The little black dress (or LBD, as it is commonly abbreviated) was a uniform designed to keep certain women in their place. Only later was it co-opted as haute couture for women of taste… When the lower classes adopt the fashions of the elite, the elites often respond by changing course abruptly—a neckline or a hemline rises or falls dramatically, perhaps, or a voluminous silhouette narrows. But sometimes, rather than quickly changing styles, the upper classes simply wear the clothes the poor have discarded.
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