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Spring/Summer 2011 Fashion Trend: Polka Dots

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Alyce Polka Dot Gown

Alyce Polka Dot Gown

A bevy of beautiful and colorful Emanuel Ungaro polka dot frocks

A bevy of beautiful and colorful Emanuel Ungaro polka dot frocks

Polka Dots are everywhere for Spring and Summer 2011, not only are they turning up on the runway, but they’ve been spotted on celebrities like Katy Perry and Kristen Dunst. On the Thursday, May 19, episode of Parks and Recreation, Amy Poehler’s character wore a beautiful navy blue polka dot dress.

My favorite color just happens to be polka dot, and as the proud owner of enough polka dot garments to wear polka dots every day of the week, I love this new resurgence in polka dots. I won’t go into the long and twisted history of the polka dot; you can read all about that in my other hub, “Why Do We Call Polka Dots Polka Dots?”

Polka dots have never really gone out of style. They have become a classic. They have experienced ups and downs in popularity, have been relegated to swim suits and children’s clothes and have nearly fallen completely out of favor in men’s clothing. Polka dot fans, take heart! Thanks to designers like Miu Miu, Oscar de la Renta, Emanuel Ungaro, Zac Posen and more all of that is about to change.

Polka Dots are perfectly manly!

Polka Dots are perfectly manly!

Polka Dots for Men

In some parts of the world men paint themselves with dots as a rite of passage and coming of age. The more densely packed the dots are on the shaman of the Bush people in Africa, the stronger his power. If completely covering your skin in densely packed dots doesn’t exactly scream “I am a man not to be trifled with,” you might want to opt for a stylish black and white polka dot blazer or polka dot sneakers. If you are not sure the polka dot trend is for you try a pocket square in polka dot with your suit. Have a formal event to go to this spring? Update your classic tuxedo with a polka dot bow tie and pocket square. Go for a more formal and classic look with black and white polka dots, or try a pop of color with an apple green and white square and tie.

Oscar de la Renta strapless gown

Oscar de la Renta strapless gown


Polka Dots Go Glamorous

A new trend in weddings is Polka Dot. Why not match you man looking so dapper in his polka dots in a beautiful polka dot wedding gown? You can opt for a subtle Swiss Dot, or try Oscar de la Renta’s beautiful black and white polka dot gown. Polka dot gowns are plentiful, although some are marketed as prom dress and retail for as low as $75.

Even if you aren’t getting married there are plenty of polka dot options for times you need to be a little more dressed up. Why not swap out your little black cocktail dress for a little polka dot dress for spring and summer. Fabric choices and couture details take polka dots from casual day wear to glamorous evening wear. Look for embroidered polka dots, silk fabrics, and chiffons.

Sears offers and affordable JBS faux wrap polka dot dress at the affordable price of $34.99. This particular style is flattering on nearly any figure.

From shoes to sweaters, Prada's Miu Miu Resort 2011 collection has gone completely dotty!

From shoes to sweaters, Prada's Miu Miu Resort 2011 collection has gone completely dotty!

Speaking of Style

Some people recommend if you are short and curvy you should avoid polka dots or risk looking clownish. I disagree. You just have to wear the right polka dots. First, stick to small or medium polka dots. Large polka dots tend to create a bulkier silhouette so unless you are confident and happy with your figure look for smaller dots in flowing fabrics. Sticking to the classic in terms of color palettes also tend flatter. Choose navy blue or black and white polka dots. For more a more subtle polka dot effect try beige and white polka dots, or white on white polka dots.

If you are a little more avant garde in your style aesthetic you might want to try some of the new very trendy, large and brightly colored polka dot prints. Look at the runway designs of Moschino, Z for Zac Posen.

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Miu Miu Resort 2011 line has polka dots that range from the outrageous to the sublime including hot pants, scarves, dresses and pants all covered in polka dots.

Small Touches

If you aren’t ready to fully jump on the polka dot trend, you can always just add touches of polka dots to your wardrobe. A scarf, a fun pair of polka dot peep toe shoes, a polka dot cardigan or maybe just a polka dot handbag or headband. The most important thing to keep in mind is polka dots are supposed to be fun, so have fun with them.

How Polka Dots Got Their Name


Tess45 (author) from South Carolina on June 24, 2011:


I know! What's not to love?!

Tess45 (author) from South Carolina on June 07, 2011:

Simhaisrael - I hope you do! Try polka dot blouse with a pinstriped pencil skirt.

simhaisrael from Cincinnati, OH on June 06, 2011:

love polka dots but was scared to wear them, your article made me want to go shopping and stay on trend. I'm really into stripes right now and I feel like mixing it up.

Tess45 (author) from South Carolina on June 03, 2011:

Susannah42 - I am always bewildered by people who don't like polka dots. What's not to like?

CreateSquidoo- Never!? Oh try them! It's a happy print. I have enough polka dots to wear something dotted everyday.

CreateSquidoo on June 03, 2011:

I never tried wearing polka dots clothes but the first picture makes me want to wear it.

susannah42 from Florida on June 02, 2011:

Beautiful. I love polka dots, love, love.

Tess45 (author) from South Carolina on May 31, 2011:

What? Wow! Woo hoo! (Do you feel better?)

DIYweddingplanner from South Carolina, USA on May 31, 2011:

Congrats on making the front page again, Polka Dot Girl! :)

Tess45 (author) from South Carolina on May 20, 2011:

Yes, a girl can never have too many pairs of polka dot shoes.

OC Jill from Orange County, California on May 20, 2011:

I love these photos, especially the shoes!

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