I love how the dotty trend disproves the traditional notion that polka dots shouldn´t be worn when you´re passed third grade. It´s continual appearance on the runway every spring and summer shows is a nod to this ever evolving, ever chic polka dots.
Long before I saw lots of dots trending the runway and every viral look being adopted by many fashion and style bloggers, I already had a heart for this print especifically those bigger dots.
I realized my adoration for it when one day while organizing my closet I found several numbers of polka dot dresses and blouses. This love of mine for polka dots fueled me to make a breakdown of some runway and celebrity looks that I found worthy to mimic.
Yet after years of writing about dots I figured it´s about time to lay down all the tips on a single page to make it your go-to style guide whenever you need help on how to wear polka dots.
How to Wear Polka Dots: The Basics
Wear Polka Dots Singly
When it comes to polka dots, I lean more towards wearing it as a single piece whether it´s a little dress or a jumpsuit. Choose a polka dots little dress in style and cut that you know suits you best. For me, most of my polka dots mini dresses are spaghetti straps with full skirts worn with wide belt.
In the photos above, Ali Larter and Jessica Lowndes both wore a sleeveless, V-neck polka dot dress with full skirt. Since their waist is cinched, it created an hour glass silhouette. These dresses are great for a curvy or voluptuous figure. However, remember that fit and flare dresses will flatter all body types.
The third look above is a sleeveless A-line polka dot dress which is perfect for a slim figure.
Because I have a slim figure, I go for bigger polka dots to contrast my leanness. If you have a fuller figure, opt for smaller polka dots. If you´re in between, you have more freedom to choose. This is important if you´re wearing a single polka dot dress.
Mix Polka Dots in Various Sizes and Colors
A very creative way of wearing polka dots is by mixing together various sizes and colors of dots — big dots with small, black dots with whites or polka details with transparent effects. Here are 3 gorgeous tips in mixing polka dots, from the left:
Mix small with big polka dots. Go for a top with small polka dot details and pair it with a skirt, pants or shorts with bigger polka dot print, or vice-versa. The contrast of sizes is eye-catching.
Mix a white dotted separate with another black dotted separate. Choose a black top with white polka dots and pair it with a white skirt/pants/shorts with black polka dots, or vice-versa. The contrast of colors is striking.
Go daring and wear a transparent or nude top with black polka dots. Pair it with a black dotted skirt, pants or shorts. The effect is bold and sa head-turner.
Just a Hint of Polka Dots
Another polished way of wearing polka dots is to have just a hint of it in your outfit . A peek of dots adds fun to a rather plain look. It can also spices up a muted print. Below are three ways to do it:
Wear a dotty top with a skirt and pull them together with a matching blazer.
Throw a light-colored trench coat over a polka dot dress and wear a pair of sexy heels.
Choose a light printed dress and wear with a cropped polka-dotted blazer in black and white for a seriously interesting look.
How to Wear Polka Dot Sweaters
Polka dot sweaters are probably one of the cutest printed sweaters you could wear for fall and winter. It´s playful and casually effortless.
The most versatile are the black/white and dark-blue/white dotted sweaters. They can be worn with just everything chich comes handy when you need a sweet defense from the chill but you aren´t ready yet to rock the coat.
Let´s take a look at how celebrities wear polka dot sweaters and why you should invest in one.
1. Wear Polka dot sweaters with riding boots.
Gwen Stefani and Isla Fischer both looked casually chic in a dotty sweater layered with skirt, tights, scarf, and riding boots. Working with all the neutrals, the sweet dots play the standout statement.
2. Wear Polka dot sweater with ankle boots.
On a not too cold day, you can team a dotted sweater with jeans and ankle boots. Jordana Brewster wore her sweater with washed pulled up skinny jeans and laced up ankle boots while Emma Roberts created a classy look with dark blue trousers and suede gray boots.
3. Wear Polka dot sweater with your jeans of choice.
Depending on what kind of look you´re going for is the type of jeans to team with a polka dot sweater. Jessica Alba wanted a boy-meets-girl appeal so she opted for boyfriend jeans to go with her spotted top, finished off with flats.
Victoria Justice went for a more feminine, trendy take. I love that peak of peter pan collars on her sweater with light brown skinnies, slim leather belt, and sexy pumps.
