Vintage Polka Dots

Polka dots is an extremely stylish vintage pattern, but stylish in it’s own way!

  • quite &mdash polka shoes for example;
  • sexy &mdash polka dress;
  • smart &mdash polka tie;
  • courageous &mdash polka shirt;
  • uber-stylish &mdash polka scarf.

Polca dots blouse on Red


This famous print first became common for clothing in the late nineteenth century in Britain. But the famous dress with those round spots came from the 1950s.

Polka Dance or Dot?

Have you ever thought where this name came from? Well, it is believed that it came from the Polish polka dance. Dots were a big hit and a common pattern on clothing in mid to late 19th century, at the same time polka music and the dance were invented. The name was chosen because of the dance's popularity, which led to many contemporary products and fashions taking the name.This name first appeared in 1873 in Godey's magazine.

Traditionally, those pretty dots were used in the clothing of flamenco dancers and performers. Artist, Yayoi Kusama, uses the same print throughout much of her work. Some people associate polka dots with Venezuelan fashion designer, Carolina Herrera, who used this stylish print 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.

Polka Dots Snow White

Famous Polka's

In the Tour de France, the leader in the mountains competition wears a distinctive polka dot jersey (French: maillot à pois rouge). Although the King of the Mountains was first recognised in the 1933 Tour de France, the distinctive jersey was not introduced until 1975.

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 printed fabric pattern remained popular, and the name has been left intact over the years.

Polka Dots Lingerie

This famous print also appears in popular music. "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini", a novelty song about a shy girl in a very revealing bathing suit who stays immersed in the ocean water to hide from view. It was written by Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss and first released in June 1960 by Brian Hyland.

Before that however, "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" was a popular song with music by Jimmy Van Heusen and lyrics by Johnny Burke, published in 1940. It was Frank Sinatra's first hit recorded with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. The song is one of the top 100 most-frequently recorded jazz standards with arrangements by Gil Evans and others and notable recordings by Lester Young, Sarah Vaughn and many others.

In 50s and 60s, dots were in favour.  

  • Vintage I Love Lucy type polka dot dresses.
  • One of the most popular and expensive forms of vintage polka dots are Bakelite jewelry.
Polka Dots London Elephant
Polka collectibies

Some of the most coveted and popular polka items are Bakelite bangles. These can vary in price up to $400+. There are 4 dot, 6 dot and 8 dot bracelets. Once in a while you get a 5 dot one.

Compared to the number of other bangles, there are not as many dots as plain ones. I guess this is one of the reasons why people like them. Good domed ones are the ones you want to collect. “They seem to be worth more than the bangles that are flat,” says Susannah of her Ebay bangles. This makes them a design favorite of many probably because fewer were made and the pattern is so loved. 


Check our friend's blog Sammydvintage.com for Ways to Wear 60s Vintage Polka Dots

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