I had a rare opportunity to attend an event that both required me to find a babysitter and to shave my legs—two situations that typically involve careful alignment of the moons to pull off. I opened my son’s closet to locate a dress (because that is where my fancy-wear has gone to die), and there they were. My longtime pals. My old faithfuls. My collection of little black dresses. And let me tell you, I had one for every possible situation. I had formal conservative and formal-fun-cocktail. I had causal in long-sleeved, short-sleeved, halter, and strapless. I had T-length, knee-length, above-the-knee length, mini, and maxi. Winter, spring, summer, fall: no matter the season or occasion, I had the LBD for it.
And then, you know, life happened. Once you have a kid, the former bevy of invitations that would necessitate an LBD drains into a trickle and then, soon after, a drought. It’s almost as if the wine-dine-party-time places aren’t begging you to cross their thresholds with hair you haven’t washed in a week and clothes covered in snot.
As I stood before this closet, determining whether the dress I pulled required a full-leg shear or if I could fake it and just shave up to my knees, I realized that I hadn’t actually lost the LBD in my mom life; I had merely replaced it. Slowly the square footage that had previously been occupied by my nocturnal uniform swelled with a new go-to: the little black jacket (or, better yet, the LBJ).
After all, what is the appeal of the LBD? It’s convenient, it’s comfortable, and you know it always looks good. It requires no thought, and you can be confident that all the pics you snap that night will be flattering. These same qualities of the single-girl-closet still exist in the mom-closet. My LBJ obsession does the trick every time. Without thinking, I grab this reassuring and solid piece of fabulousness nearly daily, whether I’m in jeans or a dress. And each time it transforms my confidence, just like the LBDs of yesteryear. There’s just something effortlessly cool about a black leather jacket; it can turn Martha Stewart into James Dean or Sandra Dee into Danny Zuko (or at least Danny Zuko’s dream girl). This is why I particularly love to pair it with something girly, like this floral skirt (similar shown here) and heels, or something flowy, like this salmon blouse (similar shown here). It bridges tough and soft, feminine and masculine, single and mother.