FASHION Mixology — Polka Dots with Stripes: A Conundrum Old as Time


The Art of Mixing + Matching – Easily, Lazily

~ Lillian Gao


All photography by: Min Gao

THERE WAS A TIME when the mixing of polka dots and stripes sounded tackily inane. It was reserved as a stigma for the fashion anarchists, girls who dared mix neon floral prints with gingham-patterned pants (Can this actually be fashionably accomplished? No rule’s unbreakable, right? But… don’t try it at home. At least not without GREAT caution.) Now, in an age where nothing seems out of turn stylistically–orange lipstick is on-trend at the same time chokers are back–it seems very easy and fluid for us girls to combine the two, given a few #LazyGirlChic Guidelines:


1. Keep both polka dot and stripe patterns within the same color scheme:

It really matters not which scheme you choose, but black-and-white upon black-and-white graphics is one of the most beautiful and memorable visions in this world. Moreover, a black-and-white palette allows you to add pops of any other color in the rainbow (Yes, black and white are not colors, technically) to your dots and stripes.


2. Ideally, one piece should be fitted and the other…billow:

To blend patterns and prints already constitutes feats of great finesse. One of the trickiest pieces of the puzzle is BALANCE. Instead of tying a fitted top together with a thigh-hugging pencil skirt, you want to unify the theme of contrasting patterns with a contrasting silhouette.


3. EITHER/OR: Pair small dots with broad stripes OR thin stripes with bolder dots:

Unless you’re going for a Mod look, big, bold dots with big, broad stripes is heavily outdated. Again, keep the contrast motif on-point for the 21st century and go either/or.


4. Accessorizing:

Because of the busy array of geometric shapes up and down (and across) your body, keep your neckline bare. Instead, spiffy it up with cuffs, bracelets, and rings.


The most important accessory to keep in mind with an ensemble like this is…LES SHOES. Polka dots and stripes are not the most forgiving combo to one’s silhouette, so you want to keep it sleek with the most precious of choices. I relied on my Lucky Brand wedge sandals once again to equalize my horizontally striped bandage skater skirt. The flared cut and divergent panels of black and white require shoes that elongate your legs, and henceforth, your whole body. My sandals’ platform wedges got the job done and more.


The ’70s are back. Take advantage and wear a wide-brimmed hat with any outfit this summer.



1. Honey Punch Contrast Bandage Fit And Flare Cut Skater Skirt

2. Vintage Polka Dot Crop Button-Up Cardigan

3. Lucky Brand Wedge Heels


BOOK: “All the Pretty Horses” by Cormac McCarthy

HANDBAG: Cynthia Rowley

Male readers, hang in there 😉 A non-fashion-related post is coming up next.


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