Trend Watch Thrifting: Spotted and Dotted

Fashion’s gonna getcha – and when it does, you’ll be seeing spots! GoodwillNyNj’s resident thrift expert Emme Bonilla is here to tell you why – and show you how the dots at your local Goodwill can rock your wardrobe world. This week’s Trend Watch Thrifting pick: polka dots!

Spotted on the runway! (L to R) Vena Cava, Marc Jacobs, and Lanvin (Photos by

Back in February, Fashion Week designers trotted out their Fall collections for the world to see. Now time’s finally caught up to style and fashion journalists are proclaiming the top trends for the fall. Want to be one sartorial step ahead? Start spotting your Fall threads now at your local Goodwill. What look for next time you shop? Polka dots!

Marc Jacobs dared to do head to toe spots and made it look super chic. Stella McCartney and Catherine Malandrino played with paillettes (round flat sequins) for edgy evening looks. The classic white spots on black dominated the runway but splashes of color also popped up.

Two polka dot tops. On the left is a moodier top that can be paired with either jeans or a pant suit. On the right, oversized dots are combined with another huge Fall trend, sheer fabrics!

Keep In Mind

  • Beware the avant-garde – just like I mentioned in the previous Trend Watch Thrifting article, if you stick to classic shapes, even with trend pieces, you’ll have a wardrobe full of clothing you’ll want to wear for years to come.
  • Any dot’s a good dot – The print can come in all shapes and sizes. Oversized spots make a more dramatic statement while mini dots create a subtle patten that is more refined.
A great jacket that is spot on for the office. Right, a flirty strapless mini that has a black-on-black polka dot detail.


  • Feel the fabric – An interesting way this trend came up was through embroidery. Dots were stitched on the fabric, using the same color or in the same tonal family. Again, another subtle yet luxe way to wear dots.
  • Classique ou colour? – Black and white will always be in vogue, but don’t forget to consider color when hunting down your polka dots!
Colorful circles abound in Goodwill!

Wearing the Trend

  • Polka on polka – Mix dots with… more dots. Either vary the size of the dots in each piece or contrast the color… it’s a fun and quirky look!
  • Mix patterns – Polka dots also work great with stripes and plaid… as long as you keep it in the same color family, you can pull it off.
  • Too shy to go all out? Make one piece the focal spot and keep the rest of the outfit simple. Some polka dotted pants will look pulled-together with a classic white shirt and patent leather flats.
  • Try the Boardroom Polka! If you need to adhere to a stricter dress code, take a nod from the Marc Jacobs collection and don a pair of polka dot pantyhose for a demurely sexy look.
Runway inspiration! This Catherine Malandrino look can be recreated for (way, way) less with pieces found in Goodwill, like this great tunic with metallic circle details!

Are you a fan of polka patterns? What spotty dots do you keep in your wardrobe? Share your love with us by commenting below, following us on Twitter or posting on our Facebook Page.


4 thoughts on “Trend Watch Thrifting: Spotted and Dotted

    1. Thanks for the comment, Jena! We’re kinda thrilled about the dots’ return, too. Thanks for posting your blog list – your site looks great! We’d love it if you’d post a link to it on our FB page the next time you tackle a project based on common thrift finds: Those lacy shorts you just created are pretty fantastic. Well done!


    1. Thanks for the comment, Eva! We’re looking at your blog now and it’s great – $2.50 for that cocktail dress? WOW. Well done, lady. If it’s alright with you, we’re going to feature your blog and Jena’s blog (the commenter below), since they’ve both kind of knocked our socks off. You fans impress us every single day!


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