Prior to the 1920s black was often reserved for periods of mourning and considered indecent when worn outside such circumstances. It wasn't until 1926 that Coco Chanel published a picture of a short, simple black dress in American Vogue. It was of simple lines and intended to be accessible for women of all social classes. At the time, Vogue called the little black dress "Chanel's Ford" of the fashion world - like the Model T - and said that it would become "a sort of uniform for all women of taste".
And Vogue was right. The "little black dress", or simply "LBD", is now considered essential to a complete wardrobe by many women and fashion observers, who believe it a "rule of fashion" that every woman should own a simple, elegant black dress that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.