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The perfect little black dress?

Photographs: Various

Text: Vanessa Petersen

Do you appreciate unconditional transparency? If your answer is 'yes'...then I have to admit…that starting this article was quite challenging. When the initial article theme example of the 'little black dress was pitched to me…I quietly winced. With an overfilled closet of clothes…I realised I don't even own a black dress (cue dramatic gasp).

How can I write about something I normally wouldn't wear? Does the perfect little black dress exist? As much as I love wearing textile outliers…I love a good challenge more. December is filled with holiday events providing the ideal conditions to test the 'LBD' (little black dress) theory.


The simplicity of the minimal black dress is fashionably timeless. The tricky part of selecting a simple black dress is choosing the correct shade and silhouette to compliment your frame. I know you're thinking, 'how many shades can black come in?!'...The short answer is several. Depending on if you want a deeper 'ebony or jet' black versus an ashier tint of 'charcoal or black-grey'... it's entirely up to you. Choosing the best style silhouette always boils down to the basic trial and error approach. I have discovered that the 'babydoll' dress suits my physique better…versus a wrap or bodycon dress.


Above, we spoke on how 'less is always more'...however, in an alternate reality…more is always BETTER! Please excuse the contrasting mantras, but keep in mind the goal is to find out if the perfect little black dress exists. If you are a returning subscriber (insert jazz hands), you already know my infatuation with all things exaggerated. This holiday season, the embellished little black dress is a must-see. Be the focal point at any holiday office party with a sequined, feathered, embroidered, or tulle lace black dress. I can safely say if I wear a black dress…it would have to be of the embellished flavour.


This dress shape seems to be gaining more and more popularity and traction. The Blazer Dress is the perfect mix of both masculine and feminine energies. The structure of the silhouette itself allows the dress to be the proper answer for any moment. Whilst doing research for this piece…I couldn't find a blazer dress that didn't suit various body types. To see the full ensemble potential of the little black 'blazer dress, pairing it with balanced accessories and shoes is vital.


I am not the only one who may not choose a dress as their holiday avatar. Especially when the weather is hitting lower temperatures. This may be an unpopular opinion, but… "wear the pants suit"! Co-ords (coordinates/matching pieces) hold as much fashion weight as the little black dress. Nothing makes me feel more like myself than an oversized monochrome pantsuit. Along with the trousers, you can easily replicate little black dress vibes with a matching skirt set. The plus side is that, after the dancing has settled…you and your pantsuit will be prepared for any weather.


As you know, I wrote this article with the full intention of widening the scope of the little black dress and its variations. I hope the automatic mental image of Audrey Hepburn's iconic black dress has been skewed..just a tad. In conclusion, there isn't a blueprint for the perfect dress…everything is relative to one's own personal style. So to answer, "Does the perfect little black dress exist?"... The answer is 'yes' several different designs. See yall next year.

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