Polka dots have been in style since the Fifties when polka dot outfits were a favorite of screen siren Marilyn Monroe.

While I wouldn’t call it a comeback, as they’ve never been out of fashion, polka dot outfits are definitely having a moment this summer.

Big or small, polka dots have featured on the spring/summer catwalks of the likes of Altuzarra, Michael Kors and Dries van Noten.

And, the trend has definitely made its way onto the high street. I’ve seen plenty of polka dots in stores for spring and summer.

Is bigger best when it comes to polka dot outfits?

Runway looks - polka dot trend | 40plusstyle.com

AltuzarraMichael KorsDries Van Noten

Suddenly, polka dots feel very modern again. If you really want to be on-trend, then choose bigger dots.

When should I wear polka dots?

polka dot outfits - a polka dot dress and sandals | 40plusstyle.com

The great advantage to polka dots if you can literally wear them anywhere, from the most casual days to the swishest of occasions.

You could wear a polka dot tee with your jeans and sneakers, or a polka dot blouse with a pair of black pants for work, or a polka dot dress for a summer wedding. The options really are endless.

Kimba (above) wears a beautiful blue polka dot dress.

Check out this similar dress, sandals and sunglasses to recreate her look.

In this article, you will find some of the best polka dot tops, pants, dresses, skirts, coats and accessories to wear this season.

Plus, I’m going to talk about what to wear with them to create some truly striking looks.

And, I’ll put it all together in a capsule to take you to any occasion. Don’t forget to let me know what you think.

Polka dot outfits: What to wear with polka dots

There are a million and one ways you could wear polka dots. But, I think they particularly lend themselves to a monochrome look with a touch of red.

Simply add these 5 types of clothes and accessories (below) and you can create countless looks with your polka dots for spring and summer.

1.White tee

A white t-shirt will, of course, go with pretty much anything. Wear with a pair of polka dot pants or a polka dots skirt.

Madewell t-shirt to wear with polka dot outfits | 40plusstyle.com

Madewell t-shirt

Trench coat

Just as polka dots are a timeless option, so too is a trench coat. So, it makes sense that they go beautifully together.

Also take a look at the best trench coats in stores now for more inspiration.

Cupcakes & Cashmere belted trench coat to wear over polka dot outfits | 40plusstyle.com

Cupcakes & Cashmere belted trench coat

A great pair of white jeans

polka dot top and white jeans | 40plusstyle.com

Nic (above) puts together a perfect summer look with her Bardot-style polka dot top and white jeans.

Get her look with this similar off shoulder top, jeans, sandals and sunglasses.

Wit & Wisdom bootcut jeans to wear with polka dot outfits | 40plusstyle.com

Wit & Wisdom bootcut jeans

Black pants to complement your polka dot outfits

polka dot outfits - sheer bow tie blouse with skinny jeans | 40plusstyle.com

Sarah (above) shows how well a pair of black pants go with polka dots. Choose the black pants to suit your body type and style personality. You don’t necessarily have to go for skinnies, wide pants would look great too.

Steal her look with this Gucci belt, similar sheer blouse, pants and booties.

WAYF belted pleated trousers to wear with polka dot outfits | 40plusstyle.com

WAYF belted pleated trousers

Red and black shoes and accessories

Polka lots look great put together in red, black and white outfit combinations.

Polka dot outfits - red and white ensemble | 40plusstyle.com

I purchased a fabulous red polka dot top on a trip to Greece. You could also give your polka dot outfits a pop of red with your accessories and shoes.

How to wear polka dots - Red and black accessories | 40plusstyle.com

Botkier pumpBella Vita wedge sandalTrotters slingback sandalClare V. zip clutchAkola drop earringsUrban Originals leather tote

For more inspiration on wearing read you may also enjoy this article on how to wear red.

Polkadots don’t always have to symmetric too. On my skirt they are all over the place which is just what I like.

How to wear polka dots - wearing gray polkadots | 40plusstyle.com

For much more inspiration you may enjoy my article on how to wear gray.

