Prints are so loaded aren’t they? Whenever I sit down with a client needing an outfit for a wedding or Ascot, we always discuss how they feel about prints because at this time of year the merest sniff of spring and the shop floor is flooded with patterns. It’s a rare thing to see head to toe florals in the autumn winter collections, but roll March out and you can’t move for it.
I’m not big on patterns myself but that’s mainly because high street clothes are so very identifiable if they have a print. I’ve been witness to (and victim of) the whole turning up in the same outfit as someone else nightmare enough to know that it’s easily side-stepped by avoiding a pattern available in hundreds of shops across the country. However, sometimes a piece is all about the print and this season, arguably more than ever, it’s more of a challenge to put together an occasion outfit in a solid colour.
If you couldn’t get to grips with gingham last summer then the good news is that spring 2019 is all about the polka dot. Polka dots are great. I never realised quite how much I loved a dot of polka. Polka dots are timeless, ageless and almost sexless – although a bloke in spots is still a little too Mr Tumble for me but that’s my issue and probably a little sexist. Dots are never inappropriate; while horizontal stripes have a bad rep – rather unfairly in my opinion – florals scream ‘Mother of the Bride’. In my experience not even mothers of the bride want to look like Mother of the Bride these days but there are exceptions of course. Aztec and geometric prints require nerve and animal prints are on their way to being right back where they started (a bit naff) but the polka dot… well, I’d argue that a polka dot wouldn’t even look out of place at a funeral. They suit all shapes and sizes and they look great in any colour – although my sister will tell you that when I arrived in a red and white polka dot halter neck dress my four year old niece asked why I was dressed as Minnie Mouse. But APART from that…
• On Holiday •
Think fifties starlet for this casual beachy look. Tie your hair back with the Dotty P hair band, add a red lip and white canvas trainers and you’re practically Doris Day. This Oasis neckline is ideal for a larger bust and will look lovely with white Capri pants – this blouse comes up a big so go for a size smaller.
• A Day at the Races •
This Warehouse number is a dead ringer for the one worn by Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. The high neck is best for smaller busts and the asymmetric hem is flattering for every kind of leg. Add a contrasting belt to add interest. Gorgeous.
• At a Wedding •
You want sleeves? You got it. LK Bennet is hanging in there and this green midi looks very much like they’re trying to catch Kate Middleton’s eye again. Don’t be as predictable as KM though, choose citrus yellow or fuschia pink accessories with both these dresses.
• An Evening Out •
No time to shave your legs? Opt for a jumpsuit or a maxi. And if you haven’t had a look at Wallis recently, you should. This fab jumpsuit is just one of several polka dot pieces in their collection and most of them go up to a size 20. The cut-outs in this Warehouse dress come in just the wrong place for all but the most lithe but oh isn’t it heavenly otherwise? My favourite of all I think but darn it I’ve already invested in two spotted dresses…
• Accessorising •
Don’t do pattern? Then play it safe and accessorise with spots, it’s an instant wardrobe update that needn’t cost more than £40. All over spots (unless you’ve got chicken pox) is absolutely fine, it’s a classic look that lends itself perfectly to midi dresses and jumpsuits so go for it, you can’t not suit a polka dot. Happy bank holiday weekend everyone!