polka dots 12 ways

Let’s go shopping: polka dots

Nikki ParkinsonFashion 29 Comments

I’ve been feeling a bit dotty of late.

Stripes will always be my number one fashion print love {and judging by this snap poll on the Styling You Facebook page last night, most of you share this fashion sentiment} but – and you know by now that there is always a but – if you’re wanting to give your wardrobe a little bit of a personality nudge, then I say get your polka dot on.

Polka dots are a little bit vintage-y, a little bit preppy, a little bit quirky and a whole lot of fun.

It’s impossible to wear them without a smile.

Like stripes, they come in all sizes – from so small you can’t even tell there are dots going on through to big round discs that will announce your arrival before you walk in the room.

However you like your spots served up, there is a smorgasbord of fashion choice this season.

From traditional blouses that look great for the office and serve double duty on weekends with jeans and ballet flats or loafers through to 1950s-inspired frocks, over-sized knits and jackets, there is a polka dot just waiting to claim prime real estate in your wardrobe.

Mostly these are show-pony pieces, so you need to let them do the talking in your outfit but if you want to get a little bit clever and can’t quite leave your stripe obsession alone, then consider combining a stripe and a polka dot in one outfit. The key is to contrast the size of the spots or dots with the size of the stripes, for example team wide stripes with small spots or narrow stripes with big spots.

While polka dots are a trend not seen as often as stripes, they do pop up to surprise us from time to time. Autumn 2013 is one of those times – jump on board while you can.

Importantly, like always, just have fun with them.

12 shopping suggestions

polka dots 12 ways

Just click on the caption below each image for more details.


For more polka dot style inspiration, check out my Pinterest board.

Do you like to be a little dotty from time to time? Or are stripes more your thing?


Comments 29

  1. I love spots and dots! They make me smile. It’s nice to see them back in. Some of my fave dresses through the years have been black/white spotty dresses. Last weekend, my daughter bought a pair of white jeans with tiny black dots and they are fabulous!

  2. I love dots, always have, almost as much as stripes. I can’t walk past anything with dots or stripes without having a closer look (and often a purchase, especially if said item is black or navy with white dots!). Stripes and dots are always in my wardrobe year in, year out. If dots are back for 2013 this could get expensive!

  3. I love, love stripes, but I love polka dots too and am so glad to see a resurgence in them. I have a few pieces that I wear as a signature or a little quirk to my outfit and they never fail to make me feel upbeat and I always get comments esp cheeky comments about ‘seeing spots’ but that’s the nature of wearing polka dots. Gorman totally nails it, as she always does.

  4. Dots suit me better but a dark/bold colour background with lighter or contrasting dots. Stripes can sometimes be unflattering as they draw the eye in certain directions and therefore I find are a little more risky.

  5. I prefer stripes but do have a dotty aqua tee with black dots,very small ones,but I love the Gorman and the Sass and Bide knits you have shown,and I would buy that target dress just to see if I liked the look of bigger spots….bargain!!
    I love the look of the stripes and spots together on other people but I don’t think I could do it,I never seem to be able to do that clashing print look,maybe I am too anal for it?I like a heart or two too,but prefer not to wear clothes with hearts I think it is a tad girly for me,I will stick to accesories for that one,love your Pinterest board Nikki,thanks for this post and all the “research” you do for us.

      1. I know ,I know I do “research” quite often too,but I often add to cart and then cross off the page,gives you a shopping high without the guilt,try it and if you really do want it get it another day!

  6. I’m a stripe girl through and through. I always feel a bit ‘Minnie Mouse’ in spots.

    That said, spots are having a moment that’s for sure. We did a Polka Dot challenge on Day 19 of our month long style challenge FABruary and over 70 pics were shared on Instagram that day. It’s worth checking out #FABruray for some great style inspiration from chicks just like us (with nary a Minnie Mouse look-a-like to be spotted) 😉 x A

  7. Love polka dots, as does my 12 year old which made me feel I should possibly avoid them. Found a great shirt in Country Road which is smaller & very random polka dots so felt that was a great way to embrace the trend without going too dotty over it!

  8. Nikki, I adore me a few polka dots – my soon to be launched website will confirm this obsession. So, while buying a birthday pressie for a guy friend In Country Road yesterday, I casually edged myself over to MY side of the store (as you do) only to find myself looking longingly at the charcoal 7/8 polka dot jeans. The ones I have been lusting over online. I instantly knocked up’ at least 6 different outfits combinations in my head – surely that alone is justification to buy them, right? 😉

  9. I must be ahead of the trend! I have a few polka dot items in my wardrobe that I enjoy, but always feel a bit self conscious wearing. I do like the jumpers for Winter.

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