Polka dot outfits: A capsule for spring and summer

Now, let’s take a look at some of the most stylish polka dot clothes, shoes and accessories in stores now – and how you can put these together in a capsule wardrobe to take you through the spring and summer months.

Polka dot tops

polka dot outfits - top with jeans | 40plusstyle.com

Suzie (above) chooses a polka dot t-shirt and teams with her jeans and a pair of cobalt-blue pumps.

Get her mock neck top from Adrianna Papell, jeans from Hudson Jeans and handbag from ZAC Zac Posen.

Polka dot tops | 40plusstyle.com

Halogen twist neck knit topTommy Hilfiger mixed dot blouseHalogen mesh topBoden ponte topPolo Ralph Lauren dot print blouse

polka dot cardigan with pleated skirt | 40plusstyle.com

Patricia (above) wears polka dots with pleats.

Get her bubble-sleeve top from Chicwish and wear it with this similar pleated skirt, belt, pumps, handbag, headband and sunglasses.

Polka dot tops | 40plusstyle.com

Anne Klein dot print collared blouseMango polka dot organza shirtMango polka dot flowy blouseBoden spot shirtMarks & Spencer polka dot jumper

Sweaters, coats & cardigans

Polka dot coat with leopard print dress | 40plusstyle.com
Sweaters, coats & cardigans dot prints | 40plusstyle.com

1901 sweaterHalogen puff shoulder sweater1901 sweater blazerLondon fog trench coat

Cassie (above) gives a lesson in print mixing by teaming her polka dot coat with leopard print. Also look at how to mix prints and patterns like an expert.

Check out this similar leopard dress, coat and clutch.

Pants & skirts

Polka pants and blouse | 40plusstyle.com

Kim (above) goes for double polka dots with her top and pants.

Check out this similar blouse, pants, pumps and sunglasses.

You can also read more about Kim’s style in this interview.

Polka dot pants and skirts | 40plusstyle.com

1901 ankle skinny pantsSocialite bias cut skirtAFRM midi skirtRails midi skirt


How to wear polka dots in summer | 40plusstyle.com
Polka dot dresses  | 40plusstyle.com

Vero Moda wrap dressPolo Ralph Lauren midi shirtdressLeota print wrap dress1901 maxi wrap dress

Tanasha (above) wears a blue polka dot dress and accessorizes with a white bag and shoes.

Get her dress from Shein and pair it with these similar loafers, tote and earrings.


Polka dot shoes can add an unexpected element to your style. You could simply wear with your little black dress or with a pair of white jeans and they would look fantastic.

shoes and boots featuring polka dots | 40plusstyle.com

J.Renée slingback pumpJ.Renée peep-toe sandalTory Burch flip flopBetsey Johnson booties


Just as with any new print or pattern that you are trying out, you can also use accessories to add polka dots to your outfit.

Plus, I couldn’t resist including the polka dot swimsuit below which would look fantastic for summer, and has flattering ruching to hide a tummy.

Polka dot accessories | 40plusstyle.com

Madewell polka dot jacquard scarfBoden swimsuitRetro Rewind retro sunglassesJohn Hardy dot drop earringsKate Spade New York toteKate Spade New York zip pouchTasha polka dot headbandKate Spade New York oblong scarf

Polka dots combined

Below you can see some of the polka dot clothes and accessories featured in this article together in one capsule. There are, of course, plenty of other ways you could mix and match.

A polka dot capsule wardrobe | 40plusstyle.com

Do you already have polka dots in your closet? Or do you have your eye on a polka dot piece you love? How do you wear yours?

Continue reading:

  1. Spring 2020 Fashion Trends: Which Of These 12 Trends Will You Wear This Spring And Summer?
  2. How To Mix Prints And Patterns Like An Expert
  3. How To Wear Printed Pants In A Casual Chic Way

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How to wear polka dot in summer | 40plusstyle.com

Feature image by Tanasha


Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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