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The term Polka Dots is derived from the the polka dance of Czech Republic in the middle of the 19th century. The pattern is simply equal sized dots placed at an equal distance across a fabric. In the early 20th century, polka dots became famous and common on consumer goods like bed sheets, nightgowns, etc. However, the polka dot pattern rose to prominence in fashion with Hollywood. In 1928, Minnie Mouse made a first appearance in her now-signature red and white polka dot dress.
The polka dot print came into fashion in the late 1930s and was a huge rage in the 50s. Everyone wore the print, right from movie stars to housewives. The 50s were the first decade to see the popularity of this motif. And since the decade was a carefree, happy and prosperous era, the polka dot is associated with feelings of happiness.
Next, the print was trending again in the 70s and 80s. And with the revival of the 80s and 90s fashion, polka dot is on trend again, in the current times. Though it is safe to say that the happy print never really went out of fashion.
Here are a some looks we saw on the runways signalling the rise of the polka.
Carolina Herrera, Jacquemus, Jason Wu – Spring 2018
Creatures of Comfort – Fall 2018
Saks Potts – Fall 2018
Tanya Tailor – Fall 2018
Let’s take a look at some iconic polka dot fashion moments through the years.
Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe in the iconic polka dot bikini in 1951
The late Princess Diana in a polka dot dress in 1993
Audrey Hepburn in Givenchy for a Vogue shoot in 1971
Julia Roberts in the movie Pretty Woman
Kate Middleton and Emma Stone
Now that you now all about the history of the polka, let’s take a look at how to wear this happy print!
The polka dot print is available in all sizes and is appropriate to wear at all occasions.
For formal looks, you can try a small sized polka dot print to keep in line with the company culture. Like a dress in a staple colour such as navy.
Pair a polka top with basic jeans for a casual look.
Or a cute polka mini dress.
Go for a floor length gown for a party look.
Amazing right? How the simple dotted motif has risen to be one of the staple prints in our wardrobe. Here are some looks that I have styled using the polka dots print in the video: