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14 Iconic Little Black Dresses in Film

Rachel M. Johnson is a lover of all things pop culture. She's been writing about music and entertainment online for years.

The little black dress, or LBD, is an epic fashion staple and a coveted article of clothing in women's wardrobe. Some of the greatest LBD's have appeared on the silver screen by our favorite film stars. Let's take a look at the most iconic little black dresses in film history.


Carmen Miranda, "The Gang's All Here" (1943)

The "Brazilian Bombshell" Carmen Miranda wore this sparkling, one-shouldered black gown in her most famous film, The Gang's All Here (1943). The actress and Samba singer wore her signature fruit hats in the film, which would become a trademark for her. Miranda looked absolutely stunning in the glittering number, which she paired with bold jewelry including an elaborate beaded necklace, chunky bracelets and chic head piece. The little black dress was a perfect choice to match Miranda's effervescent personality.


Rita Hayworth, "Gilda" (1946)

In 1946's Gilda, ultimate femme fatale Rita Hayworth performed a musical number and improvised striptease in a strapless black satin gown with matching long gloves. The outfit was created by costume designer Jean Louis, who collaborated with Hayworth in 9 films from 1945 to 1949. The sexy siren had to wear a corset under the dress because she had just given birth to her daughter a few months before filming and didn't feel she regained her pre-pregnancy figure. Hayworth looked absolutely stunning and introduced the world to an iconic little black dress that remains a film classic.


Marilyn Monroe, "The Asphalt Jungle" (1950)

In 1950's The Asphalt Jungle, Marilyn Monroe was on the cusp of super stardom and was actually a supporting character in the film. Though she was in a smaller role, she unsurprisingly stole the show when she appeared onscreen in this sexy off-the-shoulder Bardot style dress. The LBD showed off Monroe's famous curves, and the icon exuded a sultry and sensual vibe that would become her signature look. Paired with strappy heels and a delicate necklace and bracelet, the whole ensemble was the epitome of both sexy and chic.


Elizabeth Taylor, "Suddenly, Last Summer" (1950)

The greatly talented Elizabeth Taylor was famous for her captivating violet eyes and sensual style, both of which were on full display in 1950's Suddenly, Last Summer. The actress wore this chic black dress with puffy sleeves, a high neckline and a cinched waist. Taylor was always the queen of accessories, and she livened up the number with a beautiful brooch. She looked both sophisticated and sexy in the elegant dress, and the ensemble truly showed of Taylor's stunning figure.


Grace Kelly, "Rear Window" (1954)

Grace Kelly was a gifted actress and became a famous fashion icon, sporting many memorable looks both in film and real-life. Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window (1954) featured many iconic style moments by Kelly, one of which was the pleated silk organza LBD with translucent cap sleeves she wore. The belted-waist highlighted her fabulous frame. With a chic layered pearl necklace, matching earrings, perfectly curled hair and bold red lip, Kelly looked demure and sensual all at the same time.


Sophia Loren, "That Kind of Woman" (1959)

Renowned for her stunning beauty, iconic Italian actress Sophia Loren wore this elegant and demure ensemble in That Kind of Woman (1959). The dress featured a peplum overcoat with a cinched-in waist and matching heels. With delicate white gloves, chunky necklace and studded earrings, Loren looked effortlessly sophisticated. Her stunning figure was on full display, and the LBD showcased the actress' sense of style perfectly.


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Audrey Hepburn, "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1961)

Audrey Hepburn starred as Holly Golightly in the iconic classic film Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), and reached fashionista status by donning the most famous little black dress of all time. The satin sheath evening gown embellished with a cut-out decollete and string pearls was created by Hubert de Givenchy and helped trademark the LBD. Hepburn looked the epitome of sophistication and chic, with a statement-making tiara, elegant bun and long black gloves. She continues to inspire women everywhere to attempt the style.


Melanie Griffith, "Working Girl" (1988)

Melanie Griffith rocked this off-the-shoulder, velvet cocktail dress covered with glittering rhinestones. It featured a satin ribbon belt and A-line skirt that further complimented the outfit. The blonde beauty kept her accessories simple, with a delicate tear-drop necklace and studded earrings to complete the ensemble. The rhinestones added a shimmering effect to the little black dress,and Griffith looked beautiful in the number.


Whitney Houston, "The Bodyguard" (1992)

The late and great legendary songstress Whitney Houston starred alongside Kevin Costner in 1992's The Bodyguard, becoming the best-selling soundtrack of all time. In the film Houston wore many stunning outfits, one of them being this halter-style black gown paired with a gorgeous jeweled headdress and stacked bracelets. Houston was the perfect combination of demure and edgy, and the ensemble will remain a memorable fashion moment in film.


Demi Moore, "Indecent Proposal" (1993)

Demi Moore starred in the 1993 box office hit Indecent Proposal, and wore an unforgettable little black dress. She rocked this elegant, strappy gown with risque cut out detailing that pushed the boundaries just the right amount. The $5,000 dress was designed by Theirry Mugler, and was truly a lust-worthy number. Moore looked beautiful with her hair styled in a sleek bob, delicate earrings and matching dark lip. The edgy and sexy dress is certainly a statement-maker.


Christina Ricci, "Addams Family Values" (1993)

Few characters can rock a black dress quite like the wonderfully weird Wednesday Addams, portrayed by Christina Ricci in 1993's Addams Family Values. She is famous for wearing her iconic black dress with a white collar, black stockings and black shoes. Wednesday is known for her pale skin and dark long braids, and the whole ensemble is a favorite costume for Halloween. Wednesday Addams will forever be a lover of a good black dress (or black anything really).


Natasha Richardson, "The Parent Trap" (1998)

The late and talented Natasha Richardson was famous for her portrayal of Elizabeth James in The Parent Trap (1998), and her style in the film is just as memorable. She wore this ultra chic little black dress featuring a square, straight across neckline, heels and matching black wrap. She looked every bit a lovely English Rose, opting for a simple and delicate bracelet and earrings. Richardson truly elevated the ensemble with her beauty and grace.


Reese Witherspoon, "Legally Blonde" (2001)

2001's Legally Blonde is a beloved cult classic that featured the iconic character Elle Woods, played wonderfully by Reese Witherspoon. Her wardrobe throughout the film is notorious and the character is the ultimate fashionista. She wore this classy and highly-sophisticated curve-hugging black dress, featuring three-quarter sleeves, a pencil skirt and white ruffling at the collar. With her hair curled in voluminous waves, delicate studded earrings and a dark red lip, Witherspoon looked ready to take on the world.


Angelina Jolie, "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" (2005)

2005's Mr. and Mrs. Smith was a box office hit and also helped establish leads Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's relationship (albeit controversially). The gorgeous Jolie wore a very memorable, curve-hugging evening gown with a sweetheart neckline and thigh-high slit. With her hair in loose waves, minimal accessories and strappy heels, the actress looked absolutely alluring. The sexy and daring ensemble was on point with the vibe of the film, and her epic tango with Brad Pitt was truly smoldering.

© 2019 Rachel M Johnson

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