Emma Robert sports a blue-dotted skirt at a store opening in Los Angeles.

How to Style a Navy Polka Dot Skirt

by Whitney DeGroat

A navy polka dot skirt seems inherently sweet and retro, but it's a surprisingly versatile piece that can go in pretty much any direction you want to take it. Play with color, print and shape when picking a top and accessories, and you may just surprise yourself with the versatility of such a piece.

1. Types of Tops

Look at the shape of your skirt to determine what type of top to wear. An A-line skirt will look lovely with a wrap shirt; the shirt will cinch your waist while the skirt flows gently from the body, creating an hourglass frame. If your skirt is of a stiffer shape, like a pencil skirt, try a loose, blousy shirt on top -- tucked in, of course -- for balance. A tulip or bubble skirt will benefit from a sleek, fitted top, like a button-down or fitted tee.

2. Play With Patterns

Observe the print of your skirt. Are the polka dots large or small? If large, stick to a solid top to avoid overwhelming your frame with monster-sized prints. If the dots are small, feel free to pick a printed top. The type of print on your top doesn't really matter, but make sure the print is small and in the same color family to create a smooth blend between your top and skirt.

3. Color Clues

Navy is sometimes treated as a neutral when it comes to getting dressed, simply because it is so easy to wear. Orange complements blue on the color wheel; a deep orange top, as opposed to a bright one, will complement rather than overwhelm. Navy blue also works well with bold reds (from cherry to maroon), yellows (try mustard or golden shades) and, of course, traditional neutrals such as black, white and shades of brown or gray.

4. Great Lengths

Check out the length of your skirt; when you're confused about how to style a skirt, this simple detail can help point the way. For a long skirt, try platform heels or wedges, as they'll give you the drama or height necessary to prevent a long skirt from turning dowdy. If your skirt hovers at or around the knee, wear pumps; whether high, low or in-between, they'll give your calves a boost. A miniskirt works well with flats; high hems with flat shoes will bring balance to your outfit.

5. Corresponding Carryalls

After you've chosen your top and shoes, it's time to pick a bag. If you've chosen a patterned top to go with your skirt, grab a solid bag. Introducing another pattern at this point will overwhelm your outfit. Choose a small-to-medium-sized bag with a structured shape - for instance, a satchel or clutch. After all, you're trying to accessorize your skirt, and a more voluminous bag might steal its shine.

About the Author

Whitney DeGroat began her writing career in 2007 at "The Springfield Paper." She has also written for newspapers such as the "Springfield News-Sun" and "Dayton Daily News" and served as a fashion columnist for "The Torch." DeGroat received a Bachelor of Arts in English at Wittenberg University.

Photo Credits

  • Alexandra Wyman/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images