x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Katie Trotter: The problem with polka-dots

Seeing spots? That's right, the polka dot is back - but the results aren't always pretty.

The Breton stripe has been in the headlines for so long now that we almost forgot about the polka dot. But this is fashion, dear friends. Things change.

The polka dot is everywhere, in case you hadn't noticed, and I'm very much on the fence about it. My problem? An age- appropriate issue, of course. There is simply something mildly creepy about a 37-year-old Alice in Wonderland/Minnie Mouse character skipping about in a prom dress, no matter how charming. In fact, the same goes for any sort of playful dressing, be it a high-octane bow tie or a playsuit - they simply lack bite on anyone out of the education system.

But a trend is a trend, and we have to give it a go. Our friend Marc Jacobs sent models down the runway in supersized spots. And whatever he does, the rest will follow, so expect polka dots to filter down to the high street.

Diane von Furstenberg also released some playful jumpsuits that are well worth a look. And if all this sounds a little out there, Marni does super little shift dresses that offer a more demure vintage take on the look.

Polka dots are noisy. They're not loud in the way, perhaps, that deck-chair stripes or retro prints are, but noisy enough to get noticed - so keep the rest of your outfit as quiet as possible. That means not mixing any other pattern or textures with what you are wearing.

Navy-and-white always works a treat, although the look is slightly predictable, so try pink and red for something more fashion-forward. Try dark jeans with a bright polka-dot top, or contrast a pastel shift with a tailored spotty jacket. No matter how sharp, spots can appear somewhat ditsy in that eccentric English countryside way, so make sure to keep lines clean and tailoring sharp.

Surprisingly enough, polka dots can work in your favour when it comes to flattering your figure. More often than not, if the dots start small and increase in size as they go down, your waist and hips will appear slimmer.

Sheer polka dots are what we should be aiming for. They are subtle and stylish without the "I'm as sweet as pie" outlook. Try a chiffon shirt in a navy or dark grey and match with bright Capri trousers for a Grace Kelly silhouette.

Finally if, like me, it's just a nod you want to give to the grand dot, then swimwear is a great option. Just don't mention an itsy, bitsy...



This week's highs and lows

HEADPHONES No one can talk us into wearing the latest "cool" fashion accessory.

PASTEL NAILS The clothing trend has made its way into our summer beauty routine.

EXTRA POINTY Who wants to wear this season's witch-like shoes? Not us.

SPIDERMAN NO MORE Now that Tobey Maguire is the new face of Prada he is hot property.

IF YOU DARE All- over denim can spell disaster, as Ellen Pompeo demonstrates.