Polka dots suggest fun, simplicity and cheerfulness and for any retro-loving fashionista they are a must-have pattern for clothes, shoes and accessories. Whilst polka dots seem to rise and fall in popularity they never completely go out of style, which makes them a worthy fashion investment. Polka dots were even popular in men’s fashion many years ago although it’s rare to see men sporting spots now.
However, the polka dot wasn’t always such a fashionable choice. In medieval Europe the spotty pattern reminded people of diseases such as small pox and measles so the pattern was generally avoided. Although at the height of the renaissance the polka dot began to earn a more tolerable reputation as wealthier ladies embraced the trend of using small dots of black cloth to cover blemishes on their faces. Then around the 18th Century following the French revolution, the elaborately brocaded fabrics which were the height of fashion were dropped in favour of clean, crisp motifs on plain cotton fabric and the polka dot was revived and despite being so long ago the designs from this time still look modern and minimalist.
In the mid to late 19th Century the polka dot was a fashion hit which seemed to stem from the craze for polka music and the polka dance which involved moving around in small circles – perhaps this inspired the name. It was, however, the 1940’s and 1950’s when the polka dot saw it’s biggest revival with many celebs including Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor being seen in spotted gowns and Christian Dior designed a range of stunning hourglass dresses in spotted prints.
Fashion designer Carolina Herrara is known for her polka dot dresses during the 1980’s and 1990’s and even now it’s a favourite amoung designers such as Prada, Marc Jacobs and Stella McCartney.
The polka dot is fun, versatile and it certainly has staying power. With a wide range of home furnishings, childrenswear, pop art, lingerie, clothes and shoes featuring this timeless pattern the choices are vast. So if you haven’t joined team polka yet, what are you waiting for?!
Our current season polka dot shoes are pictured.