Styling ideas: Let’s play with polka dots!

Styling ideas: Let’s play with polka dots!
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of polka dots? Minnie mouse? Or the cute frocks you wore as a little girl? Those are not wrongful associations but polka dots are trendy now and cooler than ever before. Leaving their childish past behind, polka dots are having a stylish time they so rightly deserve. Stalwart designers are embracing this print and making it their own, putting their unique spin and creating incredible designs.

Legendary Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama has been creating masterpieces with polka dots for years. Juxtaposed against each other densely, Kusama has explored polka dots in all their forms and the impact they have on human perception. Louis Vuitton famously collaborated with Kusama, covering its handbags and accessories with polka dots in all shapes and sizes in primary colours which is one of their most famous collections.

This is not the first time in fashion that polka dots are stylish. In fact, during the '60s and the '70s they were all the rage. Many of us will see old pictures of our mothers, aunts, and grandmothers even draped in slinky saris covered with oversized polka dots. The colourway was equally exciting at that time — black dots on peach, pink, and other pale colours made the dots stand out even more.

In the '70s, women rocked bell bottom pants coordinated with polka dots shirts alongside maxi dresses and skirts. Christian Dior created fabulous shift dresses and full skirts in the West at the same time with this versatile print.

In 2023, polka dots are the hottest, especially for summer. Think of dresses, kameezes, saris, skirts, blouses, and co-ord sets even! Simple sundresses look really chic and cute with polka dots and are perfect for daily wear. Pair a solid-coloured top with a polka dotted skirt or reverse the combo. It's a fool proof print that will make you look stylish however you style it.

A fun, new way to wear polka dots is to go for exaggerated silhouettes like balloon sleeves. Polka dots juxtaposed with floral prints are also fun and trendy. Imagine a small, dainty floral print layered with oversized polka dots, or large flowers with oversized dots. A blouse in such a print or a dress will look great when paired with plain, solid bottoms.

You know what is really fun and unexpected? A polka dotted handbag! Designers like Louis Vuitton have many exciting pieces as do many other high-street brands that are indeed collectibles. Invest in one that you can bring out for years when your heart wishes!

A polka dot sari is the ultimate nod to vintage fashion. Channel your inner '60s diva and wear a slinky silk or georgette sari with polka dots with a sleeveless blouse. Better yet, raid your mum's closet and you are bound to unearth polka dotted treasures. You could go to the full extent and pair it with a bouffant and winged eyeliners! If that is not your cup of tea, local designers like Humaira Khan have reinvented the basic polka dots in a very fresh way. She has very cleverly put embroidered flowers on polka dotted Muslin and the result is incredible!

Our local designers are supremely talented and have reimagined this very chic print in many different ways, making stylish kameezes, kaftans, and kurtas that are unique and stylish. So, go ahead, let your creative juices flow, and play with polka dots!


Wardrobe: Anokhi by Humaira Khan