It takes 5 days to pick out the perfect little black dress (but you’ll only wear it twice)
00:53 GMT, 16 May 2012
It is a fashion decision that simply can’t be rushed.
What’s needed is plenty of patience, perseverance. . . and usually rather a lot of cash.
Now a survey has revealed just how long it takes a typical woman to find that perfect little black dress – and it is an astonishing 30 hours.
LBD: Audrey Hepburn in her little black dress
Researchers say that translates to five days of shopping, for six hours a day.
But despite spending all that time searching and 125 buying her LBD, the average woman only wears it twice.
She won’t wear it more because she worries about being seen in the same outfit too many times or that the dress will lose that ‘special feeling’ with too much wear, according to the survey.
Waste: Women will search for days to find the perfect LBD – like Cameron Diaz wore for her premiere this week – but will only end up wearing the garment twice
The researchers found that the little black dress – worn by countless style icons, including Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany’s – is still a must-have item.
Eight out of ten women questioned own one, saying their wardrobe would be incomplete without the item.
And apparently half of those who don’t have a LBD are looking for one.
Most women get started on their search young, with more than two thirds buying their first between the ages of 18 and 24, the online survey of 2,000 women revealed.
They hold on to it for around 11 years, waiting for a suitable special occasion to show it off.
But in the end, the dress is likely to be worn just twice.
Accordingly, 91 per cent of all little black dresses are never washed or dry-cleaned, according to the poll.
Women in the UK spend an average of 125 on their dress and 44 per cent admit that can be tripled when the cost of matching accessories is factored in.
Susan Fermor, spokesman for Dr Beckmann, the laundry specialists who commissioned the research, said: ‘The little black dress is a well-established fashion icon.
‘Yet most are worn just a couple of times and remain unwashed and unused in the back of wardrobes.
‘For many women just owning a little black dress and knowing it is there to be called upon if it is required is enough to justify the expense.’