Invest in the Dress

Little Black Dress and Pearl Necklace

A few days ago, a good friend of mine asked me over a plate of portobello mushroom fries and a glass of overpriced sparkling water, “When you go shopping for clothes, what do you look for?”

After a moment’s thought, I told her, “Quality. I like to keep my closet lean and invest in beautiful pieces that I know will last a few solid years.”

Custom Made Office Dress

Rewind to my college days when I gravitated towards trendy, flimsy pieces that broke down after 3 nights out (ahem, Forever21). Granted, at that time it was all I could afford but as soon as I started earning a decent paycheck, I found myself becoming more critical of the things I bought.

Black Sheath LBD

I wanted clothing that lasted and reflected my newfound sophisticated taste. Now, the more I learn about the manufacturing process, the more I make it a point to never consume mindlessly.

Little Black Dress Details

Quality over quantity became my tried and true, albeit cliché, shopping motto. So beautiful fabrics, impeccable stitching and carefully thought out silhouettes became must-have qualities.

Tailored Black PIOL Dress

A year ago, I discovered  PIOL — makers of custom-made dresses — a company that makes all kinds of LBDs (Little Black Dresses)  with an attention to detail that would make even Miss Hepburn proud.

Black Cat Eye Nina RIcci Sunglasses

I spy with my little eye… the perfect LBD!

Opera Length Pearls

Of course, it’s an investment and each tailored dress will cost you a pretty penny: $550 to $650. But when you can tailor a dress to your exact measurement and tastes — from the neckline to the pattern — and unique shape — from your bust to your height, it’s an investment that pays itself off in the years to come.

Plus, it’s versatile enough to look killer at work and play.

Classic LBD Dress

Style Notes
PIOL black sheath LBD
Nina Ricci black cat eye sunglasses similar here
Christian Louboutin black patent leather pumps similar here
Opera length pearls similar here
Helen Kaminski straw clutch similar here

Beauty Notes
Giorgio Armani red lippie

Photos by The Amazing Sabrina Hill of Party With No Cake

The Rebellious Little Black Dress

Little Black Dress

The little black dress, lovingly known as the “LBD,” is the most sacred of cocktail attire. Immortalized by the clever likes of Coco Chanel and Givenchy’s unforgettable number in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the dress’ ubiquity was founded on one golden rule: an LBD is an every woman’s dress, simple and accessible.

Giorgio Armani sunglasses
Christian Louboutin black patent heels

Of course, while there’s something to be said about the traditionally plain black dress, who’s to say that we must stick to the rules when choosing our very own LBD in 2015? In an era when cradling champagne in one hand and nibbling Taco Bell in the other is not uncommon, I think it’s time we tweaked the rules a bit.

Proenza Schouler black and white graphic clutch

In a modern update, I paired my favorite LBD with an Ann Taylor motorcycle leather jacket (the gold zipper details are divine) and an equally rebellious Proenza Schouler clutch.

PIOL Custom Made Dress

Of course, whenever I wear an LBD, the words of the great Karl Lagerfeld come to mind: “One is never over-dressed or underdressed with a Little Black Dress.”
So, Ambitionistas, how do you wear your LBD? Let me know in the comments!

Style Note:
PIOL custom made-to-measure black LBD
Ann Taylor black leather jacket similar here
Proenza Schouler black & white graphic clutch
Christian Louboutin black patent heels similar here
Giorgio Armani sunglasses similar here and black lipstick here

Photos by The Amazing Sabrina Hill of Party With No Cake