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Coco Chanel

Fashion Foundation

The word "bra" entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 1911 and has been part of our fashion vocabulary ever since. After all, with its ability to lift, separate and push in all the right places, the bra is undoubtedly a girl's best friend. Today, we even have bras that reportedly detect cancer and double as heart monitors. Now that's progress.

It's not always easy to pinpoint the moment a mainstay is born. But then we don't always have Vogue at our fingertips, either. In 1927, editors of American Vogue published a Coco Chanel design featuring a simple, elegant crepe de Chine black sheath and predicted the look would become a uniform. How right they were! To this day, nearly every woman in America has a little black dress (and maybe one for every season) at her fingertips.

Although the little black dress has experienced many incarnations throughout the years, it has wavered little from its original Chanel-inspired silhouette. Long after Chanel's death in 1971, womenswear continues to incorporate her signature details -- including a penchant for appropriating menswear elements -- and we can thank the linked "CC" logo every time we slip into an article that embodies her refined yet luxurious tastes.

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