To some, polka dots conjure images of Minnie Mouse and wholesome charm, but to me, they represent seduction, grace and the power of the feminine form. And I think that’s because I most immediately associate them with the traditional traje de flamenco—the most famous version of the dress worn by the traditional dancers of Andalusia. Polka dots of white or black pattern these stunningly tiered and flared silhouettes, adding an extra dose of visual movement to the swirling layers.
Although polka dots have been en vogue in some form since the 1920s, this combination of spots and tiered ruffles feels suddenly fresh and desirable. I first took note of this trend after falling in love with the Spanish-inspired Dolce & Gabbana SS2015 show, and I’ve since been seeing spots everywhere I look. On the diaphanous pleats of a sheer chiffon halter top, atop the mesh tiers of a layered tulle midi skirt and even on the pristine white culottes worn by Olivia Palermo herself.
So scroll down as far as you dare, and take in the best examples of flamenco-inspired polka dots the internet has to offer. If, like me, this particular selection of photos makes you itch to spangle yourself with spots, you can shop some of my polka dotted pics in the widget at the end.
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Shop flamenco polka-dot pieces here:
Top: Boohoo // Pants: Alice + Olivia // Shoes: J.Crew (similar, lower-heel option here) // Brooches: vintage // Bag: Vintage // Bag Charms: Amazon // Sunglasses: Karen Walker via DITTO // Bracelet: Banana Republic // Rings: BaubleBar // Watch: Michael Kors
If you thought I was going to say stick a sweater on top and call it a day, you were wrong. You were very, very wrong. Yes, autumn heralds the advent of knitwear, but it also marks the beginning of open season on all things sparkly. And furry. And ruffly. Right?
I recently discovered these epic Alice + Olivia high-waisted culottes on major clearance at Nordstrom Rack. Admittedly, they are from the Spring season, but having admired them from the time I first spied them on the Style.com (RIP) presentation recap, I knew I had to pick them up and never let go. I floated out of the store—thanking my lucky shopping stars—determined to repurpose these charming umbrella-striped culottes for fall use.
My usual instinct is to pair a voluminous piece with a streamlined one, to balance out the silhouette. Here, however, I went full steam ahead and paired these pleated pants with an equally billowing top. I affectionately refer to it as my Puffy Shirt and I love it very much. Next step in fall-ifying this look? Add as much sparkle and lush texture as possible without looking gauche. That means silver cracked-leather pumps, a trio of vintage brooches and a sublime silver-and-gold box clutch all found at my very favorite local antique shop, and a cluster of furry pompoms for good measure.
Were my shoulders a little cold? Maybe, but sometimes you have to shiver a little to look good.