Polka-don’t wear that!

Actual picture of my closet.

I’m pretty sure I wore polka dots nearly every day during my first week at my work. My coworkers probably thought it was a little odd. And no, I didn’t wear the same outfit every day—if you stepped into my closet, you’d find mostly polka dots and stripes. I have an obsession. It’s a problem. But who doesn’t have a problem?

I wear polka dots because they’re fun and because they can look professional if styled correctly. They come in a variety of colors and sizes. They can be dressed up or down. They’re a classic pattern packed with personality. And have you noticed that not many people wear them?

Wearing a bold pattern can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Below are my top five polka-don’ts to guide you down the path of better style.

1. Don’t over-accessorize. Steer clear of the statement necklace or the wrist full of bracelets. A simple necklace or a pair or small earrings is enough. Pearls are my favorite because they match practically everything and always add a little more class to the outfit.

2. Don’t add too many colors. Two to three colors in your outfit is usually plenty. If you’re ever in doubt, black or white will always match anything. My go-to is a black cardigan to tie the whole shebang together.

But also be wary of too much of the same color. You don’t want to end up looking like a tomato if you choose to solely wear red with red accessories, etc. If you do go for the only-one-color look, at least keep everything the same shade—consistency is key.

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3. Don’t pattern-mix. We all know someone who describes themselves as “the kind of girl who wears stripes and dots together.” Don’t be that person. It never looks good.

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4. Don’t wear a bold shoe. The focus should be on the dots; they shouldn’t have to compete with your footwear. Save the statement shoes for another time and opt for black or nude flats—whichever will complement your outfit best.

5. Don’t worry about what other people think. You do you, okay?

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