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Styling Polka Dots for Spring

March 27, 2020

Happy Friday! I don’t know why, but reaching the weekend seems even more precious to me these days. Go figure! But anyhow, I thought this pretty spring outfit featuring polka dots and a splash of pink seemed fitting for the day. Let’s talk about styling polka dots for spring!

Styling Polka Dots for Spring

Because, gals, we are eventually gonna get out there again! Can I get an “amen?” And when we do, may polka dots abound! Hahaha!

Seriously, polka dots never really go out of style, of course. Along with gingham, stripes and animal prints, polka dots are here to stay. But right now? They’re in the spotlight! #punintended

Sale Alert: My top, jeans and cardigan are all 40% off at Talbots today! Plus, check out other Talbots favorites here.

Styling Polka Dots for Spring

But polka dots, like gingham, can look a little childish or even clownish if we’re not careful. Let’s talk about how to style polka dots for the 40+ woman who wants to wear the trend well and still look like an adult.

Styling Polka Dots for Spring

Style Tip #1 – For the easiest style option, choose polka dots in one of your selected wardrobe neutrals. Not a problem. I’m seeing most polka dot prints in white or ivory dots on neutrals like navy, black and khaki brown.

I’m wearing my smooth, stretchy black and white polka dot crewneck tee with my white modern ankle jeans. I love these white jeans. They check all the boxes. These ankle jeans are thick enough, have flesh colored pocket liners for invisibility and fit nicely. While I usually wear a 6 in Talbots jeans, I sized up to an 8 for these, as I always size up for white jeans.

Styling Polka Dots for Spring

Style Tip #2 – For a more professional office-appropriate style, select a garment or accessory with small polka dots. Reserve mid-size polka dots (like mine here) for elevated casual looks. And bring out the big or multi-sized polka dots for more casual or fun occasions.

My polka dot tee 95% Cotton, 5% Spandex for a hint of stretch. It has a casual appeal, but a dressier feel thanks to the smooth hand of the fabric. I’m wearing a size medium. They didn’t have a size small in the store the day I bought it so I couldn’t try one. But this one fits well enough for me.

Styling Polka Dots for Spring

Style Tip #3 – You can wear polka dots all over – as in this darling dress or this jumpsuit – or you can just let a few polka dots peek through by hiding them under a cardigan or blazer. Be true to your personal style!

Style Tip #4 – Have fun with polka dots by combining them with another print, like plaid, paisley, stripes, florals or even animal print. For instance you could wear these polka dot pumps with this floral dress. Or you could just add a pretty print scarf like I did here. The trick? Keep the print and the polka dots in the same color scheme.


Style Tip #5 – If you’re wearing large polka dots or a variety of sizes or colors, keep the rest of the details in your outfit more conservative or minimal. Otherwise, you’ll end up looking like you’re wearing a costume rather than an outfit that lets you take center stage.

For an illustration of that last tip, I’m inserting a photo from this post last summer. You’ll see that here I’m wearing very large polka dots all over, but I kept everything else very grown-up and pared back.

The Dress of the Summer
See more of this post.

Style Tip #6 – When styling polka dots, let the dots be in the spotlight. Treat them like a color. So keep the rest of your outfit in neutrals and maybe one other splash of color.

Styling Polka Dots for Spring

Style Tip #7 – If you want to invest in polka dots that you can wear for years and years (remember, they never really go out of style), simply select pieces in neutrals such as black, navy or taupe, and choose pieces of clothing that you can easily pair with more current items.

Styling Polka Dots for Spring

I love this look because it is full of interesting layers, but it also looks good pared down to just the black and white polka dot tee and white jeans. I wore my neutral colored flats here to keep the leg long with the white jean. While you absolutely could wear black or even pink shoes here, I’ve learned that white jeans work best for me when worn with neutral colored shoes. They elongate and even slenderize.

Styling Polka Dots for Spring

Are you enjoying wearing polka dots? Well if not, join the party! Styling polka dots is such an easy way to look current and fresh. I’ve got a shopping widget full of items from today’s look, but also lots of other polka dot choices. Let me know if you have any questions.

Shop the Post:

You can shop the look through the links in the copy above or through the shopping widget below. Sale prices are not always reflected in the widget, so click through to get pricing info. Remember, if you purchase anything through these links I potentially earn a commission, but at no cost to you. Thank you for shopping through Dressed for My Day. I am grateful!

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Blessed for My Day

Are you as stubborn as a mule? Hahaha! Well, no one wants to admit to such stiffed neck behavior. But I must confess, I can be a little mulish at times. While stubborn behavior isn’t great for my relationships, I could argue that I live in a family of equally difficult people. Ha!

