17 Jan 2017

Little Black Dress Notes: Never The Same, Never Too Many

Little black Dress Notes on vickiarcher.com


There can never be too many Little Black Dresses.

I am convinced of this.

There is something I don’t understand.

Men think when you buy yet another ‘little black dress’ that it looks exactly the same as any other dress hanging in the wardrobe.

How wrong can they be?

I am always amused when I ask for an opinion and the answer is a puzzled look with a, “Is that new?”

It is not about having a new dress it is that they can’t see the differences. Crazy, right? Are they blind?

Is it the same for them with cars or sport? I am certainly in the dark when it comes to nuances there. Perhaps it is when an interest is important we revere the differences and when it isn’t we unintentionally dismiss them to our periphery? All I know is that many men do not see the same level of detail when it comes to fashion and how we dress. They either tell us we look ‘fabulous’ in just about everything, which we know we don’t, or they are set in their ways and like their women wearing a particular look. Deep down I think mine would be happy if I wore a conservative style every day of the week. Lucky after all these years he is well trained and has given up with that one. I wear conservative, but not every day.

I believe the small details, the tailored intricacies make all the difference and one LBD is definitely not the same as another.

I also find about now I am becoming bored with my dressing, with the way I look and with most pieces in my closet. It’s January, the festivities are over and we are in for a few months of sameness. I have worn pretty much everything multiple times in December and I am feeling like a lift; not a whole new wardrobe but a piece here and there to mix it up a bit, to revitalise the existing.

Oftentimes I opt for an accessory, a new bag or a fabulous pair of shoes or boots but right now I am in the mood for a new black dress. A birthday is looming and I think a refresh on the LBD is what I will wear for dinner that evening.

I am thinking elegant, with an edge over the detail.

I might be the only one to recognise the dress is different but that is perfectly fine. Dressing should be about how we feel, not about others and I dress to please myself. If I feel confident in a piece then I am off to a good start. I hate feeling uncomfortable or uncertain about it; I never feel easy in those outfits and generally I fidget and am distracted until I change. How we dress is only a small part of finding our signature style and reinforcing our confidence but it is an important one.

So I will embrace the detail of the new, however similar it may be and if I am the only one to notice, I don’t mind at all. There are never too many LBD’s and we know they are never, ever the same.

‘Little Black Dress’ Notes

**gani dress  //  lafayette bateau neck  //  **michael kors bell sleeves  // pamella roland tulle inset

st john bouclé  //  lafayette finley crepe  //  **max mara illusion sheath

Thank you Nordstrom for partnering with, Little Black Dress Notes: Never The Same, Never Too Many

image lanvin for H&M 2010

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In This Post:



Mimi Gregor

My husband can not only tell the make of a car, but the year, just by some detail that I can’t even see. I expect David has the same blind spot with clothes. Which could work to your benefit, if you’ve spent more than you should on something new:

David: Is that dress new?
Vicki: What? This old thing? Nooooooo. I’ve had it for years. Remember, I wore it to the Christmas party five years ago?
David: …….Oh….yeah. I remember now. (Men usually don’t want to admit they don’t know something.)

Our French Oasis

Haven’t we all done this, so many times! “This, No I’ve had it for ages!” Works a treat every time and with four daughters I hate to admit I am teaching them bad habits!!!

jodie filogomo

I’m one of those that really can’t tell the difference. Well, I can, but I don’t feel like they are enough to warrant another LBD!!
Just call me a rebel!! I want something way more fun!! Like pink or red!!


Me too! Have never been a fan of the LBD. So often at a party all the women are in black. No wonder most men aren’t keen. Wear a red or a pink or even an emerald dress and most men love it. At one stage at the place where I used to work the younger women who commenced there as newbies all came dressed in black – eventually many of the older women followed. Not sure why. But I used to find it depressing walking into a sea of black – it was like going to a Mediterranean funeral. So as a free spirit I kept to the brighter colours which make me happy – and was always receiving compliments from the guys, especially some of our most important clients because they said my clothes brightened their day and made them feel happier.
So, if I wear black I always mix it with brightly coloured accessories, like emerald (still love my emerald bag bought last summer at Chanel) or fuchsia pink or red or orange. Particularly love scarves with great colours. But that’s just me, a bit of a rebel too. I love more arty clothes. Most of my friends are more conservative and more chic than me. Best wishes, Pamela

Leslie in Oregon

Count me in as a rebel too. I never wear an all-black dress to a festive occasion. (And, speaking of rebelling, since the 1970s I have been a woman, not a girl. Just a friendly reminder that word use matters.)

