How to wear… Polka dots

The trend is ready, set, and raring to go for next season, but a dots and spots extravaganza is not one to hurl yourself into lightly

Image: John McNab via Flickr

Image: John McNab via Flickr

Since Marc Jacobs sprinkled the New York catwalk with dots and spots of all shapes and sizes, the fashion world, from high street to couture, has braced itself for the new trend. Polka dots are a flexible pattern, but saying that, there is still a right and a wrong way to wear them….

Choose one polka
Unless you are on a catwalk or in a pantomime do not put dots on dots. A sure fire way to make people feel dizzy is to wear different dots. Put plain tops with dotty skirts or vice versa to give your outfit character without looking like a five year old. Polka dots are a statement, and too many statements at once is just an equation for a headache.

Either wear big…
Larger statement outfits work well with bigger polka dots. Small items can often look cluttered if the dots are too large. Full-length tights, longer knitwear and dresses often house large polka dots much better than their smaller counterparts. Big polka dots create a sense of fun so work best on casual clothes. They keep us looking bold whilst avoiding the ladybird look.

…Or wear small
Small polka dots are the perfect addition to a more formal outfit. Work wear can often get tiresome and lifeless but a small polka print across a plain shirt adds a bit of interest. To avoid attracting too much attention keep within the parameters of muted colours such as white, black or camel.

Apply colour wisely
One of the wonders of polka dots is their easy adaptation in all situations, but be selective with colour. Primary colours are best during the daytime; they correlate nicely with the sun. But as with the daytime dark outfits rise better with the moon. In darker shades of grey and black polka dots can look sophisticated and work perfectly on an evening dress.

Accessorise
Sometimes all we need is a little bit of polka to finish an outfit. Whether it is ribbons, bangles, bags or brollies they look cute in all seasons. Just try to stick to one accessory at a time to prevent being confused with a middle-aged American housewife.

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