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A Quick Guide To Wearing Polka Dots Like A Grown-Up

It is all about shape and skin, y'all. With these pieces from our shopping edit, polka dots are no longer child's play.

“It was an itsy bitsy, teenie weenie, yellow polka dot bikini!” Ever since I was taught to play that damned song on a recorder in my pre-teen years (oh, glorious, glorious pre-teen years) it is involuntarily the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of polka dots. That, along with ladybirds, both which don’t exactly scream “grown-up”. The very name itself suggests “cute” and while we love Yayoi Kusama’s work as much as the next person, cute isn’t exactly what we’re going for most of the time.

Still, polka dots can be a grown-up go-to if you know how to handle it. Jacquemus made the case for massive polka dots with a single white and black blouse that is currently sold-out everywhere. Anthony Vaccarello at Saint Laurent proved that polka dots can be wildly sexy when merged with one-shoulders, thigh-high slits and plunging necklines. (See our pal Evangelie in that gold and black dress above.) Monse gave a slew of dotty options in the manner of ruched dresses and cut-out blazers, even going so far as to dare us all to wear a fully polka dotted suit. This is no child’s play.

Going black and white is your best bet, though polka dots in other combinations have worked, of course. Structured silhouettes, clean lines and showing a bit to more than a bit of skin will help, too. It can even be nighttime appropriate as evidenced by Saint Laurent’s polka dotted party dresses (such as this and this). If you’re still feeling especially summery and are trying to savour the last days of summer, go for light, floaty fabrics with a side of ruffles. Lisa Marie Fernandez has plenty.

Anna October Off-The-Shoulder Polka-Dot Cotton Dress

Diane Von Furstenberg Cut-Out Silk-Crepe Midi Dress

Ganni Cold-Shoulder Polka-Dot Georgette Dress

Gucci Ruffled Printed Silk-Charmeuse Gown

Gucci Pussy-Bow Polka-Dot Chiffon Blouse

Magda Butrym Pussy-Bow Polka-Dot Devore Chiffon Blouse

Monse Cold-Shoulder Polka-Dot Silk-Blend Crepe Midi Dress

Monse Ruched Polka-Dot Silk-Blend Crepe Blazer

Monse Off-The-Shoulder Polka Dot Silk-Blend Top

Monse Polka-Dot Silk-Blend Crepe Wide-Leg Pants

Monse Wide-Neck Off-The-Shoulder Polka-Dot Top

Saint Laurent Polka-Dot Maxi Dress

Saint Laurent Polka-Dot Print Dress

Saint Laurent V-Neck Belted Polka Dot Dress

Lisa Marie Fernandez One-Shoulder Polka-Dot Cotton-Voile Maxi Dress

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