Wardrobe Essential

The Polka Dot Shirt

If you're looking for a shirt pattern that's a step up from striped but a few steps below a Hawaiian shirt, then try polka dots. Not convinced? take a look at Rufus Wainwright. 

While it's possible to look good in a Hawaiian shirt, we don't blame you if you'd rather avoid it. Years of negative reinforcement (and overweight tourists) can trick the brain into a bizarre state of style dysmorphia. And you probably wear plain and striped shirts every work day, so wanting something different is understandable.

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As Rufus shows, the polka dot shirt is the ideal halfway house. From a distance it looks like a plain shirt, so there's no chance of being mistaken for Tad from Arizona who thinks his Hawaiian shirt hides his expanding waistline. And the fact that it isn't actually a plain shirt means you won't feel like you're going to work when you've got it on.

The key things to look out for is to stick to a dark shirt colour with light polka dots. If you wear it the other way around you'll look like a chickenpox sufferer, which is never desirable. A good option is this shirt by Barbour (£80, ASOS) which avoids the pox look and looks just as good on its own as it would under a jumper.

 

Paul Smith polka dot shirt (£120, Julesb)

Oliver Spencer polka dot shirt (£120, mr-porter)