Ok well 1st…..I had no clue that this one has a strong history. I mean it is just a print!
For all I knew that this was a print popularized by Princess Diana around the 1980’s. I have a thing for the print since childhood because of the much loved Minnie Mouse. I still remember as a kid how I used to be in awe of her fashionable appearance; and totally not concerned about the fact that she’s a mouse!
The print originated in the Czechs and the natives usually called a little girl or a young woman as polka. Cute!
Anyway and then it says how the medieval Europe did not look at polka dot as something elegant or wear-able. In some cultures, dots were associated with male virility and magick, especially in the Asian cultures. While that is known, Europeans avoided polka prints to be a part of anything consumer-ish as it reminded of all the list of diseases that struck the European communities pretty hard like leprosy, small pox, bubonic plague, measles, etc. So basically, it was not a cheerful or elegant pattern always.
While its association with diseases made it not unacceptable by the royalties, early 1900s saw a big change. Right around the time when people were financially not able to predict the upcoming Great Depression, in 1926, Miss America winner, Norma Smallwood made news by going against the notions and flaunted a polka dot swimsuit in one of the rounds. It was ground breaking!
To the global surprise, the Royal Family thought “why not we get a little rebellious too?”
And well, started from handkerchief, to table cloths, to upholstery, when finally Princess Diana made it officially enter their Royal Closet. This was not before the 1980s I believe! (I feel like the Royal Family Drama entered like the finale with Diana coming into the scene. Right after that things were pretty much out in the open. Anyway this is just my gossip auntie speaking in my head!)
If you Google now, you would see how the daughters-in-law kinda idolize mama-in-law’s fashion and style. They are frequently seen wearing polka dot.
It has now become a household and quite an acceptable pattern over time and it oozes royalty too as you now know the apparent reason behind our conditioning of the fact that polka is elegant!
So here I am trying to be all fashionable with a naturally blow dried hair on a sunny and breezy morning, wearing a few months old green with white polka dot full sleeve satin top before I left for work; to evaluate assignments! Work wear enough?