The Best Ways To Style Polka Dots For Less Cash

When you think of ‘chic prints for spring’ the first trend you picture may not necessarily be polka dots. Many polka dot fashion pieces are either childish or ditzy. However, when this spring’s black and white polka dot trend is styled correctly, the look is totally chic. Yes, polka dots can be sophisticated and appropriate for women over 40. And this spring you will be seeing a lot of them and you may not want to invest a small fortune on the trend. So here are the best ways to style black and white polka dots for less cash.

Black and White Polka Dots On The Runways

There’s no doubt that black and white polka dot patterns are in style for spring 2020. They were all over the runways. From detailed, vintage inspired prints to those that made more of a graphic pop art statement, the pattern was everywhere from Balmain to Michael Kors to Carolina Herrera. They were also mixed in with other bold animal and floral prints at collections like Dries van Noten and Dolce & Gabbana.

polka dot blouse polka dot dress fountainof30


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Effortless, Modern Polka Dot Blouse

An easy way to wear the black and white polka dot trend is with a blouse paired with denim or a midi skirt. This ivory polka dot blouse from Topshop has an effortless, oversized fit, making this top a great example of a fresh take on the trend. The dots are an interesting shape, which gives it a modern twist. This top is unique since it is ivory and the dots are black, and most of the tops I’ve found are the other way around. Ruffles are also on trend for spring, so you get two trends in one piece with this blouse. You can strike a balance between feminine and edgy if you wear it with black pants and a faux leather jacket.

Detailed, Puff Sleeve Tops

This star puffed sleeve blouse from Topshop also embodies two trends for spring, polka dots and puffed sleeves. There is also a star print among the dots, which reminds me of constellations against the night sky. The buttons down the front add some interesting detail. This peplum top would be chic and professional worn belted with a black skirt pencil and a swipe of bold lipstick.

polka dots at Dolce & Gabbana, Dries Van Noten and Balmain
Mixing polka dots with prints at Dolce & Gabbana, Dries Van Noten and Balmain Spring 2020 Collections


Short Sleeve Polka Dot Top

This feminine high neck classic print polka dot puff sleeve top by CeCe will give your wardrobe a lot of mileage for a low price. The classic tiny print will work under a blazer in any color, from neutrals like black, tan or white to pastels and brights. It will also work well mixed with other prints such as bold florals as shown at Dolce & Gabbana and Dries van Noten. Or mix the top with another larger graphic print. With tiny prints like one, mixing it with a larger print with a common color like black or white in the background will make it work.

Chic Tie Waist Midi Polka Dot Dress

ASOS has many on trend dresses for spring, and I especially love this tie waist polka dot dress. Its midi length and button keyhole back are elegant and will have you looking polished even if you got dressed in a rush. This would be an ideal special occasion dress or a go-to outfit for work and would look great paired with anything from heels to sandals to mules.

Polka Dot Wrap Dress

This tie waist polka dot dress from Anthropologie is a fun twist on the classic wrap dress. It would look equally fabulous dressed up with classic pumps or dressed down with a preppy pair of sneakers. This dress really makes a statement on its own with its reverse polka dot pattern belt and cuffs, so it really doesn’t need much else.  It is best to keep your jewelry minimal and accessories to a minimum with this dress.

Sophisticated Black and White Patterned Dress

If you’re looking for an easy to wear dress for the office, this smocked dress from H&M is a good deal. It also comes in six colors and patterns so you can find the color that works best for your style. This piece would transition well from winter to spring. Wear it with booties or tall boots now and with sandals later. I also like how this pattern is a fresh take on the polka dot trend.

Polka Dot Pants

Another way to sport the polka dot trend is with a pair of pants. These classic black with white dotted slacks are similar to a pair from Akris (for $395) but they are from H&M and cost only $19.99. Style this pair as if they were solid black and wear them with anything from bold colored t-shirts to floral or stripe print blouses and tops. Or get the “Balmain look” and wear them with a the reverse pattern, a white with black polka dot jacket or blouse.

Polka Dots Styling Tips

  • Black and white polka dots are the most sophisticated!
  • Make sure your clothes are flattering to your figure. There’s nothing worse than wearing an ill-fitted garment in a print.
  • Pair polka dots with other trends like a faux leather jacket or combine trends in one piece, like puffed sleeves with polka dots.
  • A swipe of red lipstick goes a long way!
  • Keep your jewelry minimal, and wear delicate pieces so your statement is the polka dot print.

Shop Black and White Polka Dots

Topshop Ivory Oversized Spot Shirt, $68

Topshop Black and White Star Puff Sleeve Blouse, $55

CeCe Polka Dot Puff Sleeve Top, $59

ASOS Design Midi Tie Waist Plisse Dress in Mono Spot, $60

Anthropologie Breanna Polka Dot Midi Dress, $168

H&M Black/white Dotted Slacks, $19.99

H&M Dress with Smocking, $34.99

Will you wear the black and white polka dot trend this spring? How will you style it?

–Claire Mykrantz

Runway photos:

You may like to read more of Claire’s looks for less posts like How to Style The Latest Chunky Knit Sweaters for Less and How to Style The Latest Faux Leather With Neutrals.

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