This Polka Dot post was inspired by two things. First was a conversation at work about something that sparked a reminisce of a band I loved in my youth called Strawberry Switchblade. They were sort of semi-punk, semi-goth looking, but the songs were pure pop fodder and they almost always wore polka-dots, or at the very least a co-ordinated mono-chrome look. They were a permanent fixture in Smash Hits circa 1985, right around the time I started to get interested in clothes.
Later on in The 80’s I was allowed to have a treat when I got my teeth braces put on. There was no question my mind as to what I was going to get, it was a white and black polka dot shirt that I had been coveting in the window of the local Benetton for months. Benetton was, for me, the ultimate cool shop in our suburban town in 1987. There wasn’t much choice though to be honest, it was either that, Tammy Girl, Jean Jeanie (a denim shop, obvs) and Nina Ricci (which we christened ‘Nina Nicci’ as it was a very easy place to shoplift from…) I loved that Benetton Polka Dot shirt, I also loved the green logo drawstring bag you’d get with it, which was used to cart around my everyday essentials; Harmony hairspray, Boots 17 Twilight Teaser, Lipcote and a bottle of Body Shop Dewberry perfume, for months after that purchase.
The other thing that prompted this post, before I fall down a rabbit-hole of 80’s nostalgia again, was this dress above from Anthropologie. I have ordered it in 2 sizes as I love it so much and I REALLY REALLY want it to fit and to suit me! I’ve never been a wrap dress kind of girl in the past, but just love the look of this one. I’ll let you know when they arrive if either is a winner. All this got me thinking about dots, so I did a bit of research to find out what else is out there, here we go…
POLKA DOT DRESS
Let us start with the initial inspiration, the spotty dress. Throw all thoughts of Minnie Mouse aside, this is the dress for spring, the spring that, this week, is pretending to be summer. It won’t last, we’ll be back in coats by the end of next week probably. I plan to wear my spotty dress with my leather jacket and black sandals. I’m happy that & Other Stories have re-issued the black ones I bought last year. They are really comfy and look great, nice and simple. If you’re more of a heels person they do a block heel version now too.
1. Ganni Polka Dot Chiffon Wrap Dress
2. Mango Coffer Box Bag
3. Topshop Black Leather Biker Jacket
4. & Other Stories Raw Edge Leather Sandals
5. & Other Stories Leather Strap Sandals
POLKA DOT TOP
Keeping it simple and slightly smart by pairing this Warehouse spot top with jeans and espadrilles. I haven’t officially declared espadrille season open yet as it is still April, but at the very least I think we can safely put our thermal socks away. I have these Baukjen Boyfriend jeans, they are pretty much perfect. Good shape, good stretch and, for me at 5’7, the perfect length without having to roll up the hem.
1. Warehouse Navy and Red Spotty Top
2. Mango Scarf Handle Bag
3. Baukjen Boyfriend Jeans
4. Whistles Slim Jersey Jacket
5. Air & Grace Shimmy Espadrilles
POLKA DOT JUMPSUIT
One for the braver amongst you, I know jumpsuits are not for everyone, I do love a jumpsuit in the spring though, it’s such an easy way to dress, just one item needed and if you’re off out after work, just change your trainers for a killer pair of heeled sandals. My one word of advice for buying jumpsuits is to size up. They always look better a bit looser and no-one wants fabric straining around the bum do they ?
1. Mango Polka Dot Jumpsuit
2. Whistles Mika Spot Tie Jumpsuit
3. Rag and Bone Ellis Suede Sandals
4. Boden Hollie Trainers
POLKA DOT SHIRT
If you don’t want to throw yourself too far in to the deep end with the dots then go for a shirt. Just like I did in Benetton in 1987. Maybe they still sell them, I couldn’t say, I don’t think I’ve been in a Benetton this side of 1995! I can tell you who now does the best spotty shirts these days and that’s Boden. Don’t be scared of Boden, they are now more than overtly patterned A ‑line skirts, they now have some really decent stuff. Their classic shirts are great and I won’t bang on about the swimming costumes again. This outfit is one I already have, I have the shirt, the trousers, the Vans, and have just ordered this bucket bag from Sezanne. Finally I have made up my mind as to which Little Brown Bag I wanted for spring. Team it all with your Trench Coat.
1. Boden Classic Spotted Shirt
2. Sezanne Farrow Bucket Bag
3. Zara Khaki Slim Boyfriend Trousers
4. M&S Puff Sleeve Trench Coat
5. Vans Classic Slip On Checkerboard
POLKA DOT SKIRT
Finally, the polka dot skirt. I found two almost identical ones, but at very different price points, so I have decided to show one high-end and one high-street version of essentially the same outfit. Maybe I should do more of these high/low posts. Would that be useful? I should also do a post about grey sweatshirts, they are definitely a big wardrobe staple of mine.
1. Rodarte Printed Cotton Sweatshirt
2. Ganni Polka Dot Satin Frill Skirt
3. Common Projects Retro Low Top Trainers
4. Baukjen Forever Sweatshirt
5. River Island Polka Dot Wrap Skirt
6. Adidas Stan Smith Trainers
That’s all for this week. If you live anywhere near Harrogate, next weekend is the Pre-Loved designer sale at the Crown hotel. Check out their website for details. I have given a BIG box of clothes from my ever-expanding wardrobe as have a few of my friends. There is some great bargains to be had. I’d love to go myself, but that sort of defeats the object of having a big wardrobe clear out!