This Season’s Biggest Fashion Trend at Work: Polka Dots


For the record: I was early on polka dots.

It’s a hot trend. Everyone looks good in polka dots. (Yes, yes, yes. You do. Everybody looks good in polka dots.)

Back in 2000, I worked for Alberto-Culver (now Unilever) and rocked a size 8 navy polka dot dress from Petite Sophisticate like it was nobody’s business.

Then I was hired by Kemper Insurance and added a black polka dot skirt-and-top combo from Ann Taylor to my wardrobe.

When I joined Pfizer, I put on some weight. I moved to a size 10 matte jersey suit from Talbots. It was gray, and I paired that with an orange-and-cream polka dot sleeveless top.

Whatever. It was 2004. It worked.

But something happened in 2005. I went off polka dots. Abruptly.

I was in Manhattan, wearing my matte jersey suit and polka dot top, when a colleague asked me about my husband.

“He’s a great guy. We met at work. He’s twelve years older than me.”

“Wow,” the guy says. “He is a lucky dude.”

“Yeah,” I add. “I am his trophy wife.”

The VP looks at me and says, “I like how confident you are for a woman your size.”

And I never wore that outfit again because I thought my colleague from Pfizer was calling me fat.

So I’m Manhattan, last week, sweating to 100 degree temps and wearing a polka dot shift dress from Madewell. I was feeling pretty good about the world (despite the ongoing drama in Syria and Egypt) and it suddenly hit me out of nowhere:

The guy was calling me short.


Duh. I am 5’0″ and I have a crazy brain.

But I am not the only one around here with a broken brain. You might be just like me. When someone says something innocuous, you might take offense too quickly.

And I know firsthand that your brain is holding you back.

So this season’s biggest fashion trend is two-fold: Wear polka dots and get over your body issues. You could also go BIG and assume good intent. And remember that you look fabulous in everything you wear because you are on trend and you have exceptional taste in clothes.

Please don’t be a moron like me and take eight years to figure this out.

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