8 Ways to Wear a Polka Dot Shirt

by - April 14, 2020

When I worked in television news, every piece of clothing I bought served a purpose. I had a lot of work-only clothes and weekend clothes. The two categories very rarely mixed together. Now that I work from home and follow my own dress code, my closet has drastically changed. I still have some of those work-only clothing items, but most of my wardrobe has become more versatile. That's because before I buy any piece of clothing it has to pass the three outfit test. If I can't wear it at least three different ways, I don't buy.

That said, I do tend to gravitate to the same outfits over and over again, so I decided to start challenging myself to 'shop my closet' so to speak and put together multiple outfits using one central piece. One of my readers requested that I show how to dress a printed shirt up and down. So we'll be working with this button down, jersey knit, white and black polka dot shirt. I had a lot of fun coming up with eight different outfits that can be worn to a multitude of places or events.

Polka Dot Shirt + Ripped Jeans + Black Flats

Let's start with just a basic outfit. The distressed, raw-hem jeans add a little bit of interest, while the black flats keep it grounded. There's not fun pop of color or anything else to take away from the shirt.

Let's take a moment to talk about the shirt itself. It feels like a t-shirt so it's insanely comfortable. The fit is on the looser side so it can be worn either tucked in or out. The sleeves are also nice and loose so no worries about restricted arm movement.

Polka Dot Shirt + Utility Vest + Ripped Jeans + Neutral Wedges

What I like about this outfit is how two simple changes completely change up the look of this shirt. The cargo vest along with the ripped jeans add a relaxed, casual vibe that's perfect for a daytime outing or family BBQ. The neutral wedges (they're actually a really light pink) help tie everything together without distracting from the top half of the outfit.

Polka Dot Shirt + Printed Jacket + Ripped Jeans + Neutral Wedges

This is a more daring version of the previous outfit. I love how the floral print of the bomber jacket plays with the polka dots for a fun, flirty vibe. Once again, I went with neutral wedges to keep the focus up top. I would wear this out shopping or to lunch with girlfriends.

Polka Dot Shirt + Black Skirt + Neutral Wedges

Let's talk about skirts, shall we? This shirt is easily paired with a variety of skirts. The way to dress it up or down via skirt is all in the skirt details. It's hard to tell in the picture, but this skirt has cargo pockets and a ruffled bottom. The material is thicker so it's almost like wearing denim. All of those details lend a casual vibe. And once again, I kept my shoes neutral because I wanted to play up the details of the skirt. I would wear this outfit for any of the activities named in the previous two outfits.

Polka Dot Shirt + Leather Skirt + Floral Heels

How fun is this outfit? It might be my favorite of the bunch, although I have no idea when I would actually wear it. The leather skirt and fun heels make this a perfect girls night out or date night outfit. Instead of tucking the shirt in, I decided to undo the bottom two buttons and tie it up to give the outfit a more playful vibe. I also enjoy the understated print mixing going on here.

Polka Dot Shirt + A-Line Black Skirt + Colored Flats

This is what I refer to (in my mind) as an ambiguous outfit. It's one of those classic combinations that can be worn to almost any occasion, be it work, church, or family dinner. Any color flats will work in this situation so pick the color that best shows off your personality!

Polka Dot Shirt + Blazer + Trousers + Heels

There are a lot of ways this combo could work, but I really just love pairing black, white, and red together. I would wear this to work or an interview. The blazer adds an authoritative touch while the polka dots still let your personality shine through. Pick any colored trousers, even black, and you're all set.

Polka Dot Shirt + Colored Pants + Colorful Wedges

I also wanted to put together something a little more business casual. So I lost the blazer, swapped out the trousers for twill pants (mine are a dark teal), and traded the traditional heels for colorful wedges. I really enjoy the flow of this outfit. The bright yellow of the wedges kind of act like an exclamation point. In addition to a casual workplace, I would wear this outfit on any given day.

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