Friday, May 11, 2012

The Supremely Chic Little Black Dress

BornAugust 19, 1883, Saumur
DiedJanuary 10, 1971, Paris
Real nameGabrielle Bonheur Chanel

Maisy dressed as Coco for
An Evening at the Wax Museum
Every year the fourth grade class at my grand daughters school does a production called, "An Evening at the Wax Museum".  It's a wonderful opportunity for each child to pick a person from history that they feel have significance.  All the students fill the auditorium dressed as their historical character with a "button" drawn on their hand. The audience goes around to each child, presses the button, and receives a 2 minute speech about their character.

Our Maisy picked Coco Chanel, which seems like a natural choice, because even at her age she is a fashionista dreaming to be a fashion designer someday.  I was able to provide the pearls as well as make her a "little black dress."  Ms. Chanel, certainly changed the face of fashion as a powerful woman in the industry.

Caitlin Bbrax

Coco Chanel was the one who made it uber-classic, but she is not the inventor of the little black dress which has been a classic "must have" in every woman's closet!   According to Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life (by Justine Picardine, $40,, “the little black dress was not formally identified as the shape of the future until 1926, when American Vogue published a drawing of a Chanel design.…" 

It was an apparently simple yet elegant sheath, in black crêpe de Chine, with long, narrow sleeves, worn with a string of white pearls; and Vogue proved to be correct in the prediction that it would become a uniform.…” Contrast that description with these today's sassy, sexy, little black dresses that can be seen on edress

oliveyouvintage - 1950's
Coco Chanel's Classic LBD Design

TheTrousseau - 1960's
FancyThatVintage - 1970's

BetaBoutique - 1980's
Women have deemed the LBD as possibly the essential, the single one that will take you practically anywhere.  Through the centuries, the little black dress has been worn to afternoon tea parties, the workplace, weddings, funerals and formals.  Dressed up or down with jewelry and jackets, depending on the desired effect.  

1980's Cuff by The Jewel Seeker

Egyptian Bib Necklace by ZephyrVintage

1960's  Flower Power by TheEarringStore

A simple modernist cuff, a large bib style necklace or even Featherweight earrings in black and white or silver tone can are nice accents for daily wear.  While the the fashionista could make switch to rhinestones or pearls for a sophisticated and sexy evening at the dinner theater.  There are no limitations for dressing the little black dress up or down.


Grand Vintage Finery

To accessorize this classic black dress, an excessive array of pearls, genuine and costume, simple and gold intertwined would be gorgeous. Of course, a classic quilted Chanel handbag with the CC logo or a pearl clutch would be carried, and Chanel's trademark two-tone pumps or ballet flats could be worn on the feet.  However, let's not forget the designer signed line of Chanel fine and costume jewelry.  The hard to find, rare pieces of Chanel jewelry was well made and is highly collectible.
18 KT Gold Plate Chanel Earrings by Sneller

Whether you love vintage fashion or are into the current styles, you can add vintage jewelry to accent that LBD to fit your style, event or mood!  The Vintage Jewelry Sellers on Etsy Team offer the following suggestions:

'Casual Accessories for my LBD - VJSE Treasury' by The Jewel Seeker

All of the jewelry featured in this treasury is sold by members of the VJSE Team (Vintage Jewelry Sellers on Etsy) For more of their excellent jewelry & awesome service search VJSE GROUP TEAM in the Vintage Section!

Vintage Yellow Earr...

Vintage Necklace Re...

SPRING SALE Vintage...

Vintage 1970's ...

Vintage 1950s Neckl...

Vintage Red Glass C...

Shell Necklace Dyed...

Vintage Flower Broo...

Vintage Rhinestone ...

Red Paste Vintage F...

Vintage Green Cellu...

Cute Vintage Plasti...

Amber Beauty- Vinta...

Vintage Bracelet Ba...

Enamel Flower Brooc...

Vintage Necklace Pi...


  1. Great information! Love the little black dress and always on the look out for another. You can wear it anywhere & with anything!

  2. I love the jewelry you chose to go with the classic black dress! Well done!

  3. Oh to be able to wear a black dress ;-)

    the jewelry choices were divine! I think Coco Chanel had the right idea you can wear anything GLAM with a black dress, its like a new outfit each time you wear it!!

  4. Every woman needs a little black dress! And, the other adornments you have here, well, they make it simply smashing!!

  5. The little black dress or suit has stayed a favorite since I can remember... I wore them to work in the late'50's and still wear them today... Always have at least one in my luggage when traveling as you can't go wrong with black and white.. Chic and stylish for any occasion and the jewels are the ornaments to finish the picture... A Christmas tree is nice but when you get the ornaments on it, then it comes to life :)

    1. Marvelous way to put it! Love your analogy of the Christmas Tree!!!

  6. I still have that little black dress and the combinations are countless..and you can accessorize to your heart's content..remember "The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize." quote from Claree Belcher, Steel Magnolias..

    1. Love the quote! Had to show my Grandaughter....she is the princess of accessorizing!!!!

  7. This is just wonderful! I love the choices and definitely believe in the little black dress!

  8. Thank you for taking the time to post this. It makes me want to go out and stimulate the economy! That's what I tell my husband when the items on my shopping list don't include groceries! It always makes him smile.

    1. Oh gosh, this comment makes me smile! Shopping makes me happy, how could the husband not love it - when I'm happy, my husband is happy! :)

  9. As an update, my grandaughter is participating in a "Night at the Wax Museum" in a couple of weeks. I made her a LBD; and she will represent Coco Chanel as a historical Fashion Icon! Two years ago my other grandaughter represented Mary Kay! Love the concept that they have that fashion indeed played a important roll in history....or that history had an important effect of fashion....either way, it was a part of our world history!

  10. Love the blog post Gayla. Great pictures and story. Good luck for your daughter tonight at the Wax Museum;0) Patsy

    **Hope your getting some much needed rest**

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  12. Very nice blog--love the jewels you chose!

  13. I'm still wearing my little black dress from the 1980's. Bought a classic. It's always a classic. And now I have great jewelry ideas to dress it up! Thanks for this great article, Gayla!