Why polka dots never go out of style

Light-hearted and sweetly nostalgic, polka dots are a winning look for a warm-weather wardrobe refresh.

By Jessica-Belle Greer

It seems not a summer season goes by when the humble polka dot is not dubbed a must-try trend. In recent years dots and spots have covered everything from swimsuits to formal dresses and party shoes - but this is not just a modern obsession.

One of the most famous polka dot wearers, none other than Minnie Mouse in her sweet red-and-white dress, was originally thought up by entertainment giant Disney in the 1920s. On-trend with the ‘polka-mania’ reported in America at the time, the dots kept on swinging on full skirts through to the 1950s and beyond.

Sweet yet sophisticated, spots have captured the imagination of many. They’ve been referenced in pop culture with Frank Sinatra’s 1940s hit Polka Dots and Moonbeams and Brian Hyland’s catchy Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini in the late-1950s and there is even a Marvel superhero homage to the prevailing pattern – the 1960s creation Polka Dot Man. The playful pattern has also caught the eye of a number of leading artists, Roy Lichtenstein and Yayoi Kusama to name just two.

The quirky history of polka dots has a part to play in the abundance of spots being sent down the runway. With so many examples from the past, designers have almost unlimited choice of nostalgic references for this design element, plus its long history means the pattern can’t be pinned-down to a certain moment in fashion, making it very versatile.

When it comes to picking up a polka dot piece, Simply You says any spot size will do. The shade? Purists will prefer a classic combo of white with black, navy or red but we’re also fans of on-trend metallics and blush pink.

Flick through our gallery to find a dotty delight to suit you.