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The Basic Black Dress BBD

Updated: Feb 23, 2022

Appropriate for a day of shopping, a mid day ball game, or an an evening out at the movies, The Basic Black Dress (BBD) never goes out of style and will remain a closet staple for years to come. It can also feel at home in a church service, out for a formal affair, and just about any other event depending on the accessories worn with it.

Celebrated as timeless fashion statement, industry historians credit the origins of the basic black dress to Coco Chanel. Two other fashion designers, Jean Patou (French) and the British designer Edward Molyneux are also credited for popularizing the style throughout the 1920s and later in the 1930s as the BBD starts to adopt especially glamorous connotations. Although not entirely invented by Coco Chanel, the “Little Black Dress” (LBD), as she called it, was largely accredited to her and she instructed women to wear it. She sought to downplay the tradition and belief that black should be reserved for mourning and offered it as the modern attire for women.

Chanel's 1920 LBD tended to feature a straight or bateau neckline and hung loosely to the mid or lower calf.

However, throughout the decades fabrics changed, the hems raised and lowered and the tailoring fitted in with the sign of the times. Not everyone could fit an LBD; enter the BBD, a constant uniform for women.

Always ready for any occasion, the BBD is available in a wide variety of shapes and styles. Whether in petite or plus sizes, it is intended to be long-lasting, versatile, affordable, and accessible to the widest market possible. The neutral color adds to its versatility and makes it suitable for all ages. One’s shoes, handbag, jewelry and accessories make all the difference when wearing the BBD. Dressed up or dressed down the Basic Black Dress is one of fashion’s true icons.

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