Polka dots practically sing spring. The 1950 version, with dreamy pastel backgrounds of pink, peach, lavender and champagne are the current trend according to Woman’s World magazine. Also spotted are the traditional black and white dots and red with white dots. Thank the pop sensation Katy Perry and fashionista Victoria Beckham for helping bring retro polka dots to the forefront. While five year olds and pop stars can seemingly wear whatever their hearts desire, the girl next door may need a few pointers in order to pull off this sugary sweet look.
Star of your outfit. Polka dots want the spotlight, don’t make them compete with more dots, lesser prints or bold colors. One dotted item will suffice. Whether it is the main component to your outfit, like a sundress, or a blouse keep the rest of the ensemble basic. A pair of spotted shorts looks best with simple flats, plain T-shirt and a solid belt. A safe way to embrace the look is to pair of sweet polka dot top with dark wash jeans or a solid pencil skirt.
Size matters. Tiny polka dots are good for petite women. The size and placement of the dots should be in relation to your overall shape. Medium polka dots work for most sizes and a bold dramatic polka dot can work for larger women. The graphic print can be used to fool the eye and direct it where you want to place the most emphasis. Wrap a skinny belt around small to medium dots for an accent, or use a wide corset style belt to draw the eye to the center while cinching the waist.
Structure. Flirty, girly dots paired with structured basic pieces are fun to wear. This trendy look has been seen on rain boots, fitted blouses and structured strapless dresses. Look for retro details like sweetheart necklines, corseted bodices and conservative length hem lines.
Show your personality. While the little black dress is always appropriate, stepping out in a polka dot dress can give off a Legally Blond approach to fashion; smart and sassy. Move over LBD, hello LDD, little dotty dress. For nighttime wear, accent with one unexpected pop of color, either in your choice of shoes or handbag and a simple preppy cardigan in a basic white or black. You will be sure to stand out from the sea of predictable black, without looking like you tried too hard. After all, it’s just polka dots.
Where to shop. Retro style sites like Dolly Dagger or Babygirl Boutique have been selling their own version of vintage polka dots for years. Look for a glamorous option, off the typical fashion grid at one of these sites.
Since the look is trendy and up to the minute, you are sure to find the perfect polka dot piece in Forever 21, Charlotte Ruse or any one of the hip mall shops.
Upscale designs by Michael Kors include an obsession with black and white polka dots. Moschino, Giles and Betsey Johnson all showed their own versions of polka dots at the Spring fashion shows.
Just a touch. If you are not ready to jump on the trendy polka dot bandwagon just yet, ease into it with a polka dot bracelet, watch strap or tights with a small polka dot pattern. Summer sandals covered in polka dots or even a fresh manicure and pedicure complete with polka dots are simple ways to slip a dot or two into your life. Finally, if you dare, you can even go for the teeny, tiny yellow polka dot bikini.
Also by Sylvie Branch
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