Are pearls passé?
Do I really need a LBD?
And if I have a LBD, how do I know what to wear with it?
Figure 1. Naughton Braun Polyvore
We think Mr Lagerfeld nailed it!
It started with a simple sketch……………..
Figure 2. Chanel in her LBD. Sketch by Karl Lagerfeld
Vogue.co.uk Photo from
In the beginning there was one Lady who knew her style was On-Point!
From sketch to a
hundred years of glamour, the Little Black Dress (aka LBD) is totally
ubiquitous, practical, enchanting, stylish, elegant, unassuming, and feminine.
Who knew a simple sketch could be so powerful with such an enduring legacy! And
we think it looks best, as originally envisioned, WITH PEARLS!
Chanel in 1926 made the LBD part of the fashion vernacular (Di Donato, 2015),
the concept was around previously, but wearing black for anything but mourning
was considered scandalous! Indeed during Victorian times, a widow was expected
to wear black for at least two years (Sowa 2013).
3. Coco Chanel in her LBD with ropes and ropes of pearls (Sowa 2013).
Fast forward ~100 years
and the LBD, the moniker recognized by the Oxford Dictionary in 2010 ( Mannix & Zhang, 2016) has become a staple from casual to work to formal wear for Women around the globe. And even today, most Women prefer pearls as the adornment of choice, whether simple studs or drop earrings, to chokers, princess, matinee, opera and lariat length pearl necklaces, as well as single or multiples in bracelets and rings. Today we will share a bit of LBD history and give our take on re-imagined pearl necklaces that are good matches with different styles of the LBD.
So it started
out as a black crêpe de Chine sheath with elegant simple long sleeves worn with
a traditional strand of white perfect pearls and Vogue predicted it would
become a uniform of all Women “with taste” (Vogue.co.uk). “It’s true that the LBD is a statement
piece accessible to women of all socioeconomic backgrounds. As we chart the
decades, designers have used the LBD to help carve their niche: Dior in the
1950s, Givenchy in the 1960s, Vivienne Westwood in the 1970s, Azzedine Alaïa in
the 1980s, Yohji Yamamoto in the 1990s and so on (Di Donato, 2015)”.
But like the designers themselves, the LBD
evolved with each and every new decade.
Economic and social circumstances
influenced the size, shape, and overall character of the LDB due toavailability of certain types of fabrics,
economic constraints like textile rationing (WW II), freedom of social
inhibition (mod mini dresses), social movements and trends (grunge and big
shoulders/sequins before it).
The evolution of transformation of this
spectacular style has continued and can be seen in Figure 4 documented via
The next Figure (5) is a cute reminder of various LBD silhouettes seen
in the previous figure, many of which are still trending today! The boxed
dresses are important to this blog, but more about that later! Figures 6 and 7
are composite images of recent Google searches for the LBD so that you get an
idea of the fantastic array of choices available right now!
Figure 4. Photos from: Little Black Dress LDB and Pearls (https://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/clothing/dresses-skirts/little-black-dress-0) and History of the Little Black Dress (https://www.dailyworth.com/posts/2231-history-of-the-little-black-dress)
Which one is your favorite? Mine is the "revenge-dress", guess which one that is!
Figure 5. LBD profiles. From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z2y4v4j) and Classy Girls Wear Pearls (http://www.classygirlswearpearls.com/2013/05/little-black-dress-day.html)
So many to choose from, but Every Single Neckline WORKS with Pearls!
Figure 6. Google image search for LBD (18
Figure 7. Google image search for LBD (18
Day or evening, black works!
So what are we looking for when accessorizing
your favorite LBD?
Simple, a canvas where you and your accessories sparkle and
Janna Doan (2014) elegantly summarizes the qualities any Woman should
consider when purchasing a LBD: “find
something that is fitted vs. too tight and remember, if you think it’s too
tight... it probably is. The dress should be worn effortlessly without having
to adjust it all night.” She also recommends to “go for a dress with a
comfortable length vs. short dresses and the perfect black dress has a
flattering neckline and is not too low cut or too revealing.”
