Polka dots is one of the patterns that’s prevalent in the vintage inspired clothing realm. It wasn’t something I ever thought much about until I saw someone comment somewhere on social media that they hated polka dots and how common they were in repro clothing. Personally I quite like a small or medium sized dot, especially when done in black and white, but I share an aversion to very large polka dots which feel more costumey to me, so I can understand their complaint. There are plenty of ways to wear spots without looking too twee nor too rote, though, and today I want to focus on one of my favourite ways–playing with texture and layers.
The May dress is a classic swing shape, flattering for all body types and versatile in wear. The crossover style V-neck bust displays the décolletage excellently, but doesn’t require a fuller bust to look great, and the shoulder straps are thick enough that there won’t be any issues covering bra straps. The fitted waistband emphasises the waist before flowing out into the gently gathered swing skirt, which can handle a medium-full volume petticoat. Overall it achieves the classic 50s silhouette we know and love, in a casual and effortless manner.
Touching back on my opening paragraph, I think polka dots are generally so popular because they’re simple. With checks, houndstooth, florals, and other more extensive patterns it can be easy to feel that certain colours or other patterns and textures don’t pair well with them, leaving you feeling boxed in, but polka dots are easy to pair with. In this instance, for example, the reasonable size of the dots and the black and white colour scheme mean you can pretty much get as creative as you want with styling this May dress, and I enjoyed layering in sheer touches to add depth to the look. The pussybow blouse gave added coverage to the V-neckline as well as a focal detail at the bustline, while the black seamed tights worn backwards offered a straight dissecting line to draw the eye in contrast to the roundness in the print. If you wanted to push the look further, it would be easy to add in suede ankle booties or heels, faux leather gloves, and an slanted vintage hat, contributing additional textures and angles to the ensemble. Polka dots certainly don’t have to be standard fare if you’re willing to get creative.
I asked for this in my usual Dolly & Dotty size 18 and it’s a gorgeous fit. The cotton sateen has lots of lovely stretch, so it’s a comfortable wear. The waist flat measures 37 inches with stretch to 40, while the bust flat measures 42 inches with stretch to 48. The skirt is 25 inches long. This dress closes with a hidden back zipper and is machine washable.
The Polka Dot May swing dress comes in UK sizes 8-26. Dolly & Dotty are a small UK business and ship around the world.
Disclaimer: The dress featured in this review was gifted to me by Dolly & Dotty in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are truthful and my own, with no input from any of the companies listed or any other individuals.
COVID-19 NOTE: These pictures were taken alone and safely in a secluded outdoors area with no other individuals present or passing, thus abiding by the strict social distancing rules currently in place to help reduce the spread of Covid-19.