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8 timeless polka dot dresses to wear this season & beyond

Channel the royals in these playful polka dot dresses

Polka dot dresses
Hollie Brotherton
Hollie BrothertonLifestyle & Commerce Senior Writer
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The humble polka dot dress has been having something of a moment in recent years, in part thanks to Princess Kate and her many Alessandra Rich pieces. But its history goes way back, with the print first peaking in popularity in the 1920s.

The timeless style is elegant but playful, statement but effortless, sophisticated but fun, which could explain the royal's unwavering penchant for the print. It's also a favourite of Queen Letizia of Spain, who has worn several stunning polka dot dresses while out on engagements, and Holly Willoughby, who has frequently worn a polka dot piece for her TV hosting duties.

If you're looking for a new polka dot dress to wear this winter and beyond, scroll on as we've searched the high street to find the most stylish options to shop this season.

The best polka dot dresses at a glance

The black polka dot dress: M&S Collection Polka Dot Shirred Midi Shirt Dress, £55 / $96.99

The white polka dot dress: Hobbs Lucilla Polka Dot Dress, £189 / $395

The royal-approved polka dot dress: Rixo Izzy Polka Dot Dress, £245 / $325

The polka dot wedding guest dress: Phase Eight Polka Dot Tulle Dress, £159 / $285

The most inclusive polka dot dress: Mango Polka-Dots Shirt Dress, £35.99 / $59.99

Royals & celebrities wearing polka dot dresses

Kate Middleton is all smiles at the Order of the Garter Ceremony© Getty
Kate Middleton wears a white polka dot dress at the Order of the Garter Ceremony in July 2023

Princess Kate has been seen in so many polka dot dresses by Alessandra Rich, the two could collaborate on their own collection. Most recently, she was pictured in this white high-neck midi dress at the Order of the Garter Ceremony in July, and she wore a very similar number at Royal Ascot in 2022.

Princess Kate wears Alessandra Rich at Wimbledon 2022© Neil Mockford
Princess Kate wears Alessandra Rich at Wimbledon 2022

The Princess of Wales is also partial to polka dot dresses in brighter colours, stepping out in this azure blue midi at the 2022 Wimbledon finals. She later recycled the look at a summer party in London to celebrate the NHS.

Queen Letizia of Spain wears polka dots to visit the city of Bailen in Spain© Carlos R. Alvarez
Queen Letizia of Spain wears polka dots to visit the city of Bailen in Spain

Queen Letizia looked stunning wearing an elegant Carolina Herrera white polka dot dress in Bailen in 2019. Falling to a midi length, it featured a coordinating wrap waist belt. 

Like Kate, the Spanish royal has also been spotted in a powder blue polka dot number. She was pictured wearing one to celebrate National Armed Forces Day with her husband King Felipe VI last year.

Holly wears LK Bennett to host This Morning
Holly wears LK Bennett to host This Morning

Holly Willoughby often steps out in a polka dot dress, wearing this one by LK Bennett to present This Morning last year. We've also seen her in a stunning lilac style by Finery and a black and white polka dot M&S piece.

How we chose the best polka dot dresses

  • New-in: You'll find all of the best new season polka dot dresses from HELLO!'s favourite fashion brands in this edit.
  • Variety: We've included a range of casual and more formal pieces, so there's something for every occasion.
  • Price: There are also options to suit a range of budgets, from £40 at River Island to £378 Reformation pieces.

The best polka dot dresses to shop this season

  • M&S Collection Polka Dot Shirred Midi Shirt Dress

    M&S polka dot dress

    M&S Polka Dot Dress

    Sizes available: UK 6-24, Petite-Long

    Colours available: Black/White

    Shipping: £3.99 Standard Delivery or free for orders over £60

    Returns: Free within 35 days

    Marks & Spencer's polka dot shirt dress is cut in a regular fit with a collared neckline and button-through fastening. With its flattering shirred bodice, 3/4 sleeves and breezy midi length skirt, it's the perfect everyday piece.

  • Rixo Izzy Polka Dot Dress

    Rixo Polka Dot Dress

    Rixo Polka Dot Dress

    Sizes available: UK 6-26

    Colours available: White/Black, Navy/White, Pink Paisley

    Shipping: £5 Standard Delivery

    Returns: Free within 14 days

    Princess Kate owns this exact vintage-inspired Rixo shirt dress in the (sadly now sold out) pink Zebra print. With her penchant for white polka dots, we wouldn't be surprised to see her step out in this midi - shop it before it sells out.

  • Phase Eight Polka Dot Tulle Dress

    Phase Eight polka dot dress

    Phase Eight Polka Dot Dress

    Sizes available: UK 6-20

    Colours available: Soft Pink

    Shipping: £2.95 Standard Delivery or free for orders over £150

    Returns: Free within 28 days

    A modern take on the classic polka dot, Phase Eight's pink midi would make a beautiful wedding guest dress. It has a halter-neck and a flowing silhouette with a tie-up waist belt. Responsibly-sourced, it's made from recycled polyester and even comes in kids' sizes so you match with your min-me.

  • River Island Black Polka Dot Midi Dress

    River Island polka dot dress

    River Island Polka Dot Dress

    Sizes available: UK 6-18

    Colours available: Black/White

    Shipping: £4 Standard Delivery or free for orders over £50

    Returns: Free within 28 days

    Looking for a shorter style? River Island's trending mini dress comes in a swishy cut with a flattering front knot detail. We'd pair it with heeled ankle boots.

  • Reformation Rosalynn Polka Dot Dress

    Reformation polka dot dress

    Reformation Polka Dot Dress

    Sizes available: UK 4-16

    Colours available: Black/White, Aquamarine

    Shipping: £6 Standard Delivery or free over £100

    Returns: £6 within 30 days

    For a polka dot dress suitable for a formal occasion, we're obsessed with this midi dress with a statement asymmetric neckline from Reformation. It's made from a lightweight georgette fabric and looks amazing with chunky gold jewellery.

  • Hobbs Lucilla Polka Dot Dress

    Hobbs Polka Dot Dress

    Hobbs Polka Dot Dress

    Sizes available: UK 6-20, Petite & Regular

    Colours available: White/Navy

    Shipping: £2.95 Standard Delivery or free for orders over £150

    Returns: Free within 28 days

    We could definitely see Princess Kate in Hobbs’ white polka dot midi dress. The elegant piece has a shirt-style silhouette with long sleeves and a detachable tie waist to flatter your shape.

  • Mango Polka-Dot Shirt Dress

    Mango polka dot dress

    Mango Polka Dot Dress

    Sizes available: UK 4-26

    Colours available: Black/White

    Shipping: £3.95 Standard Delivery or free for orders over £30

    Returns: Free within 30 days

    This polka dot shirt dress from Mango is made from flowy fabric and falls to a midi length. It features a waist-cinching belt and comes in an inclusive range of sizes. We'd style it with heeled mules of knee-high boots.

  • Zara Polka Dot Dress

    Zara polka dot dress

    Zara Polka Dot Dress

    Sizes available: XS-XL

    Colours available: Black/White

    Shipping: £3.95 Standard Delivery or free for orders over £50

    Returns: £1.95 within 30 days

    Zara's black and white polka dot mini dress has a flattering shirred waist and long sleeves for a piece that we can't wait to wear as soon as spring hits.