The History of Polka Dots

Prints we love : Polka Dots

The polka dot pattern has been around for centuries and made a firm grip on the fashion industry as a staple. Some may be surprised to learn that such a fun-loving, youthful print was once associated with the 19th-century epidemics of smallpox, bubonic plague, and leprosy. YIKES!  This is due to the technology of the time,  a seamstress is not able to create perfectly symmetrical shapes or patterns, thus, an abstract textile that resembled uneven skin blotches was unintentionally created instead. Thankfully these ailments were extinguished and the sewing machine was invented making evenly-spaced patterns and prints a breeze.

A more positive view of the polka dot can be with the rise of the polka dance. Despite the decline of the polka dance and its associated trends, the polka dot pattern endured and gained a more favorable reputation. Cartoons like Minnie Mouse (1928), music such as Frank Sinatra polka dots and moonbeams ny (1940) & “Itsy Bitsy Teeni Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” (1960) helped keep the print relevant. 

Now that you know the history of this long-standing print let's discuss a few ways to wear it. Polka dots are a versatile pattern, able to be incorporated into a variety of styles and aesthetics. In the last few decades, polka dots have been a staple in women's words in a plethora of alliterations. Even Connected Apparel, formerly the all that jazz clothing brand, has created polka dot dresses and jumpsuits that have lasted the tale of time. Present day we have introduced styles such as the Morgan Polka Dot Jumpsuit with a classic silhouette and black and white polka dot print.

All That Jazz Vintage Polka Dot Lace Collar Belted Dress

Morgan Black And White Polka Dot Jumpsuit

Fortunately, fashion has advanced so much in recent times that it's challenging to make a fashion mistake when it comes to polka dots. Nevertheless, here are some additional helpful tips:

  • It’s ok to mix it with other patterns like stripes and florals
  • Small polka dot accents are fashion staples (bags, scarfs, shoes, etc.)
  • Don’t be afraid to add a pop of color
  • Mix with other polka dot prints (go bigger or smaller)

Ultimately, polka dots are a timeless and playful pattern that can add a touch of whimsy to any wardrobe. Whether you're new to wearing polka dots or are a seasoned pro, there are endless ways to incorporate this pattern into your style. From small accents to bold statement pieces, mixing and matching with other patterns, or layering with solids, the possibilities are endless. So why not add a little fun and personality to your wardrobe with some polka dots? Whether you prefer a classic or modern look, there's no denying the enduring appeal of this cheerful pattern.

Shop Polka-Dot Styles
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published..


1. A History of Polka Dots, in Case You're Wondering How They Came to Be

2. The Fascinating Origins of Polka Dots
Colleen WelschColleen is a freelance writer and blogger from Los Angeles

3. “All That Jazz Vintage Polka Dot Lace Collar Belted Dress.”, Accessed 9 Mar. 2023.

4. “MORGAN BLACK AND WHITE POLKA DOT JUMPSUIT.” Connected Apparel, Accessed 9 Mar. 2023.

5. “Minnie Mouse.” Disney Wiki, Accessed 9 Mar. 2023.

6. “Https://Www.us4seller.Com/?product_id=84045737_16#:~:Text=Orijentirati%20Krema%20Naga%C4%91ati%20Brian.” Go to Shopping, Accessed 10 Mar. 2023.

7. “Outfit: The Part Time Pin Up.” Pinterest,

8. “Time-Warp Wife Ministries.” Pinterest,