In the last couple of seasons polka dots are making a cute appearance in some apparel brands’ collections. I myself am a fan of the small polka dot prints. That’s why they are present in my wardrobe one way or another. However, many women tend to avoid this print because it’s too “retro-spirited” or because they see some negative connotations. I do not have any polka dot prejudices, and have prepared for you some interesting facts, history and tips for those who are curious.
When did the polka dot become so popular?
When you hear polka dots, you automatically refer back to the 1950s and the 1960s. This is when they turn into every woman’s wardrobe staple. In fact, the print starts gaining popularity in back in the 1920s. Coco Chanel starts introducing them to her eternal style. Then right after WW2 Dior debuts a polka dot dress collection called “New Look” with the aim to make women feel and be romantic and feminine again. Inevitably, the polka dot became favorite to A-lister actresses like Elisabeth Taylor, Merilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Hepburn. This enhanced its popularity even further.
What message do the polka dot bring?
You will agree that this print brings a message of girlish innocence , carelessness, fun and childhood. The later is well-explained by the fact that children’s favorite Minnie Mouse famously wore a polka dot dress. However, apart from those positive perceptions of the print, there are some negative connotations, too. Some feel polka dots refer to the era of stay-at-home housewives. A particularly sensitive topic for feminists. I myself believe such associations are needless, and the first perception theory is more relevant.
Are they appropriate?
For me the answer is “Yes”. Not every time and in every situation, but when styled well, the polka dot print is a lovely way to demonstrate your sense of style. Just do not overdo the retro-style or the girly theme, unless you want to look as if you just came out from the 50s. Use them to make your style more interesting, not outdated. Balance is the keyword. I myself balanced this outfit by combining the polka dot shirt and the retro sunglasses with pieces that look current and modern.