What do you think of spotted sweaters? Which celebrity do you think wore the polka dot sweater best?
How to Wear a Black/White Polka Dot Blazer and Pumps
Here´s a style question submitted to me by one of my readers:
I bought a white blazer that has black polka dots on it, I also bought some suede black pumps that the back has white polka dots as well, which is from the Kardashian collection. Any ideas how to wear it and not look overwhelmed? I´m not much of a dress girl either I like to be comfortable but sexy. ~ Gladys
Because her polka dot blazer and polka dot pumps are both black and white, they´re easy to style for a dressy or a casual smart look. Check out the following looks I´ve created as examples.
How to Wear Polka Dot Jacket and Pumps for a Casual-Smart Look
If you want to dress up your polka dot Kardashian pumps, pair it up with a bright dress for a nice pop of color and then add a beige bag.
For your polka dot blazer, you can work on this season´s monochrome trend by teaming it up with white pants, black ankle boots, and a black clutch. This second look is not too dressy but girly and cute.
How to Wear Polka Dot Jacket and Pumps for a Dressy Look
For casual smart outfits, create a pattern clash with your polka dot pumps by pairing it with a stripes top. A colored mono skirt will give balance to the clash. Finish off with a white bag.
For the second look, toughen up a polka dot blazer with a black leather shorts (or any black shorts if you don´t have a leather), then finish off with a nude peep-toe ankle boot.
There are many ways to style your polka dot pieces, these are just some ideas. Remember that if you´re clashing a polka dot pattern with another pattern, make sure that there´s harmony in the mix.
For example, two black and white mono print blend through their colors, or a small print complement a large print especially if they´re in a family of colors.
Which of the above looks do you like the most?
How to wear Polka Dot Skirts
Although a polka dot top is easier to pull off, many ladies find the polka dot skirt a lil´ challenging. I kind of understand the feeling, it´s similar to my hesitations in pulling off a floor-sweeping long skirt.
But I love, love polka dots and I´m happy that this print is a hot spring/summer trend. What we see on the runway though are mostly black and white polka dots. That´s probably an attempt to make the print look grownup.
These six looks I´m about to show you featuring a polka dot skirt, illustrate that you can look as elegant and grown-up in a bright dotted look as you would in soft neutrals.
1. Polka dot top + polka dot skater skirt
There´s no question that black and white monochrome is elegant but sometimes, you also want to add a hint of color to your monochrome. One way to do it is by swapping your black and white polka dot skirt with a red/white dotted skirt. Other than your skirt, the rest of your look is black and white.
2. Bright top + polka dot skater skirt
This look is actually a reverse of the first. Only this time, you´re wearing the bright color on your top. Your top can be a bright solid or a bright printed, it´s totally up to you and to how well the prints blend together. Again, the rest of the look is black and white.
3. Pink sweater + polka dot pencil skirt
This is a perfect transitional outfit. Towards the end of spring and the beginning of fall, we get unpredicted weather, nice and warm today, dark and chilly next day. Style up your gorgeous dotted midi pencil skirt with a nice bright sweater, a pair of peep-toe boots, and some all-black accessory.
4. Casual tee with polka dot pleated skirt
Do you like to dress up cool and effortless in summer? My key staple for this theme of outfits is a simple + soft white tee. This is just of the outfits I could create with a white tee—worn tucked in a dirty white dotted pleated skirt, with nude ballet flats and a fedora.
5. Chiffon blouse + polka dot midi skirt
Here´s my high fashion take of the polka dot skirt. I chose a sheer skater skirt with lining to go with a white chiffon blouse. I polished up the look with black slim ankle strap high heels and a gold clutch.
6. Head to toe red polka dot skirt
This one is a tried and true combination, head-to-toe red with a hint of black. I love how the solid red top gives balance to the striking white/red polka dot skirt, and how the red pumps extend your vertical line. But I don´t want to be a sore to the eye so I added black accessory instead or other colors.
What do you think of these polka dot skirts? Are these something you´d love to wear?
So tell me Creative fashionistas, are you a fan of polka dots? How do you style a polka dot piece? Which of the above looks is your favorite?