ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Women's Clothing - The Little Black Dress

Updated on August 5, 2009

Considered an essential by most women, the little black dress was made popular in the 1920s by Coco Chanel and has remained a staple ever since. The understated simplicity of the little black dress can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion, making it a versatile addition to every woman's wardrobe.

Coco Chanel first introduced the little black dress in Vogue Magazine in 1926. It gained in popularity and was popular throughout the Depression and World War II.  During the 1950's the little black dress took on more sexual connotation as Hollywood began dressing their femme fatales in them. The black dress signified danger and a stark contrast to the conservative dresses worn by the housewives on screen.

Coco Chanel

little black dress
little black dress

The character of Betty Boop was loosely based on Clara Bow and she is the most famous animated sex symbol of all time. Her short dress, high heels and garter belt, made her an overtly sexual character, unlike rival animated female character Minnie Mouse. Her little black dress became red with the advent of technicolor.

Betty Boop

little black dress
little black dress

In Breakfast at Tiffany's, Audrey Hepburn's character, Holly Golightly accessorized her little black dress, designed by Hubert de Givenchy, with a wide brimmed hat and long black gloves.  The over sized cigarette holder Holly Golightly used is considered one of the iconic images of the 20th century.  One of the three dresses Givenchy designed for the movie sold at auction for $947,000.00 in 2006.

Audrey Hepburn

little black dress
little black dress

During the 1960s the little black dress evolved into a sheath dress, inspired by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's. The hemlines grew shorter as the designs changed to cater to the younger generation.

The popularity of the little black dress dropped a bit over the next 40 years with the introduction of new fabrics. Color began replacing black for formal wear. The Grunge look of the 1990s reintroduced the little black dress, pairing it with anything from flip flops to combat boots. The more recent trend is back toward basic simple black. As the new little black dress represents understated elegance for most any occasion.

Marlene Dietrich

femme fatale in a little black dress
femme fatale in a little black dress

Marilyn Monroe

little black dress
little black dress

Nichole Kidman

little black dress
little black dress

Kate Winslet

little black dress
little black dress

Related Articles

Corsets - The Corset as a Fashion Accessory

Corsets have evolved from stuffy undergarments to fashion forward accessories.

Chocolate - A Gift of Love

Chocolate is the perfect gift, no matter what the occassion.


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)