• Published a book you want to tell us about? Uploaded a YouTube video you want to share?

    Normally you'll need 100 posts to self-promote, but with an upgraded membership you can do so with your first post.

    Find out more here: Become a Supporting Member

A question for the ladies

David Evil Overlord

Censored Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2012
Messages
2,611
Location
Prime Evil Soup
My super hero MC and the boy next door are going on a date.

I originally wrote her wearing a "little black dress", since even this fashion-unconscious male has heard of that.

Re-reading through the story this morning, I realised she had worn a little black dress before, but she obviously didn't own one, because the earlier wearing was done after raiding her Mum's wardrobe.

This dress, she has to get from her own wardrobe. So, since it can't be a little black dress, I changed it to:

"One frantic search through my wardrobe later, I was wearing a little white dress that flowered into red roses just below the waist, and ended up in a tangle of green leaves and thorns at the short-but-not-too-short hemline."

She refers to it for the rest of the night as a "little white dress".

I guess my question is, does this make sense? Do you call a little white dress a little white dress, or is it only little black dresses that get called something like that?
 

The Judge

Truth. Order. Moderation.
Staff member
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
10,353
Location
nearly the New Forest
The "little" of the LBD is only in part descriptive ie it doesn't necessarily mean that the dress is actually short and/or tight or anything else (though you woudln't use it for a ballgown even if it was black, of course). It's become an affectionate phrase for a black dress which fits well, is comfortable and can do in any social situation -- something you don't have to think about when you put it on.

Using it for a dress which isn't black either means the dress really is little (which is a very condescending word to use when you think about it) or it's being done ironically ie "She wore a LBD which just happened to be pale blue" or something.

So yes, she can call it that if she wants, but it rather depends on whether it really is little (not just short, but skimpy, perhaps strappy/no sleeves etc) or she's enough of a fashionista to use it ironically. or perhaps she's so far from being a fashionista she doesn't realise the LD needs the B to make proper sense!

Personally, I'd have thought she'd call it her thorns and roses dress if that's the predominant pattern.
 

crystal haven

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
1,186
Basically everything The Judge has said. :)

I wouldn't expect to read 'little white dress', it doesn't feel right. But, as The Judge said, a description: 'My rose dress', would feel right to me.
 

David Evil Overlord

Censored Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2012
Messages
2,611
Location
Prime Evil Soup
Hmmm. Actually, she's admitted (at least to herself) that she's more tomboy than girly-girl, so maybe that her misunderstanding "little black, even if it's white, and what's a fashionista?" works.

The whole reasons she's frantically trying to dress herself up is she answered the door in jeans and a t-shirt -- she hasn't quite got her head around this boy going from just a friend to boyfriend, and he's all dressed up to take her out and she's not dressed up...
 

crystal haven

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
1,186
Perhaps she could say something like: 'Would this work, as a little black dress?'
 

David Evil Overlord

Censored Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2012
Messages
2,611
Location
Prime Evil Soup
I could always make her search for the little black dress she knows is there...until she remembers Mum caught her coming home wearing it (while grounded), so it went back in Mum's wardrobe where it belongs. Then she has to find something that works as a little black dress without actually being a little BLACK dress. :)
 

Hex

Write, monkey, write
Joined
Mar 3, 2011
Messages
6,230
Location
Edinburgh
Awww don't be mean. The photos on facebook/ twitter looked beautiful.

I'd struggle with the concept of a little white dress -- it feels very childish (and I mean five year old). Those feel like muddy waters that could be neatly side-stepped unless it's something like:

"I curse when I remember Mum's locked away the little black dress I wore [whenever]. Did white dresses work the same way? Could you have a little white dress?"

but unless you're keen to show something about her fashion sense in the scene, I wonder if you need to?

EDIT: Oh come now, amw. Perhaps you have not encountered that classic song "Strapless, Backless Classical Little Black Dress" from Richard O'Brien's musical "Shock Treatment"? (available on YouTube for anyone interested)
 
Last edited:

Jo Zebedee

Aliens vs Belfast.
Joined
Oct 5, 2011
Messages
17,142
Location
blah - flags. So many flags.
Psst, HB, you need to shave your legs first... :D

I think I'd keep it simple, DEO. The little black dress is a catch all for any kind of formal dress. I'm not a fashionista (I'm trying to think if I've ever had a lbd, but I think I mostly have the denim blue jeans...), and I wouldn't think of it as anything other than the dress with the thorns. Perhaps, though, the thorns say something about her, a way of rebelling against being made to wear a dress at some stage? If you want to tell us it's short, can she have the night air touching her (non-hairy) legs?
 

allmywires

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
1,672
Location
London
I own what I guess you'd call a little black dress and never, never, have I ever referred to it as such even in my own head! It seems something that's a bit dated (to me at least...) and a bit prissy and pretentious. I would just describe the dress. I like the suggestion of the rose dress, it's more descriptive and feels a bit less forced.
 

