Never was there a garment so cliche-ridden as the little black dress. It’s so slimming! It’s a classic! It never goes out of style!

While these aphorisms do ring true at times, the real—yet often overlooked—magic of a black dress is that it’s a blank canvas.

The LBD stands ready to accept any style point of view you assign to it—a trait that sets it apart from the attention-demanding red dress or the all-business white dress. Pithy sayings aside, a beautiful black dress is a worthy investment piece and never before have there been so many variations to choose from.

We’ve gathered a few of our favourites here—dresses you can truly reach for any time for any occasion.