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How to rock the polka dot

In relation to the fashion world, I am Pluto: lonely, out of orbit, and not even a planet anymore.



By Taylor Breckles (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: September 10, 2014


In relation to the fashion world, I am Pluto: lonely, out of orbit, and not even a planet anymore.

However, there is one aspect of fashion that the giant reigning designers and I can agree on: polka dots. They’re fun, they’re quirky, and they provide oodles of entertainment in boring situations — what’s not to love?

Not everyone agrees on the place of polka dots in the fashion world. Yet unlike the wild prints found among today’s youth, polka dots are timeless in both their sophistication and whimsy.

The polka dot is one of the most versatile prints in modern fashion; they can be used in every outfit from casual (going out with friends, or making a home movie about your cat) to classy (the finishing touch to your office job, a nice party, a date, or the Queen’s gala).

While the early- to mid-1900s have us beat in flaunting the spots, polka dots are making a comeback in the modern world. Stores like Suzy Shier, H&M, and even Wal-Mart have embraced the polka dot. I find Suzy Shier has the best selection, with vintage design and better quality than most fast-fashion stores.

My one qualm about this new polka dot trend is that it is still hard to find vintage-looking items that sport this pattern. I can find jumpers (or are they rompers?), mini-skirts, tops, and some dresses all embellished with this design, yet they are all in a modern style. There’s something so much more enjoyable about putting on a dress that looks like it came right out of the past; however, buying authentic vintage is often unpractical for both your wallet and maintenance. When I purchase a new clothing item, I don’t want to worry about it falling apart because I don’t know how to sew in order to keep it at peak condition.

Although going into mainstream clothing stores and finding something quirky and cheap is a perk, it would be much nicer if they expanded their horizons into more vintage design. Then again, if these items were to be easily found, they wouldn’t be nearly as unique.

There are certain rules that one must abide by when deciding to rock the polka dot. For example, you can’t mix polka dots and other bold patterns, like stripes or plaid. Sure, there are ways to pull it off — such as patterns in minor accessories — but pairing a polka dot top with a striped bottom will result in horrendous clashing.

You also need to make sure that your colours don’t clash. If using a black and white polka dot pattern, try adding a splash of colour with jewellery, socks, leggings, or headwear. I love adding a touch of scarlet for that ‘50s look. 

When dressing and accessorising, just remember that the polka dot is the star: let it shine!

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