The Little Black Dress

The Little Black Dress

How Do You Wear Yours?

The term, The Little Black Dress (LBD), seems to have been coined during the 1920s designs of Coco Chanel and Jean Patou,  The concept was to produce a long-lasting, versatile, simple and affordable garment, accessible to the widest market possible and in a neutral colourCoco Chanel.png

Since those heady days, the term became narrowed to describe a short-hemmed cocktail dress or glamorous evening wear. The shapes varied and simplicity gave way to various embellishments and modifications.

In fact, if you browse the internet today looking to buy an LBD, simplicity is likely to be the last thing you will find. Also, long lasting and versatile are NOT adjectives you might see in the descriptions of most offerings.

Sixteen47 has produced a line of simple black garments since its inception, one example being its jet black A line scoop necked tunic, (at 35” long, worn equally as a dress).


“One is never over-dressed or underdressed with a Little Black Dress.”
― Karl Lagerfeld

Refusing to embellish profile and absolute simplicity, we have always looked to create a single garment that can be worn on virtually all occasions. Helen Teague, its designer, called it “my uniform”, wearing it to the office, the studio and to special events, both day and evening. She has a dozen or so in light summer fabric and the same number in heavy fabric for the winter. She says that not having to think about what she is going to wear saves her valuable mental energy in the morning!


Over time customers of Sixteen47 have come to rely upon the uniform. It is the one great staple of work-wear. It is also the essential, no-thought-required turn-to,  when spontaneity demands you to be ready and out of the house in moments. With the addition of accessories, its perfect canvass encourages an infinite range of looks and styles, whether extrovert or subdued. With this in mind, we will adorn blog pages and emails with images of the LBD’s versatility. After all the durability of fabrics used by Sixteen47 can be taken as read because Helen Teague sources high quality black fabrics with this thought uppermost in her mind.

little black dress.jpg

Helen evolved this sixteen47 classic  in 2013 to a new shapelier version and this has been her uniform since.  Late last year Sixteen47 decided to offer the new variation of this much loved classic on our site. The new cut requires a different fit criteria so for the first time we will use a UK standard dress size along side our own 1 – 6 size system.


The New Half Size Range

Which brings us to the present major innovation at Sixteen47.

Because our versatile LBD is so sought after and cherished by our customers – so much so that it is our best selling garment – we take great pleasure in offering you from today our update on the Little Black Dress in 12 sizes.

Unlike our own size range it will be available in and conform to UK standard dress sizes 16 to 40.

Time to measure up!

For a history of The Little Black Dress, see