Play with Polka Dots!

Minnie Mouse pioneered polka dot style in the 1920s, but the trend is certainly not stowed away. Polka dots have been spotted throughout the decades, inspiring a variety of designers and celebrities alike to try their hand at the playful print. In 1951, Marilyn Monroe was famously photographed in a polka dot bikini, cementing the pattern as a style staple piece. Nine years later, Brian Hyland’s “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” climbed the music charts, making polka dots a pop culture phenomenon. In the 1990s, the movie Pretty Woman showed Julia Roberts attending a horse race in a polka dot dress and hat. Today, polka dots are as relevant as ever. “They are just a trend that refuses to die!” asserts Hawwaa Ibrahim, a Project Runway Junior alumni. The designer, who has never strayed from bold prints, believes that polka dots “have a way of adding that extra pique of interest to a garment--every good designer realizes that.”

Among those designers are Jill Stuart, Burberry, Versace, and Prada, whose Spring 2019 Collections featured polka dots on sheer fabrics, either layered under or over colorful accents. The result: all-around effortlessness.

Designers Carolina Herrera and Kenzo also played with polka dots in their Spring 2019 Ready-to-Wear Collections, mixing the print with other bold patterns such as florals and plaid. Busy? More like beyond beautiful.

Dots take on an avant-garde air in bold garments produced by Christian Dior, Celine, and Erdem. In all shapes, sizes, and colors, the print reigns victorious over the runway.

To pull off polka dots in your own wardrobe, Celebrity Stylist Samantha Brown recommends you opt for pieces in modern silhouettes. “This will keep the trend looking fresh, and out of ‘50s housewife’ territory,” she asserts. “You should also be mindful of the scale of the pattern—large dots work best on curvier body types while tiny dots work well on petite ladies. The size of the pattern should always compliment the size of the person as small patterns can make curvier ladies look larger, and big patterns can overwhelm a small frame.” Still hesitant to try the trend? Brown recommends you experiment with an accessory first. “A polka dot scarf is a great way to add pattern around your neck or tied to the handle of a purse,” she recommends. “Additionally, a French dot stocking looks amazing with an LBD!” Plus, Minnie would be proud.

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