How to Wear Polka Dots I’m not a big fan of polka dots (writes the woman who is wearing the shoes photographed right now.)  Okay, let me rephrase that, I don’t care for polka dots in excess.  Even though they are hot right now, I’m sure that there are others out there not looking to go “polka wild” in polka dots.  If you want to freshen up your spring wardrobe with this trend, but don’t want to go overboard, here are my tips on how to wear polka dots as a great trendy accent.

Before I get into some polka dot looks, I want to point out that to successfully pull off a polka dot, especially if it to be worn anywhere near your face (for example, as a dress, a scarf, a jacket or a top), think about the intensity of the contrast of the polka dot color combination first.  I’ve talked a lot at length about this topic but it’s worth revisiting again quickly.  Basically, a black an white polka dot color combination has a lot of contrast in it.  A softer polka dot, like a pink and white, for example, has much lower contrast.  The amount of contrast in a polka dot worn near your face should be the same as the amount of contrast in your personal coloring (contrast between your hair, skin and eyes.)   See the below photo for examples of what I am talking about.

How to Wear Polka Dots for Your Personal Coloring

How to Wear Polka Dots

In all cases, the amount of contrast in the polka dots worn by these women matched the level of contrast in their own personal coloring.  The woman in the far left wearing the pink and white polka dots chose a contrast level that matches her softer coloring.  Conversely, Liv Tyler and Kelly Osbourne (albeit an old photo of Kelly Osbourne) chose a much higher level of contrast in their polka dots color combination which matches their higher contrast coloring.  Had Liv Tyler and Kelly Osbourne chosen the softer pink and white combination, they would have looked washed out and had that model with the softer coloring chosen a bold, optic polka dot like Liv’s and Kelly’s she would have been drowned out.  Therefore, the first and most important step when choosing polka dots is to choose a polka dot combination that matches your skin-tone best.

Okay now how to incorporate polka dots into your looks without going overboard and looking like Minnie Mouse.  Here are some looks I put together.

How to Wear Polka Dots: Look #1

How to Wear Polka Dots You can go with a polka dot in a way that is as innocuous as a watch strap, like this one by Pedre.  Worn wtih a sporty dress, a great pair of espedrilles and a teal handbag to complement the yellow, you can look updated while still using much of what you may already own.

How to Wear Polka Dots: Look #2

How to Wear Polka Dots A bold polka dot bracelet like this one from Forever 21 can add some trend to a sporty work look.  And, don’t be afraid, you can combine stripes and polka dots if you do it in a smart way.  If you’re afraid of making a mistake, instead of stripes, you can just choose a solid.  With a pop of a yellow shoe, the look comes together.

How to Wear Polka Dots: Look #3

How to Wear Polka Dots

Looking to wear polka dots more casually?  Grab a polka dot scarf, like this one by Sonia Rykiel in trendy tangerine and wear back with grey (a great color combination.)

How to Wear Polka Dots: Look #4

How to Wear Polka Dots Lastly, if you’re looking to update your LBD, try this polka dot clutch by Diane Von Fursternberg.  It makes an understated statement, especially when partnered with a strappy heel and bold earrings.