Fashion Trend Report: Polka Dots

A hit on the Spring 2014 runways, the playful print looks chicer than ever.

Burberry Prorsum, Spring 2014
Burberry Prorsum, Spring 2014
ImaxTree; Art by Tanya Leigh Washington

We’ve always found polka dots to be a sort of sartorial antidepressant. The perky print transmits joy, fun and general goodwill—even if the wearer is suffering through a messy breakup or a bad case of the “Sunday Scaries.” Just try to have a meltdown in a buoyant dotted dress—go on, we dare you.

Fashion Trend Report: Polka Dots
Sportmax, Spring 2014
ImaxTree

And yet for all their upbeat associations, polka dots can also be surprisingly sophisticated. Consider the Spring 2014 runways, where designers such as Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry and Sportmax rendered the print in graphic black and white.

The resulting look is elegance with a wink—more evening-appropriate than romper-room-ready. It’s no surprise that celebrities including Zooey Deschanel, Leslie Mann and Poppy Delevingne have been scooping up the spotted styles for red carpet appearances in recent months. 

Fashion Trend Report: Polka Dots
Zooey Deschanel in Dolce & Gabbana
Angela Weiss/Getty Images North America
Fashion Trend Report: Polka Dots
Leslie Mann in Juan Carlos Obados
Michael Buckner/Getty Images North America
Fashion Trend Report: Polka Dots
Poppy Delevingne in Burberry
Anthony Harvey/Getty Images Europe

To give your own spring wardrobe a quick pick-me-up, swap out one of your 23 nautical striped tops for a spotted one, and pair it with distressed boyfriend jeans for a sweet daytime look. Or, dress up a black-and-white specked frock with sleek colored heels à la Leslie and Poppy. We can’t promise the looks will impart an instantly sunnier mood, but at least you’ll look like the picture of happiness. Shop our picks below:

Fashion Trend Report: Polka Dots

ASOS Drop Armhole Polka Dot Tank, $33.87, at ASOS; Lulu & Co Polka-Dot Flocked-Tulle and Satin Skirt, $275, at Net-a-PorterForever 21 Mod Dots Midi Dress, $19.80, at Forever 21.

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