The fashion world gets a reputation for being rather fickle. Every season certain trends are deemed ‘over’ and resigned to the bargain bin, and yet there are also those that are so well loved and relied up on that they can be sure to show up in various forms just about any time of the year. The polka dot is one such staple – if, indeed, a pattern can be considered a basic. Its cutesy, timeless appeal makes it a print worth investing in, one that you can trust you will be reaching into your closet for in the months and years to come.
Polka dots are famously named after the Polish dance, gaining popularity at the time when the half-step was all the rage. Records going back to the 1850s show people were donning the dots as they danced the night away, moving in circles whilst wearing them. In the 50s and 60s the trend saw a revival, appearing on pencil skirts, swing dresses, and high waisted bikinis. It’s from this period that the polka dot has retained its vintage vibe, and in the following list we’ll show you how to channel the cheeky style of Lucille Ball and other mid-century ladies with a modern day twist.
1. The Cutout Dress
The Cutout waist is very Summer 2012, making this dress a perfect mix between the classic and the contemporary. With a super flattering shape, this dress will suit all shapes, and the spaghetti strap back makes it perfect for a trip to the beach. Choose shades such as mint and coral to fit in with the pretty pastel craze!
2. The Collared Dress
The rusty orange tone of this mini dress makes for a gorgeous retro look. The oversized collar lapels and bow tied at the waist make for delightful details; worn with some lady-like jewelry such as pearl earrings and a necklace, you’ll be the Belle of the Polka Ball.
3. Blue Mini Dress
To get the Polka dot flowy dress down to a T without looking like Minnie Mouse, blue is a great colour to choose. Alexa Chung, Rachel Bilson and Taylor Swift have all been spotted recently in blue polka dot dresses, often accessorised with a slick of red lipstick for a classic and chic elegance.
4. Navy Skater Dress
A skater dress is a fool-proof style to show your love for the polka dots, because they really do go with anything. Team with a blazer, a biker jacket, your tallest heels or your most trusted ankle boots, and we guarantee this shape will look amazing regardless. Navy and White is the classic colour combination for polka dots, ensuring you look adorably vintage yet avoiding the costume effect of other retro styles.
5. Crop Top
A Crop Top is a simple way to sample the spots without committing to a head to toe look. For a casual summery look match with denim cutoffs, or for an outfit that will keep up with the fashion pack, team with a pencil skirt – this year’s hottest silhouette.
6. Triangle Spotty Earrings
Polka Dots look great on jewelry: it’s a simple enough pattern that it doesn’t look too busy, and it’s a classic print that everyone recognises. The triangles add a twist to keep things interesting, and they’re subtle enough to wear with another print on your dress or top, since clashing is all the rage right now.