Hunting down the very best little black dress you can find is like discovering your very own holy grail. It can save you from numerous sartorial disasters, it goes with everything, and it always flatters. The LBD, as we’ve now come to know it, was originally created in 1926 by none other than fashion’s greatest icon, Coco Chanel, and it was designed for a Vogue feature that called it the “frock that the world will wear.” It was the first modern take on the dress, and women have been wearing it ever since. The reason for its everlasting popularity? The LBD looks good on anyone, regardless of shape, size or age.

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Since Chanel’s creation, we’ve seen many a black dress become iconic. From Audrey Hepburn’s floor-length Givenchy number in Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Angelina Jolie’s Atelier Versace gown at the 2012 Oscars, there are many looks that have made it to the LBD hall of fame. Of course, special mention should go to Liz Hurley’s black safety-pinned Versace frock, as well as the iconic off-the-shoulder feathered dress Kate Moss wore to Cannes in 1998.

What we’re saying is that no wardrobe is complete without a go-to little black dress, which is why I’ve compiled a guide with 18 of my  favourite  inspirations around right now. You’ll wear them when you want to make a statement, for special occasions and for when you just have nothing else to wear.