition of the Little Black Dress... In our push to make fashion more inclusive, and less cookie-cutter, trends of the last 10 years have largely centered around personal style. 70s suede, 80s ankle socks with heels, 90s crop tops... Multi-generational fads came back overnight as we rushed to mix-and-match to create our own unique styles. This kind of style alchemy took over. Trends overlapped at such a fast rate, the industry struggled to keep competing product in-stock (see the end result: fast fashion).

How could the elegantly simple Little Black Dress compete in these new runways built on variety? The answer was apparent - it was time to break up with tradition. The one-size, one-look, one  LBD  for  every  woman  idea  had  to  

“The Little Black Dress expresses 

a moment of freedom and individuality every time."

- Andre Leon Talley

floral print mesh half sleeve mandy little black dress in lbd blog from connected apparel
short sleeve two tone little black dress shown in connected apparel lbd blog

go. And in its place - bold color accents,  subtle   feminine   patterns,

and an exploration of new, trendy fabrics. The new LBD isn't about layering or hiding your favorite dress - it's about embracing it. We love this idea. Not only will it save us time, but it opens up the Little Black Dress to all personal styles. Our recommendation: pick one LBD for everyday and one for more formal occasions. And  don't  be  afraid  to branch  out of  your comfort  zone!  Even if  you're  a classic

sequin lace short formal party little black dress on the connected apparel blog

girl through and through - give a shimmery chiffon or lace alternative a try. The Little Black Dress revolution is about expression and feeling fabulous in the LBD that's right for you.

‣ Ditching the Accessories.

In the 1920s, Coco Chanel designed a rebellious and landmark piece of fashion -  the Little Black sheath Dresses. While she's largely responsible for creating the LBD, she may have also foretold it's future.

“Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory."

- Coco Chanel

black chiffon sleeve with rhinestone cuffs black midi length dress in connected apparel lbd blog
closeup of rhinestone cuffs on chiffon sleeve black midi length dress in connected apparel lbd blog

black chiffon sleeve with rhinestone cuffs black midi length dress in connected apparel lbd blog

closeup of rhinestone cuffs on chiffon sleeve black midi length dress in connected apparel lbd blog

Coco has reminded us for decades that inevitably "less is more." And the Little Black Dress revolution takes her advice one step further. With statement pieces being on their way out, and minimalism being the new "it" trend, you may want to  forego  jewelry  altogether. Instead, go for the rhinestone

dress version of the LBD. Look for rhinestone accents to provide the glitz and glam that your last-season necklaces and earrings would have.

‣ modernizing, from lbd to lbj.

Out of all of the changes we've talked about, this one is by-far the most drastic. There's a new sister to the Little Black Dress - the Little Black Jumpsuit. The LBJ is the modern, more gender-neutral wardrobe staple. And just like it's fashion icon sibling, it's a landmark in versatility.

sleeveless full-length chiffon ruffle womens black jumpsuit or lbj on the connected apparel blog
petite woman wearing full-length black jumpsuit with chiffon cold shoulders in connected apparel lbd blog
women in black full-length jumpsuit with matching neckline flounce in lbd blog at connected apparel

The Little Black Dress revolution is just another way fashion is becoming more about the customer and their individual style. From floral print little black cocktail dress to full-length little black jumpsuit - find the LB staple that expresses you!



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