Hot Dots!

This particular pattern may have a funny name but it is certainly strong enough to dominate whole garments, which in many instances can transform yet another black dress into the perfect party popper that will have all the girls talking while the boys argue over who dances with you next.  When applied to accessories such as gloves, stockings or even the millinery veil of a vintage pillbox hat they appear to be quite delicate, yet when they are splashed across a solid background a bold statement is made that will likely garner attention.  However, much like the infamous stripe, polka dots are not to be abused nor should they automatically be related to circus inspired fashion.  Obviously this notion comes from the portrayal of the clown who is often wearing an atrocious suit accented with ruffles and painted in clashing colors.

From the beginning, part of the mission behind these articles is to dispel these silly stereotypes and create a factual basis behind what drives not only my personal style, but also what I feel can be looked upon as source for others.  Whether people come for the pictures or actually appreciate the bits of history intertwined with suggestions to assist in putting together a killer outfit, there is no doubt that they are in fact checking things out.  Generating this type of interest is something I seem to do well, but I have had quite a lot of experience and it sort of just happens naturally.  This particular guide is similar to the polka dot, in that it may be deceiving at first and appear quite simple, but it is up to the reader in utilizing the pieces along with a healthy dose of imagination to create something which is flattering, contemporary and still encompasses who you are.

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Summer is just eleven days away and if you are looking forward to spending some significant time seaside, shimmy into a white and black polka dot swimsuit – the black panels on the sides will give a slimming illusion while the lace and bow details allow you to pair it with a flirty ruffled wrap for a romantic evening on the docks.

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The brown polka dots and contrast detailing along with over-sized white buttons on this blue bikini are ideal for the pinup who wants to pose poolside.  When ready to hit the clubs, break out a pair of Iron Fist’s Booze Cruise Platforms and rock them with this stunning Sheer Slashed Dress by Anarchy Street.

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There is certainly no shortage of vintage and retro inspired swimwear, which I have always felt were dresses that could get wet, and that is why I love this black and white polka dot one piece.  It is modeled after famous femme fatales of the film noire era and very reminscent of something Esther Williams would wear.

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The beauty and classic aesthetic of a 1950s halterneck dress interpreted by Vivien of Halloway has been featured before, but here it is a rich red pierced by white polka dots and accented by a white three inch belt.  It would be tempting to go with a coordinating satin bolero, but that is what would be expected – I always prefer to take the alternate route and would rather slip into a hand made black lace bolero.

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The round neck and accentuated waist of this blue and white polka dot cotton sleeveless dress might be a little more toned down than its halterneck counterpart.  However, a white petticoat, leather pumps and a silver belt can easily transform it into an outfit suitable for your 1950s housewife fetish.

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There is no shortage of retro inspiration in this selection of dresses, and while this yellow and black number is a bit more sleek in design than the others, the asymmetrical frill and option of wearing a belt high on the waist gives it a commanding presence, so keep the look fun with Iron Fist’s Polka Party Peep Toe Flats.

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If wearing this many polka dots feels overwhelming, try this red and white blouse paired with a black pencil skirt and heels with some silver jewelry instead.

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California-based Heartbreaker Fashion presents modern day pinup queen Bernie Dexter in their Dolly Blouse, a black on pink polka dot with contrasting collar, trim and buttons.  It would go well with Mode Merr’s Perfect Skirt and a set of killer vinyl pink pumps.

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The polka dots on this caramel colored silk tank top might be more reminiscent of animal print than anything, so be bold and rock it with leopard spotted skirt and some soft suede wedge boots.

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Since ‘vintage’ and ‘retro’ have become all-encompassing terms, it can be difficult to find something that stands out from the plethora of items that deserve neither of those labels.  The classic cut of a pencil skirt paired with huge white dots on a black cotton background is the beginning of an elegant ensemble.  Tie it together with a white halterneck top, red leather Four Buckle Wide Belt and Iron Fist’s Bowed Over stiletto platform heels.