Mouse

ejtett.weebly.com
Joined
Jun 2, 2006
Messages
9,975
Location
in your face
I also wouldn't even say 'little black dress' cos it kinda sounds old. (Sorry!) I also don't own one. I'm more of a 50s type.

White dress with roses on, works for me. I've got a blue dress with birds on.
 

The Judge

Truth. Order. Moderation.
Staff member
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
10,353
Location
nearly the New Forest
I think amw and Mouse are right, that it's perhaps an age thing so your average Young Person is less likely to use it but also -- with all due respect to both of them -- perhaps a class thing. An LBD is less of a date-dress, than a dress for going to dinner parties (of the hand-picked samphire Nigella variety, not just a group of mates eating spag bol) or the invitation-only viewing at an art gallery, or the launch party of a celebrity's book. (Which in part explains why I've never had one either.)
 

Ursa major

Bearly Believable
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
21,004
Location
England
As an aside, what 'message' does the boyfriend get when his girlfriend appears in a dress whose hem is decorated with thorns? And does your MC realise, mid-date, what 'message' she may be giving out, whether or not the boyfriend gets the 'message'?

But it's certainly an opportunity to introduce extra awkwardness into the date, if you want to.



I've got a blue dress with birds on.
But what are these birds wearing...? ;):)
 

anivid

Planetary Guest
Joined
Dec 15, 2011
Messages
1,053
Location
Southern France
Yeah -- but you say she's a tom boy ??
Then it perhaps just should be "her dress", as she probably only got that one.
(- and I definitely wouldn't expect a tom boy to wear roses :p:p - not even with thorns -- unless of course we're talking about Halloween ??).
 

David Evil Overlord

Censored Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2012
Messages
2,611
Location
Prime Evil Soup
She's certainly not going to wear a dress with naked birds on it. That sends a message quite inappropriate for the first date.

The young lady is like a rose. She does have thorns. And she describes the dress as not too badly creased, so she hasn't been planning ahead (she's not that kind of girl), and she's still trying to figure out how this boy who was her friend has turned into something more than that.

P.S. She also has a pair of fluffy bunny slippers, and she gets very embarrassed when someone outside her family sees them.
 

subtletylost

Formerly fishii
Joined
Aug 11, 2011
Messages
381
Location
wherever I am, probably walmart
Being a tomboy myself I can easily say that I didn't know what the little black dress was before reading this. I have three dresses one has lace With polka dots and one has lace without polka dots. The third, my summer dress, is cotton and very comfortable more like a long tshirt than a dress.
 

Alex The G and T

Thar! That Blows.
Joined
Jan 25, 2012
Messages
2,351
Location
Extremely Northern California
California Goyls still refer to the Little Black Dress. It goes on easy, fits attractively,(ie not snug, but form fitting) comfortable, looks hot for any occasion, from evening garden party, to casual dance club to semi formal, usually reasonably short; but not "mini". (Mid thigh) Sexy, but not slutty.

The white, or light pastel tinted counter-part, with, as you say, some sort of botanical print, is called a Sun Dress.

(I'm no lady; but I have been studying California Girls for something in excess of 45 years. Plus, I have two and a half daughters, ranging in age from 18 to 35. My wife keeps a store of LBD's and sun dresses, ready to hand, as did the mother of my children. Holey smokes... I sure have lived with a lot of wimmen!)
 
Last edited:

TheDustyZebra

Aspiring notaphilist
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2009
Messages
8,830
Location
Colorado
I would only use it ironically for the white dress, as mentioned a few times above -- she would need to point it out to herself, at the very least, as in the "can you have a 'little white dress?'" bit. I'm not sure about young people and their familiarity with the LBD concept. I am decidedly a tomboy, and for many years the only dress in my closet has been a LBD -- but I always called it my "wonderdress" because it contains enhancements that serve the function of the ...err... other "wonder" garment. I haven't the slightest idea if I could still get into it or not, as I haven't tried in years. After two children, I'm not sure it would be so wondrous anymore. And that tells me how many years.

Anyway, it wouldn't surprise me at all if the girl went to the closet for "the dress" as in the only one she owns, and had to check it to see if it was too wrinkled or musty.
 
Top