Well we couldn’t
The LBD for Day and the LBD for Evening:
In order to
frame our Naughton Braun re-imagined pearl necklaces, we have chosen two
different LBD styles; one more casual and contemporary, perfectly suited for a work
into evening transition as well as a silky ensemble for that date night,
wedding, or other special occasion.
The contemporary casual LBD is a J Crew cotton
crepe de chine with a frilled, open neckline, perfect for showcasing stunning
pearls.And the date night/special
occasion LBD is an Ann Taylor silk V-neck dress with a slimming waist cinching
cross. Outlines of the styles are encapsulated in the boxes in Figure 5, casual
on the left and V-neck on the right of the composite photo.
For the casual
J Crew LBD, our model wore four different Naughton Braun pearl necklaces:
Figures 8 -10, Copacabana Promenade II - Pearl Necklace with Onyx (shorter
princess length) with Copacabana Promenade I - Pearl Necklace Accented with
Onyx (lariat or rope length), Figure 9, White Cliffs – Pearl Necklace, a cache
of coin pearls nestled amid 5 strands of seed, keshi, stick, and freshwater
pearls, and Figure 10, the triple strand Boulder Brook - Pearl Necklace
Accented with Stones featuring white and charcoal freshwater potato pearls
8-9mm interspersed with crystal quartz, moonstone, agate, & jade.
All four of these necklaces make a different
statement, bold and energetic, flirty and fun, rich and romantic, to earthy and
What’s your favorite? How about all four!
Figure 8. Copacabana Promenade II - Pearl Necklace with Onyx (shorter princess length) with Copacabana Promenade I - Pearl Necklace Accented with Onyx (lariat length)
Figure 9, White Cliffs – Pearl Necklace, a cache of coin pearls nestled amid 5 strands of seed, keshi, stick, and freshwater pearls
Figure 10, the
triple strand Boulder Brook - Pearl Necklace Accented with Stones featuring
white and charcoal freshwater potato pearls 8-9mm interspersed with crystal quartz,
moonstone, agate, & jade
Transitioning to the evening and a more formal LBD requires pearls that evoke a sensual feel~
maybe some mysticism, and
definitely something truly classy. Our Ann Taylor LBD pairs perfectly with
these four pearl necklace choices so as the suns sets, Naughton Braun pearls
You can be a reflection of refined mystery with a royal edge!
Want a necklace that just
drapes and enhances your décolleté with lustrous pearls that reflect
Then you want the Roma - Pearl Necklace, a biawa freshwater pearl
And since pearls warm to the touch, these extra-large biawa pearls
(12-14mm) will caress your skin like a gentle lovers touch (Figure 11).
For a refined and elegant statement, consider
the Odette Anthology* - Pearl Necklace available in Gold-tone, Silver-tone, or
Rose-Gold-tone. The Rose-Gold-tone version in the photo (Figure 11) is
reminiscent of the fabulous millennial pink that
Glossier and many other brands are showcasing and is so trending.
The large white potato pearls (13-14mm) are wonderfully textured, each pearl
different and unique, creating a confluence of lustre and sparkle from the CZ
encrusted delicate swan pendant.
Some nights may call for subtle mystery, and
evoking the Queen of Chthonic, this beguiling Naughton Braun six strand black
freshwater pearl carcanet, will whisk you off your feet. The princess length
Persephone - Pearl Necklace Figure 12), featuring gradient-hued black
freshwater pearls (10.5-13mm), looks impressive and feels likea million bucks! Everyone who puts it on for
the first and EVERY time comments on their complete awe at the lightness of the
pearls and the subtle color gradient which enhances not only black, but every
other color in your wardrobe.
Finally, we would be remiss if we didn’t extol
the virtues of The Monaco Trove*- Pearl Necklace, shown in gray (Figure 13).