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Far from ordinary, the Pink Pixie Skirt by Sourpuss takes the familiar and makes it peculiar by adding black tulle and mixing skulls in with the dots. Pull together that badass pinup look by adding Switchblade Stiletto’s Dame Tie Top, pink crinkle patent leather suspender corset belt and Iron Fist’s Number of the Beast platform heels.

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Speaking of shoes, there is certainly no limit on the amount of styles that are decorated with polka dots, though much like clothing, an appealing design that is well-executed is better than one that exists for the sake of it.  Bordello’s Derby City is a black satin based peep toe pump with dark red dots and matching bow, which make for a  great accessory to any pinup outfit.

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It has been established that mixing polka dots with stripes is perfectly acceptable, so long as both patterns are not fighting for domination – this red and white polka dot pair of Not Rated’s Mimosa heels are ideal for that Sunday morning meal at some Victorian bed and breakfast that looks out at the ocean.

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Another design that plays up dots with stripes is the Bow Down Wedge, and the solid black helps break up both of them so they do not overwhelm the design of the shoe.  The different sized spots remind me more of pothole tights, while the diagnol direction of the stripes creates visual interest.

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Birds of a Feather may flock together, but in these stunning Iron Fist heels, you are guaranteed to stand out.  The chaotic rhythm of the white dots are trailed alongside swans and cherry blossoms, which gives the eye something intriguing to inspect.

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Complimenting an outfit with polka dot accessories is recommended for those who may not want to take a head first plunge into wearing this pattern, and as always, there is a plethora of endless choices which can be a bit dizzying.  An adorable black and pink cosmetic bag fits easily into a purse, back pack or desk and has enough space to store most of your makeup needs.

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When embarking on adventures that require you to travel, do it in style with this awesome Quilted Polka Dot Duffle Bag, which has functional features such as a zipper closure, metal feet, front pocket, detachable ribbons, zippered inside pockets and a gingham lining.  It can also be monogrammed, just in case you really want people to know who is visiting their quaint little town.

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The polka dot scarf is definitely a staple in any burlesque or pinup wardrobe – having one that is also a headband saves time as you do not have to struggle to get that perfect fold and it is ready to go at a moment’s notice.

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Bows can come off as too cute, so avoid that by rocking something with a bit more spunk to it, such as a purple bow with black and white polka dot flower, accented by an adorable skull.  Mounted on an alligator clip, this accessory can be attached to any hair style or as a funky accent to an outfit.

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Opulence is personified with this gorgeous Lady Amherset Feather Fascinator – the black and white striped feathers are accented by red polka dot guinea feathers, red dyed golden pheasant tippets and a small red flower.

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Polka dot hair flowers can be another one of those things there seems to be an abundance of, but the layers of this Skeleton Hand Flower Clip also have black tulle incorporated between them and are nicely set off by a black skeleton hand.

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There is another application of dots in the art world that appears in a specific type of tattooing known as dotwork.  As the name suggests, tiny dots are etched into the skin to form larger patterns, many of which are geometric in design.  This is difficult enough to execute on paper, so it certainly can be recognized that it would take an enormous amount of skill to apply it to to the pliable surface of skin.  Often it is seen alongside blackwork, where the two merge or intertwine on a living canvas and create something which one dares to call truly unique.  Whether we are influenced by fashion or it is the other way around, there is no denying that everyone enjoys adorning their bodies in ways that make them happy, and more than anything that is what these guides celebrate.  The gallery below represents a selection of beautiful modifications that are not only aesthetically appealing, but also monuments of immortal art.

Photo & Artist credit: 1 – Jonny Breeze, 2 – Cory Ferguson, 3 – Dotwork Damian,

4 – Thomas Cooper, 5 – Dotwork Damian, 6 – Unkown

2 comments on “Hot Dots!

  1. hires says:

    This is a fantastic article and I enjoyed the relation between fashion and body modification.

  2. […] Hot Dots! « Decadence and Deviance […]

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