The little black dress is a black evening or cocktail dress, cut simply and often quite short. Fashion historians ascribe the origins of the little black dress to the 1920s designs of Coco Chanel. It is intended to be long-lasting, versatile, affordable, and widely accessible. Its ubiquity is such that it is often simply referred to as the "LBD". It’s worth noting, however, that by the late 19th century black dresses had become the epitome of chic, as demonstrated by John Singer Sargent’s Madame X.
The little black dress is considered essential to a complete wardrobe. Many fashion observers state that every woman should own a simple, elegant black dress that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. For example, the LBD can be worn with a jacket and pumps for daytime business wear. It can also be worn with ornate jewelry and accessories for evening wear or a formal event such as a wedding or ball.