Its a Dotty Business

A brief history lesson: the term “polka” translates to “little girl or woman” in Czech; and is profoundly feminine. The flair for polka dots began in 1926, when Miss America was photographed in a polka dot bikini, unanimously alerting all to this game-changing fashion trend. But the most famous protagonist of the dotty business remains to be Minnie Mouse, with her frock and a head bow, scattered with dots. Then not much later arrived the first poster girl for the polka dots – Marilyn Monroe, for whom the trend became something of a signature style. Fast forward to 2000s, the trend is being walked on runways and has become a perennial print for high fashion. With each influencer comes a new way to style the trend – here are four of our current favourites.

Go big or go home

The styling versatility of polka dots lie in how the print is planned on the fabric; or not panned at all for that matter. Large, globular spots mark the most profound difference. Big dots in lighter hues on a deep background can play well.

Ditzy dots

Scattered dots symbolise a return to overt femininity. They work so well on all silhouettes, be it snug, loosely fitted or flowing. A black-and-white wardrobe instills stark minimalism, but monochrome is getting a makeover for summer, and the new way of wearing the two (non) colours is decidedly more playful. The mingling of pink patches add to the allure.

Completely blocked

Polka dots are not reserved to western attires; they also have a welcoming abundance in many eastern picks; proving how truly versatile the print is. Amongst the many looks Mahira sported during the promotional ventures of her latest film, this monochrome sari stood out. The actress’ ardent affair with sari has her flaunting many of them and this beautiful hand printed one using polka dots block and a sparrow motif border is flattering her petite frame.

Miniature polka

Scattered or in synchronised formation, the tiny polka dots on dresses have an instant ingénue appeal. The small polka dots are more redolent than ever of old-school femininity. And Vogue describes the effect of polka dots on the wearer as, "direct, unblushing plan to make women extravagantly, romantically, eyelash-battingly female", we are totally in agreement with it. Maya Ali dons the dotted dress on the promotional ventures of Teefa In Trouble.