Seeing Spots: Summer's Freshest Print

Polka dots have made their way back into our sartorial lexicon, appearing across the high street and couture this season. The pattern evokes '40s glamour, in large part thanks to Christian Dior's post-war 'New Look', which featured exquisite pieces in dotted fabric. During the '50s, retro swimsuits and circle skirts were often worn in polka dot prints, and iconic cultural references like Rosie the Riveter and Minnie Mouse have kept the print firmly in a vintage context.
And yet its revival was prominent on SS17's catwalks. Perhaps inspired by the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama (her 2016 installation All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins was all over Instagram), spots came in all shapes, sizes, patterns and colours. Anteprima stuck with classic monochrome but clashed big dots with small, Givenchy gave '80s-inspired dresses a rainbow of polka dots, and Dolce & Gabbana kept the old-school glamour with ruffled dotted dresses and hair bows.
On formal dresses, frilled blouses and playful dungarees, polka dots are no longer confined to one aesthetic, making them the most accessible print for summer. Click through for our pick of the best pieces around.

More from Shopping


R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
A look at the subcultures around the world that colour what we wear — and why.
Watch Now
The craziest trends, most unique treatments, and strangest subcultures in the beauty world.
Watch Now
Explore the world's most vibrant cultural and culinary centres—in 60 seconds, of course.