Image consultant Brenda Kinsel asked a question on her Facebook page May 24 that caught my eye:
I’m reading the book Wear This Now. In their list of ten things to toss now, #2 is “Anything with polka dots. Even if they come back in season briefly, they never last, and more often than not, you end up looking like a five-year-old in them.”
Agree or disagree? Or strongly disagree?
Lots of comments followed, many strongly favoring polka dots.
Me? I love polka dots. But there’s much more to polka dots than the dots. How about
- the size of the dots and the spacing between them
- the colors of the dots and of the background
- the amount of color contrast
- the texture and drape of the fabric
- the combination of dots with other patterned or plain fabrics
- the silhouettes of the garments
Pondering the many facets of using polka dots, what did I find in the Goldstein Museum of Design office on my latest volunteer work assignment but a rack of polka-dotted garments, perhaps pulled for student research.
Some of the garments read awfully busy and trendy to my eye. But one polka-dotted dress on the rack stood out from all the rest in its timelessness and sophistication.
Here’s the description of item number 1997.023.056a:
Short Dress and Bubble Capelet In Sheer Pink Fabric Printed With Large Forest Green Polka Dots Over Pink Linen. Dress Is Sleeveless and Has Princess Seaming In The Bodice and A Gathered Knee-Length Skirt. Back Has Two Emerald Green Velvet Bows Placed At The Waistline and Neck Snap Closures. Bodice Has Open Keyhole Back.
This dress by Jane Derby is dated between 1958 and 1962.
Polka dots: fresh and forever.