Polka dot

Polka dot

Polka dot is a pattern consisting of dots. Polka dot patterns are quite variable: they range from a series of dots that are equally spaced and sized to a random arrangement of multicoloured dots of different sizes. Polka dots are most commonly seen on children's clothing, toys, and furniture, but they appear in a wide array of contexts. The pattern rarely appears in formal contexts, however, and is generally confined to more playful attire such as bathing suits. Occasionally white on black regularly spaced polka dots appear on more formal clothing.

While polka dots are ancient, they first became common on clothing in the late nineteenth century in Britain. At the same time polka music was extremely popular and the name was also applied to the pattern, despite no real connection between them.


Musician Randy Rhoads used a Flying V guitar with polka dots. Professional wrestler Dusty Rhodes was given a black outfit covered in yellow polka dots during his time in the WWF. This seemed strange at the time but went on to become a successful and memorable gimmick. Artist Yayoi Kusama uses polka dots throughout much of her work. Blues guitarist Buddy Guy regularly plays a signature Fender Stratocaster painted in black with cream polka dots. Some people associate polka dots with Venezuelan fashion designer Carolina Herrera, who used polka dots on most of her dresses during the late 80s and early 90s, as well as on the boxes of perfume Carolina Herrera, Herrera For Men, Aquaflore and Flore.

There were many other “polka” items, some of which include “polka-hats” and “polka-jackets.” Most disappeared with the fad of the actual polka dance. Only the polka dot fabric pattern remained popular, and the name has been left intact over the years.

In 2006, polka dot skirts, dresses, scarves and tops became a fad in the United Kingdom. The polka dot skirts were usually pencil skirts. This started another fashion period, after which silk replaced the polka dot. The Pipettes were instrumental in bringing about this fashion trend.


* Peacock, John (2007). "Fashion since 1900: the complete sourcebook". Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0500513457
* Linda Welters and Patricia A. Cunningham (eds.) (2005). "Twentieth-century American fashion". Berg. ISBN 1-84520-072-1

See also

*Polka Dot Door
*Polka Dot Plant
*Polka dot jersey
*Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • polka dot — n one of a number of round spots that form a pattern, especially on cloth used for clothing ▪ a white scarf with red polka dots >polka dot adj ▪ a polka dot dress …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • polka dot — polka ,dot noun count a round spot printed as part of a pattern on cloth or paper: a blue skirt with white polka dots ╾ polka ,dot adjective: a polka dot shirt …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • polka dot — 1884, from POLKA (Cf. polka) + DOT (Cf. dot). Named for the dance, for no reason except its popularity, which led to many contemporary products and fashions taking the name …   Etymology dictionary

  • polka dot — ☆ polka dot [pō′kə, pōl′kə ] n. [< POLKA: from the popularity of the dance in the late 19th c., term applied to various garments, materials, etc.] 1. one of the small round dots regularly spaced to form a pattern on cloth 2. a pattern or cloth …   English World dictionary

  • polka dot — polka dotted, polka dot, adj. /poh keuh/, Textiles. 1. a dot or round spot (printed, woven, or embroidered) repeated to form a pattern on a textile fabric. 2. a pattern of or a fabric with such dots. [1880 85, Amer.] * * * …   Universalium

  • polka dot — ► NOUN ▪ each of a number of round dots repeated to form a regular pattern …   English terms dictionary

  • polka dot — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms polka dot : singular polka dot plural polka dots a round spot printed as part of a pattern on cloth or paper a blue skirt with white polka dots Derived word: polka dot adjective a polka dot shirt …   English dictionary

  • polka dot — noun design consisting of a pattern of regularly spaced circular spots • Hypernyms: ↑design, ↑pattern, ↑figure * * * ˈpolka dot [polka dot polka dots] noun …   Useful english dictionary

  • polka dot — noun (C) one of a number of dots (spots) that form a pattern, especially on material for clothing: a white scarf with red polka dots polka dot adjective: a polka dot dress …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • polka dot — noun Date: 1857 a dot in a pattern of regularly distributed dots in textile design • polka dot or polka dotted adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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