The dresses she wore were made by Givenchy. But today do you have to pay designer prices to get a great black dress?
These days all the discount stores sell little black dresses, and some by big-name fashion designers. Consumer Reports ShopSmart checked out five little black dresses from low-cost retailers. They ranged in price from $51 for Kohl's Chaps Ralph Lauren dress to just $20 for Walmart's Norma Kamali dress!
Consumer Reports' textile engineers washed each dress five times and then inspected it to see how well it held up. The Walmart dress comes at a great price and, because of the material, you'll never have to iron it. But it has a few issues. The seams aren't finished. And the hem completely unraveled. The Kohl's Chaps Ralph Lauren dress was well made, but it's just a little bland and boring. The JCPenney Nicole Miller dress had to be hand-washed because of the beading, which is annoying. There was a problem with some of the dresses shrinking - the biggest offender was Mossimo's dress, sold at Target. After laundering, it shrank almost a full size.
But don't worry, frugalistas! Consumer Reports really liked H&M's little black dress. The seams were nicely finished and the lining was well sewn. And it only cost $35! So getting a nice little black dress for your next party doesn't have to break the bank.
As fashions come and go quickly, those exact dresses may not still be available. Consumer Reports ShopSmart says there are certain clues you can look for to make sure whatever dress you buy is well made. There should be no loose or dangling threads. The seams should be finished, not uneven or unraveling. While a lining isn't essential, it is a sign of a good-quality dress.
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