You might’ve heard us waxing poetic about borrowed-from-the-boys looks recently—see: biker chic and menswear-inspired gold watches—but this one’s for the girly girls at heart. We simply can’t resist the feminine allure of classic polka dots—and neither can these fourteen chic stylesetters throughout history.
Polka Dots Then & Now: From Twiggy to Ashley Olsen
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From Twiggy in the ‘60s to street style stars today, see how the pattern was worn then and now.
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Hepburn showed off her graceful figure in a polka dot leotard in the ‘50s.
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The ultimate pin-up girl, Monroe posed in a then-teeny-weeny bikini in the ‘50s.
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A spotted headscarf: all the better for showing off those famously long eyelashes.
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Team a tie-front blouse with a wide-brim chapeau for a Bardot-worthy look.
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The People’s Princess was the picture of royal chic in this red and white ensemble in the ‘80s.
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Who says dots are only for girls? Prince pulls off the trend while performing at a concert in the ‘80s.
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Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman
Who could forget the polo scene in Pretty Woman? This is how you show up to a sporting event in style: a polka dot dress, coordinating hat, and elegant gloves a la Vivian Ward.
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At the Grammy Awards back in 2003, Stefani added her signature flair to her Vivienne Westwood dress with red patent pumps and a furry coat.
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Olsen’s Dior dress at a screening of Midnight in Paris hits on two noteworthy trends: polka dots and hints of sheer.
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The voluminous, asymmetrical hem on Palermo’s Bensoni S/S 11 dress at the 2011 amfAR Inspiration Gala renders the classic print thoroughly modern.
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Dunst showcased a sophisticated spin on the potentially childish motif by pairing a Prada blouse with a streamlined Chanel maxi skirt at the Toronto Film Festival a couple years ago.
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Welch’s ensemble at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year is not for the faint of heart—she went head-to-toe with the print, selecting a Miu Miu F/W 13 pink spotted maxi dress, matching bag, and clashing black and yellow platforms.
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For an appearance on David Letterman in New York earlier this year, Solange swapped the ever-popular crop top for an abbreviated Moschino Polka Dot Jacket ($1695), which she paired with the designer’s Wool Blend Pointelle Polka Dot Skirt ($920) and Elizabeth and James Saucy Leather T-Strap Pumps ($325).
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Designer Lily Litkovskaya offers a contemporary take on the trend, layering a top and skirt under her own perforated dress from the S/S 13 collection, and finishing the look with a long black trench and a simple brown clutch.