This elegant princess length necklace was designed in homage to
Princess Grace, and just as her Facebook page describes her: “Many words have been used to describe
Grace Kelly/Princess Grace but ultimately there is only one word for her: "Indefinable"”;
this description defines our necklace. It is available in gray (shown), royal
blue, rose, and frost (all white). In addition to gracing this LBD, it is a
favorite of Brides for all types of wedding gowns (Figure 14), with a most
wonderful drape and added feature of an attached jump chain which can extend
the necklace length from princess (18”) to matinee length (20”). While true grace
is never easy to pull-off, this truly affordable luxury will sure add to your
allure and outside perception of your grace!
Figure 11. Roma - Pearl Necklace, features double strand of mixed metal gold-tone chain and biawa freshwater pearls (12-14mm) and a 5” long biawa freshwater pearl cascade
Figure 12. Odette Anthology* - Pearl Necklace featured in Rose-Gold-tone, large white potato pearls (13-14mm) with 7cm CZ (Gold-tone, Silver-tone, or Rose-Gold-tone) colored swan pendant with extra-large biawa (18-19mm) pendant
Figure 13. Persephone - Pearl Necklace, 6-strands of gradient-hued black freshwater pearls (10.5-13mm)
Figure 14. The Monaco Trove*- Pearl Necklace in gray, features a double strand white (7-8mm) freshwater pearls, gray (8-9mm) freshwater pearls, separated by stainless steel and clear colored CZ spacers on a Sterling silver clasp
Figure 15. The Monaco Trove*- Pearl Necklace in rose, features
a double strand white (7-8mm) freshwater pearls, pink (8-9mm) freshwater
pearls, separated by stainless steel and rose colored CZ spacers on a Sterling
So we hope you enjoyed our little foray into accessorizing your LBD.
What’s next? Go get your
LBD out of your closet, put it on, and imagine which pearl necklace would work
best on you!
Are pearls passe??? Runway looks don't lie and pearls are everywhere.... Where are yours?
Any questions, we’re here
to help! Send us a photo of you in your LBD to
HiPretty@naughtonbraun.com and our helpful stylists will be so
happy to make some suggestions for the most perfect pearls for you! OR, if you
need some help finding a new LBD, W By Worth offers several exciting options as
shown in Figure 15 and you can reach out to our wonderful friend, Janet Brandt Majev (firstname.lastname@example.org) who can help style you in these looks
Figure 16. W
By Worth LBD selections.
Thank you for
reading our thoughts on the history and styling of a LBD!
Stacie and Bernadette
Links and References:
The Little Black Dress: A Brief History By Jill Di Donato, April 15, 2015 10:30am https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/04/the-little-black-dress-a-brief-history.html, accessed 8/18/2017
The history of the Little Black Dress By Kate Mannix & Ju Zhang,16 November 2016, 10:19am, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/style/the-history-of-the-little-black-dress/, accessed 8/18/2017
From Coco Chanel to Your Closet: The Story Behind the Little Black Dress By Logan Sowa, AOL.com, Jun 19th 2013 8:00AM https://www.aol.com/article/lifestyle/2013/06/19/the-story-behind-the-little-black-dress/20626339/, accessed 8/18/2017
Little Black Dress 2014, From the Little Black Dress Company, https://www.littleblackdress.co.uk/life-of-chanel/the-little-black-dress.html, accessed 8/18/2017
Why is the little black dress a fashion icon? The original LBD. By Dame Zandra Rhodes and Sonnet Stanfill, From the BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z2y4v4j, accessed 8/18/2017
"Little Black Dress" Day, Saturday, May 25, 2013, from Classy Girls Wear Pearls, http://www.classygirlswearpearls.com/2013/05/little-black-dress-day.html, accessed 8/18/2017
New Year’s Eve Fashion | How To Accessorize Your Little Black Dress, by Meg, December 19, 2013 https://redefinedmom.com/new-years-eve-fashion-accessorize-little-black-dress/ , accessed 8/18/2017
the little black dress & pearls, by Janna Doan, September 17, 2014, http://www.jannadoan.com/blog/the-little-black-dress-pearls , accessed 8/18/2017