Confession… I Wear White After Labor Day

The tale of the little black dress.


Fashion – style. Style – fashion. These words are often used interchangeably but in reality, they are not the same at all.

Google defines fashion as: a popular trend, especially in styles of dress and ornament or manners of behavior. In other words, it’s what everyone else is doing.

Style is something much different. It’s “a distinctive appearance, typically determined by the principles to which something is designed.”

Now let’s break that down. “A distinctive appearance” individualizes a person. It’s what makes you different from me. Typically determined by the principles to which something is designed” – this is where we get into the art of dress. We are all designed in different ways. Our body shape, personality, preferences, everything about us shapes us into unique individuals.

Style is about creating your own way of dress that appeals to both your body type and inner self. It’s more than fashion where you can go to Forever 21 and browse the mannequins or look at celebrities’ Instagrams and attempt to copy their looks.

Sure, both are sources of inspiration. But, we cannot depend on a fashion magazine or even a blog to determine what our style is. You used to be able to read a fashion article like a textbook. “Don’t wear white after labor day”; “black and brown don’t go together”. But don’t get out your pen and paper yet. We are part of a society that is changing the popular trend into something more than a structured set of do’s and don’ts. It is actually becoming in “fashion” to not be “fashionable”. (influenced by the current popular style.)

With more room for expression, there becomes a greater need for self-actualization. You no longer can follow the rules set in front of you. And that is what The Little Black Dress (LBD) is all about.

Coco Chanel first introduced the LBD in 1926. It was a revolution. Black went from being strictly for times of mourning, to something free from all social classes, sizes, ages and occasions. It was about breaking the rules and transcending into a new era of fashion.

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“1001-chanel-coco-chanel li” by chariserin is licensed under CC BY 2.0

But the LBD is more than a short, black cocktail dress. Try googling “little black dress”. You’ll find more than online shopping. There are fitness programs, diet plans, and clubs, all aimed at the idea of being able to wear a little black dress. It was then that I realized, the LBD is more than showing off your body. It is about having the confidence to wear an outfit with zero insecurity. It is about having confidence not only in how you look, but who you are.

Because wearing a little black dress isn’t about looking good enough to be approached in a bar. It’s about loving yourself enough to know when you do get approached, you know what to say. You are more than just a pretty body, you’re a pretty woman inside and out and there is no use hiding that.

Style is meant to be expressed so find your style and run with it; no one can catch you if you don’t let them.

Want to know more about the history of the LBD?

Watch this short video from Oxygen Media!

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