A history: Polka Dots

Norma Smallwood 1926 Miss America
Winston Churchill circa 1930

Elizabeth Taylor 1944

Marylin Monroe 1951

Lucille Ball
Bryan Hyland 1960

Minne Mouse 1961
Polka Dot Man 1962

Yayoi Kusama
Julia Roberts and Richard Gere 1987
Princess Diana 1988

I don’t know whether it’s my recent obsession with Mad Men but polka dots have managed to find their way into my wardrobe again. Not since the 1990’s have I been so eager to get spotted. I had my eye on this River Island, black and white, polka dot skirt for quite sometime and I thought it was the perfect way to add some ladylike elegance to my wardrobe, which seems to be a key look of this season.
The polka dot has been around for quite sometime, but it really made its foray into fashion in the 1920s and 1930s, see Winston Churchill for style setting status, with a spotted bow tie (even I never imagined I would mention Winston Churchill in a fashion capacity).
A young Elizabeth Taylor was spotted in 1944 in blouse with a girlish touch of polka dot while Marylin Monroe, in 1951,was perhaps, the more modest inspiration for Bryan Hyland’s 1960 song, “Itsy Teenie Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini”.
For me Lucille Ball cemented the Polka Dot as a 1950s housewife trend on her popular show “I love Lucy”, maybe sparking a worldwide madness. Walt Disney created a companion for the lonesome Mickey in the form of Minne Mouse. That red polka dot dress became a symbol of childhood innocence. Then even Batman got in on the action with a super villain named Polka Dot man (sounds terrifying!).
In 1963 Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama was so obsessed with polka dots she believed they contained messages for us about life and the universe. She is now spending the rest of her life in a mental hospital.
Skip to the 1980s, when everything was bigger and better, hair, shoulders and even the polka dot. Julia Roberts claimed the look in every girls favourite movie “Pretty Woman” when she classies it up in a brown and white polka dot dress, thus signifying the polka dot as a mark of respectability, i.e opposite to prostitute. Note to all, polka dots perfect for the “meet the parents” dinner.
And just in case you weren’t convinced, even Lady Di had ago and she spearheaded many of the best trends of the 1980s/early1990s.

What are your thoughts on polka dots? Love them? Hate them? Wear them?
That’s all for now,
Love Dani xx

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11 comments

  1. Love the vintage/movie photos. Julia Roberts' brown and white polka dot dress in Pretty Woman is one of my all time favorite fashion statements from the movies. Congrats on being featured in Links a la Mode this week!

    Like

  2. @Valerie Angel, thanks for the love will check out yours now x
    @Jenny, thanks for the kind words x
    @Lauren, I am really happy about Links a la Mode, thanks again x
    @Ashlei, try out the polka dots they are so fun x
    @NiKa Thanks for your comment x

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