Photo: Getty Images
Polka dots are one of those timeless classics that continue to reemerge in fresh ways. On the street, runway or red carpet, polka dots have the power to make a woman stand out, in a good way—if worn the right way. Tiny and demure or big and bold, if ever there was a print that has the ability to transition from playful to quirky to demure with the slightest alteration of size, it’s this playful pattern.
Polka dots date back to the 1920s. Think sophisticated, sexy innovators of the pin-up era, including Alice White, Bettie Page and Marilyn Monroe. They are something that the icons of sexiness and womanliness wore with grace and style.
As with animal prints, overuse translates to overbearing. Full-on spots—we’re talking head-to-toe, here—can be dizzying. Smaller doses, like a sheer polka-dot blouse paired with skinny black cropped pants, are a more digestible styling option. To ease into the print, try daintier pin dots that read more romantic than graphic go-getter.
As Emily Blunt proves, neutrals are the most modern way to wear the print, for a look that’s sweet, chic but packed with personality.