Taste of France

Absolutely. And yet, they will ask, “which suit should I wear?” and hold up two or three identical dark gray suits. And if you point to one randomly, just to have a decision made and move forward, the follow-up question is, “Why do you like that one?”


This is an impressive selection, Vicki. I find myself particularly drawn to the Gani, Michael Kors, and Pamela Roland LBDs. Thank you so much for curating such a wonderful collection. Cheers, Ardith

P.S. I cannot slip anything past my husband when it comes to clothes. He always notices something new.

Sonja Schaffer

What a fun post! Evereything in it is so true. Dou you think women in th4e “Roman” times also were is similar situations? Or were new clothes not as readily availab;e before the sewing machine came into being. . . So the accessorized better?

Wendy Going Forward

I have to be careful as I respond as my husband is sitting near by. Of course he does not have a clue what is in my closet, new or not.
I like the Micheal Kors, Max Mara and the Finley Crepe (love the lace detail). I would love to find the Lanvin for H&M. Fabulous and I am sure it was very reasonably priced!


Good choices but the Michael Kors is just right. I love the neck sleeve and skirt length on this. I did love the lace detail too on the Finley neck but the skirt, not so much. I hope you have a wonderful evening on your bday!

Lesley Hughes

Dear Vicki
Birthday wishes from one Aquarian to another. LBD looks wonderful but for scorching West Australia I think I will leave it until later in the year.

Corrina Tough

Great post Vicki, I had a chuckle because I have been revamping my whole wardrobe- I have lost 45 kilos (see my recent photoshoot with Carla Coulson in Paris) and as I needed new gear for the photoshoot I am now addicted to new outfits but within the relm of my signature style and my French dressing ethos of less is more and mix and match. I also love a great piece I can wear all year- especially when I love it! I was in Rome a few weeks ago and bought a new LBD- I didn’t need one I bought one just before xmas- it was a luscious velvet crossover dress with beutiful sleeves- I can wear it now wth a turtle neck underneath and tights and boots or ballets- I wore it xmas day with sparkling sliver tights and it looked amazing- but hey I was in Rome where shoes/bags and clothes are calling you to say pick me! I found the most divine black dress that will be worn all year- again I wore it in Rome with a turtleneck underneath and a black velvet cropped blazer- teamed with my new brown leather Italian boots and an animal print scarf! Heaven- my man could appreciate it but I am sure when he looks in my wardrobe he smiles- nearly everything I own is black! Who cares?? I will have those clothes for years I am a happy camper xx

Anita Rivera

Good morning Vicki! Late again am I, but this is a topic near and dear to my form and closet!

I must have now about 10 little black dresses. I can’t get enough of them, and I even had a colleague mention (I hope in tongue and cheek) that I wear nothing but black and that I must have a disorder…hmmmm….no, I think I just have a crush on this classic color and style! Oh how I love seeing an older woman in this bevy of young beauties here, confirming that with just the right swag, any of us can rock a little black dress!

Bettie Pardee

As we head into Newport Flower Show time, I can say one of the things we girls here in Newport love is the opportunity to step out with color. No LBD at this opening night!


Your words made me smile and Mimi’s observations are spot on and made me laugh out loud! I wear a fair amount of anything black, but usually with a punch of colour, or at times a black and white very graphic scarf and jewellery. Years ago I had a very informative conversation with my husband about what type of clothing he feels he would like to see me wear as I have always dressed quite ‘avant-garde’ and I did not realize that it made him uncomfortable on some level. So I suggested he show me a piece of clothing in a catalogue – it was a blouse with a very high neck collar and lacy. I burst out laughing and told him he should have married his grandmother! Now he seems to appreciate my individual style more and often compliments me. But man that was hilarious!


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