The black dress has been a wardrobe staple for women since designer Coco Chanel debuted her design in 1926. Prior to Chanel’s design, women usually only wore black when they were in mourning. Black dresses have since become incredibly popular, made famous by actresses as Audrey Hepburn, who wore a black dress in the films “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Sabrina.” In the 21st century, black dresses are available in a wide range of styles to suit any body type.
A plain black sheath dress in either satin or woven cotton is a versatile piece of clothing. All it takes to dress it up is a simple necklace, such as a string of pearls, as Hepburn’s Holly Golightly wore in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” If you have trim, sculpted arms, look for a sleeveless sheath dress. Find a short or 3/4-sleeved dress if you want to hide a chunky upper arm. You can also pair a simple sheath with a colorful cardigan or shrug on cooler nights.
The Little Black Shirt Dress
You don’t have to reserve your black dress for evening wear. A shirt dress in black is a great way to dress up for work or school. Shirt dresses come in several lengths, from mini-dresses to dresses that reach to the mid-calf. You can also find long sleeve, short sleeve or sleeveless dresses. What unites them is the full button or zip front. Some dresses feature small pockets on the chest while others have a more plain look. You can dress up a black shirt dress with a few simple bangle bracelets or by wrapping a wide leather belt around your waist. Pair a shirt dress with preppy loafers or knee-high boots.
The Unusual Black Dress
The black dress doesn’t have to be simple or plain. If you want to make a statement in black, look for a dress with an unusual cut, such as a one-shouldered dress or a tight-fitting strapless dress with a full skirt. Look for a dress in an unusual fabric, such as leather or lace, if you want to stand out. You can also pair your black dress with interesting and bold accessories. Swap out the standard string of pearls for a long gold pendant necklace. Wear dangling earrings and a ring with a big jewel on it and pile bracelets on your wrists.
- woman in a black dress image by Cora Reed from Fotolia.com