fashionHannah MacLeod


fashionHannah MacLeod

My love for polka dots knows no bounds. It rivals my love of stripes. Does it trump it? Ooh, it’s a close one.

Mum and I are equal polka dot devotees and so when we first spied this silk shirt, it was a bum scrum to see who could try it on first. This is testament to a good piece of clothing - when two women, 30 years apart, are eyeing it up with equal amounts of desire. Such was our keenness to try the shirt on, that neither of us thought to iron out the huge crease across the front of it - I mean! Call myself a stylist.

In terms of the greater fashion world, polka dots have had a renaissance this season. From Dior’s sophisticated take on the pattern to Balenciaga’s more playful interpretation, one thing was for sure, everyone was going dotty for spotty. Perhaps what has sealed the deal though this season has been Vogue’s November cover, starring the model of the moment Fran Summers in a spectacular Giambattista Valli Haute Couture dress. BOOM, polka dots are officially in fashion.


This shirt is cut in the ‘pyjama style’ which is so popular at the moment. I love this style, particularly when it is a nod to the trend rather than actually looking like Grandpa’s old shirt. Made in 100% silk with the bracelet length sleeves, it is such an elegant design and one which would suit all figures and busts. The tone of red would also be flattering on most complexions.

I love the shirt worn with mum’s high-waisted A-Line skirt. This can be a tricky shape to wear though. If paired with the wrong thing, it could look a bit -gulp - matronly. I think that the trick is either to wear something very neat and fitted on top or to wear a long jumper that comes to the thigh.

The belt is such a good colour match that I couldn’t leave M&S without it. It was a bit expensive though at a whole £6. It is therefore plastic which I would not usually recommend as I really believe that outfit ‘accents’ should be as good a quality as you can afford. A well made, leather belt should elevate an outfit and last a lifetime. A plastic belt will probably only last one season and will quickly begin to look tired.


I’ve mentioned this before but I think tonal dressing is so elegant. It is also a clever way of looking like you have a Harrod’s budget when in fact you have a Zara one. The off-white denim with the taupe coat that I am wearing is a lovely combination. Cream and white with beige, fawn, camel and mushroom are also gorgeous, the trick is to build layers of colour with depths of the same hue. You can then add accents with bolder, brighter colours. For example, here I am wearing a dark red shirt with an olive green suede bag - the deep red and olive compliment each other and are enhanced by the neutral colours of my coat and dungarees.

If dungarees aren’t your thing, then a pair of high waisted off-white jeans would look great, for example this pair (here). I am, of course aware that off-white in Winter is risky business so these trousers would be a gorgeous alternative (here).


Anyway, I digress from where I started. Polka dots. Below I have put together a gallery of all things spotty. I have included a variety of garments at a variety of prices. I realise that some of the more expensive pieces are out of most of our budgets but I think that it is fun to see what the designers are doing as you can almost guarantee that a lovely piece from the catwalk will find its way, in a similar form, onto the high street. This way, you’ll have your eye out, ready to pounce when it does!

I think that sometimes seeing lots of different pieces from the current trends can remind us of similar pieces that we already have in our wardrobes. For example, mum has a beautiful polka dot full length skirt and top that she has had since I was a teenager but that looked fantastic then, and paired with the right accessories, would look fabulous now. The trick is to pair the outfit with current shoes, bags and jewellery. Especially shoes, choose something modern and new.



Red spotty shirt, Toast . Denim skirt, Toast . Belt, Marks & Spencer . Bag, J Crew . Pumps, Veja .


Red spotty shirt, Toast . Dungarees, Zara . Coat, Zara . Bag, J Crew . Socks, COS . Brogues, old favourites .

Photography and Artwork by Alexandra Mooney


(to scroll through click on the furthest image along)

  1. Polka dot smock top, Zara. £25.99

  2. Polka dot gold and black blouse, Zara . £29.99

  3. Polka dot blouse with pussy bow, J Crew . £79.50

  4. Grey and white polka dot jumper, J Crew . £90

  5. Polka dot jacket with shearling cuffs and collar, Saks Potts . £590

  6. Metallic polka dot trousers, PS Paul Smith . £150

  7. Polka dot full length skirt, Diane Von Furstenberg . £450

  8. Navy polka dot jumpsuit, Somerset by Alice Temperley . £120

  9. Polka dot jumpsuit with tie waist, Alexis . £580

  10. Polka dot scarf, J Crew . £49.50

  11. Loafers, Boden . £63

  12. waist belt, Boden . £20

  13. Backless mules, Pretty Ballerinas . £119