Polka Dots: The New Chevron

sources left to right:  washing machine | elle fanning | nails | shoes | tape | rainbow pillow
 | satchel | peach curtains | plate | genifer goodman sohr | vintage photo

My first grade teacher, Miss DeMoulpied, was beautiful. Stunning I would say. She had big and bouncy Miss America hair with a waxy rhubarb smile that enveloped half of her face. Each morning, her classroom commenced with her at the piano while leading the group in a patriotic song, displaying the sort of enthusiastic showmanship one might expect from a professional cheerleader, or worse, a giant faux-fur mascot. With her elbows wide and flailing, we followed her lead and marched in place at our desks.

You’re a grand ol’ flag! You’re a high flying flag! And forever in peace may you wave!

Miss DeMoulpied was also short tempered, insecure, overly-flirtatious with our fathers, and far too-fond of Jessica McClintock perfume. I know that was her scent because one time she took it out of her purse and spritzed it on Matthew Hendrick’s tongue when he refused to quit eating his own boogers.

They are mine! You can’t have them! I’LL EAT THEM IF I WANT TO!


I loved her more than words can say.

Of all her charming idiosyncrasies, most notable was Ms. DuCharm’s fondness for polka dots. It was her signature. Not a day passed when she did not sport a polka dot sweater, pant set or coffee mug. Even her pencils had polka dots. Decades later, every time I see a polka dotted something-er-other, I sniff the object in hopes it will carry the unmistakable, powdery aristocracy of Jessica McClintock Eau de Parfum.

I’m still searching.   

Polka dots have never gone out of fashion, but it appears they are coming into fashion in a big way. Patterns never die but they certainly come in cresting waves of popularity: a few years ago it was ikat, then it was ombre, then it was chevron, now I think it might be polka dots. Or at least I hope so.

There are different sorts of polka dots though. Not just any sort of polka dot will do. My favorite dots are small white polka dots on a dark background, or, what I call wonky dots–evenly spaced dots that appear to be slightly scattered off the grid. They look less perfect. A little nervous. Maybe even, dare I say, unstable. But that’s just me, I always like the crazy one. What’s your favorite sort of polka dot?


  1. says

    I’ve been known to add polka dots to things that shouldn’t have them. I wear stripes or polkies every single day. I don’t like huge ones so much, but hey, maybe that requires a bit more exploration . . .

  2. Michelle Harrison says

    I sure love me some dots! As a child, I always asked for sprinkles on ice cream–not because they tasted good but because they looked like POLKA DOTS!

  3. says

    I’d say I’m more of a light dots on a dark background kinda girl. I have a girlfriend that’s obsessed with them as well.

  4. Michelle L. says

    I hope polkadots ARE the new chevron – never liked chevrons, always loved teh dots!!!

  5. Kara DeCarlo says

    Polka dots are swell.
    And I like white dots on any color fabric.
    The best thing about polka dots? You can DIY them onto ANYTHING.

  6. PeachesFreund says

    This is so true!

  7. PeachesFreund says

    I may need to get some sprinkles on the way home so I can say that I am a literally a ‘trend consumer’ –thanks!

  8. P.R. says

    Duh! Black and white polka dots are my fav. ~ all shapes and sizes. They make everything…better!!

  9. PeachesFreund says

    OMG I saw the red dress but I had no idea it was polka dotted. Geez, go Natalie! And thanks for noticing about me not including all the expensive stuff –there is a place for luxury, but there is so much great, inexpensive stuff out there, why not celebrate it? Good design is good design. Period.


  10. sara schwenneker says

    This post completely threw me back into my first grade classroom, where Mrs. Sivas played the piano and taught us how to sing Grand Ol’ Flag! She was my only teacher who fiddled around with music and I loved her so much.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane 🙂

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