But being mulish with God is no laughing matter. He’ll either shape us into Christlikeness through gentle teaching or instruction, or He’ll reign us in with “bit and bridle.” The choice is ours. Can you think of times when your mulish behavior has brought upon you seasons of discipline? I certainly can. Who knows if we might have spared ourselves some misery if we’d simply yielded to God’s gentle nudgings and whispers of wisdom with willing obedience.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
    which must be curbed with bit and bridle,
    or it will not stay near you. ~ Psalm 32:8-9

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xoxo, Kay
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21 thoughts on “Styling Polka Dots for Spring

  1. I LOVE this outfit! What color is the sweater? I linked over to Talbots and I think it might be rosebud but your looks different.

  2. What an interesting and fun post! I love the tips plus the look! I think I have all those pieces but have never put them together like you just did. I will now! Thanks! I love polka dots I have a polka dot cardigan sweater it’s black and white and I love putting different color tanks under it. I actually bought polka dot heels as a souvenir from our London trip. But I think they make the fit different there. I bought Clarks like I do here in the states but they don’t fit as nicely. I think I might need to break them in. But I don’t want to wear them so it hasn’t happened. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Kristin. What a wonderful souvenir! You might take them to a shoe repair or cobbler. Sometimes they can stretch shoes a little to make them fit a little better. Or if size is not the problem, I suggest just wearing them for an hour one day, then two the next and so on until you feel more comfortable in them.

  3. Hi Kay, thanks for your Friday post. I love this outfit and your tips on polka dots. Glad to hear your daughter is with you!
    Take care,

    1. Thanks Coleen. She straightening up my basement. I’m so grateful. It gives her good work to do but also really helps me out. I’m going to reward her handsomely! ?

  4. Polka dots are my favorite! I think I inherited the love for them from my precious mother. She always said she loved polka dots, and I love them too. This was a fun post to read because I style them in almost all the ways you suggest, so I feel like I’m on trend. 😉
    Thank you for keeping up your posts and for the encouragement in each BFMD and your daily email greetings.

  5. I would have never thought to use that color of pink with the dotted shirt. So lovely and youthful!

  6. It is hot here so I’ll pair my portifino crepe blouse that is black with white dots with a thin pink vest. I’m dying to get out and wear my white pants. I picked up a navy with white dots last year from old navy. I’m so happy to find out the color of the shoes you wear with white. I really don’t like dark shoes with light pants.
    This is one of the prettiest looks for spring. Mama was partial to white with red dots. I think though that was probably dotted Swiss that she wore. A fifties dress look?

    1. Hi. Have you by chance see the slim ankle jeans in the color goldenrod? I want to purchase a pair of yellow jeans, but not sure if the color is too gold. I didn’t know if you have seen them in the store. Thank you and I really enjoy your blog.

      1. Hi Laura, the closest I’ve seen to what you’re describing is these casual utility pants I have from Chico’s. They’re great pants and very much like jeans, but not quite. They’re called camel, but I think the color is pretty close to goldenrod. Otherwise I haven’t seen in yellowish or goldenrod jeans.

        1. I’m sorry I meant to specify the Talbots slim ankle jeans in the color goldenrod. They are in the Spring line.

          1. Ooh. I do see those. I think they’re great! Yes, I think I have seen them in the store. I know I’ve seen then goldenrod canvas jacket and it’s a great color. Very of the moment. It would look great paired with a chambray shirt or white tee and a denim jacket. You could also wear them with black or baby blue.

  7. Thank you for this helpful post. I love polka dots and appreciate your tips.

    I received the socks you recommended. I’m keeping the Zella brand AND the Bombas, which I’m eager to try. The Bombas fit my long, narrow foot a little better than the Zella socks do, and they seem very comfortable.

  8. I forgot to mention that I received the Ecco sneakers and am so happy with them! Thank you also for that recommendation.

  9. Good morning Kay! I really like this outfit on you. My two favorite pieces are the top and the cardigan. I looked at the top on Talbots site and I really like the length of the short sleeves. When I’m in need of another top with longer short sleeves, I need to remember to check Talbots. Based on Governor Kemp’s town hall Thursday night, I suspect that Abby will be with you and James a while longer. As of yesterday, Gwinnett County has been put on lockdown until around April 24. I’m so glad that y’all have been able to spend some time outside. Have a blessed day!

  10. One of my favorite tops is one I got a couple of years ago. It’s navy, lined, 3/4 sleeves with small white polka dots. It’s really comfortable to wear, but still classy, and looks great with blue jeans and white jeans.

  11. You always look beautiful and have so much style. As you may already know, I love your selection of classic style cardigans. You look so good in them.