Little Black (Wedding) Dress

My mama taught me early about the power of a little black dress. I always had a few in the closet as a young child, but I clearly remember the first one we bought — with purpose — for the goal of owning the inimitable LBD. I was eleven and I had received a $50 gift certificate to The Gap for my birthday. Tempted to spend the navy blue plastic slice of freedom on jeans or a sparkly hoodie, I slipped it into my Hello Kitty wallet and headed Downtown with Mom in tow.

We piled up the dressing room bench with simple school clothes that fit my fancy, but at the last minute, Mom brought in a dress. It was a thin, gauzy pique cotton in blackest black, with T-shirt sleeves and a zip up the back. It featured a drop waist and fell to just above the knee. I tried it on and I remember thinking, Wow. All of the awkward preteen stuff I had going on seemed miles away. Those strange, miniscule boobs that did not quite require a bra yet, the last of my “baby fat” collecting in the middle, even the gangly legs that belonged to a girl five years my senior, but found themselves on my very own, eleven-year-old body. They were all justified, righted, and prettified in the dress.

“You need a little black dress, honey,” she said, walking swiftly to the counter and throwing the overage on her credit card. I’ll never forget it. There was no contemplation. The little black dress won out instantly, and I even wore it to school.

Throughout the years, I’ve had many, many more incredible dressing room experiences with the Little Black Dress. I even contemplated tying a bit of black into my wedding look, because I just find it so timeless, classic, and chic. If you have any weddings coming up, I could go on for days about all the fun trends to try. But my truest self will always tell you, when in doubt, wear your Little Black Dress. Or, treat yourself to a new one, like these:

ramy
Hopelessly devoted to this layered silk crepe halter from Ramy Brook. $395, shopbop.com
topshop
Definitely not mad at this wear-anywhere, leather-look bodycon mini from TopShop. $80
asos
Simple and sophisticated, the Warehouse Shoulder Dress from ASOS gives a nod to the past while remaining effortlessly modern in shape and style. Adore. $79, asos.com
403004_in_xl
We’re all a bunch of dreamers, aren’t we? Here’s my top pick for the imaginary unlimited budget. Victoria Beckham does not disappoint with a swingy skirt, artful proportions, and razor-sharp tailoring. Silk and wool blend crepe dress, $2,395, net-a-porter.com

Find a ton more inspo on my LBD Pinterest board. Happy shopping!