Move over, little black dress. Make some room for the new girl in the closet.
It’s been a rule of thumb for women since 1926, when Coco Chanel first introduced a comfortable and stylish dress in a color that was once reserved only for a woman in mourning. The frock – a black dress designed to be short, stylish, and classically cut – was simultaneously simple and elegant, and became popularly known simply as the Little Black Dress. The dress was declared by Vogue to be fashion’s version of the Ford Model T – modern, sleek, and available to everyone. “A sort of uniform for all women of taste” is how the magazine described the now infamous dress, which soon became recognized under the shortened acronym, LBD.
Over the past century, the LBD has been hailed by fashion experts as a must have in every woman’s wardrobe. The dress has become the basis for other trendy ensembles, and is seen as the one item every woman can pull out of her closet for any occasion, to be dressed up or down with complementary accessories. In terms of having a perfect wardrobe, the LBD is the first line of defense against that chilling phrase, “I have nothing to wear!”
But while the dress remains a stylish mainstay, and having one is still key in any wardrobe, the LBD is no longer the lone hero in the world of the “what will I wear” crisis. These days, ladies are also leaning toward the lighter side of fashion staples.
“By tradition, we are trained to believe that every woman needs that ‘Little Black Dress’ and black pumps in her closet to fit any occasion that arises,” said Harvey Jenkins, M.D., Ph.D., owner of BodyTrends Spa, Salon, Studio & BoutiQue in Oklahoma City. “But what we find at BodyTrends BoutiQue, is that ‘White’ is the new ‘Black,’ as it seems to be one of most popular colors in gowns and dresses that we sell.”
Jenkins isn’t saying that black is out. Just that women are making room in their wardrobes for more than one anchor hue for their fashion accessories. And that means white and ivory are new must-have colors.
“What this tells us is that the modern woman has a white dress as an essential part of her fashion armamentarium… Maybe two!” Jenkins said. “White is not just for walking down the aisle anymore, but for the reception, the after-party or any other time you need to stand out, be seductive, be subdued, or just to make a statement.”
Jenkins also noted that the addition of a Little White Dress to the list of must-haves in every woman’s wardrobe is even echoed by Hollywood.
“Even Olivia Pope, from the TV show Scandal, seems to have the allure and utility of the white dress figured out, as if it were some kind of ‘must-have’ strategic device,” Jenkins said, noting that the lead character in the ABC drama, played by actress Kerry Washington, wears white as a signature color.
Of course, none of this means that the Little Black Dress is obsolete. Quite the opposite, the classic number is as popular as ever, and with only minor accessories it can transform from classic to trendy and back again. Over the years, the LBD, while described as something classic that remains in style, has seen changes from time to time, with skirts flaring and necklines lowering with the times. But the overall classic look remains, thanks to its simple elegance.
Only now, there’s room in the elegance closet for other classic colors, including white and ivory.
“It goes with anything,” Jenkins said of the Little White Dress. “It is accessory-friendly. It complements any skin type. It won’t let you down.”
Explore the Little White Dress and other beautiful creations at the official Mac Duggal website.