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The Little Black Dress

Little black dress: Trina Turk, $208, Shoes: Pelle, $148, Jewelry and purse: Available at Copper Penny.
Photo by Charles Slate
Little black dress: Trina Turk, $208, Shoes: Pelle, $148, Jewelry and purse: Available at Copper Penny. Photo by Charles Slate cslate@thesunnews.com

Vogue once compared a Chanel black dress to a Ford, which was both a compliment and a prediction back in 1926, when Coco Chanel designed the short black frock as one of her many acts of fashion rebellion.

The little black dress became a driving force in the wardrobes of women. Sleek, chic and sexy, the little black dress set the standard for simplicity that no other engine of fashion has touched. (Think Audrey Hepburn's little black dress outfit in 1961's "Breakfast at Tiffany's.")

With millions of miles behind it, the little black dress could hardly be blamed for running on fumes in 2010. But it's still revving high, thanks to yearly tuneups by masters of the genre - Donna Karan, Dior, Herve Leger - as well as young brands - Elizabeth & James, Black Halo, Alice + Olivia.

Despite the speedway that is fashion, even an older model little black dress can refuel with accessories. Conservative or liberal, accessories inarguably are the best way to keep the little black dress' familiarity from idling toward contempt, and to keep it the most versatile piece of clothing in your wardrobe.

By adding and/or removing accessories - like jewelry, shoes, scarves or even a jacket - the little black dress is capable of making a bold fashion statement at any occasion. Whether you're headed to a formal dinner, a night out with a special someone or a group of friends, or just hitting the mall, you can't go wrong in a little black dress.

Not only is a black dress perfect for occasions at home, there is no better item in your wardrobe to take with you on a trip, whether for business or pleasure. By taking it along, you save room in your suitcase and can be ready for anything on your agenda while you're away.

And another bonus that shouldn't go unmentioned: Don't forget the slimming effects a nice black outfit has on your figure.

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