We often associate polka dots with femininity, nostalgia, and subtlety. Personally speaking, they are timeless and unisex; it is hard to go wrong with polka dots, if restraint is practiced.
Before the term polka dots was coined, these beautiful dotted prints were known by many names, from Dotted-Swiss (raised dots on tulle), Quinconce (dots on a die) to Thalertupfen (from the German Thaler coin).
The term 'Polka Dots' is derived from the 'Polka Dance', which became popular in Europe around the mid nineteenth century. Businesses took advantage of the craze and started naming products after the dance, from polka hats to jackets, the only name that stuck through the years was the dance and the pattern named after it — polka dots.
It did not gain much popularity until 1926, when Miss America was snapped in a polka dot swimsuit. Fast forward twenty years down the line, Sinatra's ballad 'Polka Dots and Moonbeams' captures the height of the polka dot craze, let alone the impact it made in the fashion world.
How can anyone forget Marilyn Monroe's famous photos in the polka dot swimsuit or Brian Hyland's hit song, 'Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,' or the Marvel superhero, Polka-Dot Man?
But that does not mean that girls can have all the fun in this dotted print!
Excuse me sir, but let's talk about a few ways you can accessorise in these dotted patterns and still make heads turn!
Cue in the polka dot mania onto ties that work well with mono-toned, narrow striped or small chequered patterned shirts. The thing about polka dots on ties is to always remember that it is all about proportions. If the chequered patterns are too large, the charm of the polka dot is lost, and if the stripes are too large, it can just give an overall gaudy feel to the whole outfit.
The ones that come in this fun polka dotted patterns are the most versatile and easiest to style. An honest white T-shirt, coupled with a pair of black slim jeans and low tops (black or white) and an unsuspecting dot printed pair of socks is all you need to make a statement, and as a bonus, be comfortable too!
Just make sure the colour tone of the socks is muted. Another alternative is to pair them with trainers for the more laid-back feel. The secret with these patterns is to keep the rest of the outfit simple and slick. But if you want to push the boundaries a bit more, pair a nice simple black suit with polka dotted socks and a matching pocket square for that snazzy finish!
Polka dotted pocket squares can give that added touch of quirkiness. Just make sure that you do not exactly match the colour of the print to the shirt or tie. Instead, pick a complementary tone or the secondary colour as your primary one for the pocket square. Best to go for a dotted print in a flat colour.
By Supriti Sarkar
Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed