A Little History On The LBD (Little Black Dress)

You may have noticed that we’re a little black dress obsessed around here! In the Dec/January issue of Sew News, each member of the editorial team picked a dress pattern, sewed a sample and shared a review, as well as the reasons behind our picks and how we define the little black dress. Is it goes with anything and easy to accessorize? Comfortable elegance? Or a show stopper with high-end embellishment? We also want to delve into the history of this iconic wardrobe stable.

HIstory of LBD 1200x600 A Little History On The LBD (Little Black Dress)

This post includes an excerpt of a forthcoming article by Kristina Seleshanko

The Little Black Dress is so iconic, today it’s often simply referred to as “LBD.” Yet how did black dresses – once the symbol of Victorian mourning and something most women dreaded – become an essential part of every woman’s wardrobe? The credit goes to a famous fashion designer, a legendary magazine, and a tragic economic collapse.

In 1926, American Vogue featured a photo of a super-simple, short black dress designed by Coco Chanel. The editors called it “Chanel’s Ford,” reminding readers of Henry Ford’s autobiography in which he famously states customers could have the popular Model T car in any color they wanted as long as it was black. Vogue also wisely predicted the Little Black Dress would soon be “a sort of uniform for all women of taste.”

Coco Chanel lbd 300x264 A Little History On The LBD (Little Black Dress)

Little black dress photo courtesy of Vogue Archives

But the style didn’t catch on right away. It took the 1929 stock market crash, followed by the Great Depression, to really launch the LBD into history. Once everyone was strapped for cash, who didn’t want a simple black dress that could be worn over and over to nearly any occasion?

Are you sewing your own version on the little black dress? Find more in our latest issue of Sew News, now on newsstands and in shopsewitall.com. And, be sure to check back on the blog to read more about our makes for our little black dresses.

group shot 1024x872 A Little History On The LBD (Little Black Dress)

 A Little History On The LBD (Little Black Dress)
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