How to wear polka dot jeans (without looking like a 6 year old)

Top: Target (available in store) | Jeans: Target | Flats: Forever 21 | Bag: Michael Michael Kors (last seen here) | Bracelets: Loft

I’m going to let you in on a little secret – I LOVE edgy fashion trends, but when it comes down to it I almost always shy away from giving them a try. Take leather for example: I couldn’t stop pinning outfits with leather to my pin boards, and I even wrote a post all about leather, but I never invested in any leather pieces for myself. Why? Because I was clueless as to how to wear it and make it fit into my wardrobe. I felt the exact same way about polka dot denim, until I spotted these at my local Target.


They didn’t originally catch my eye because of their perfection; I was initially intrigued by them because I thought they belonged in the little girls section. The denim was a lighter wash, and the polka dots just reminded me of something I would have worn when I was six. But, I had been swooning over polka dot denim for months (and obsessively pinning polka dot things) so I decided to give them a try. I headed into the fitting room and quickly learned the first rule of polka dot denim: don’t knock it til you try it. Although I was less than impressed with these pants on the hanger, they looked AMAZING on. So, I urge you not to judge your polka dot denim by the hanger alone, try it on instead…you might be surprised!


As soon as I slipped the jeans on, I learned the second rule of polka dot denim: avoid wearing printed denim with a printed top. But Stephanie, print mixing is HOT right now! I know – but honestly, I haven’t figured print mixing out yet so if you’re new to this I recommend sticking with solid tops. When trying these pants on, I was wearing a striped top, and it was way too much with the printed denim. As soon as I tried on this adorable green blouse, my outfit felt much more polished.


Lastly, thanks to my new neon cap toe flats (first spotted on Yi-chia at Always Maylee), I discovered the third and final rule of polka dot denim: if you want to make a statement, do so with jewelry or fun shoes. Luckily, I was sporting my new neon cap toe flats when I tried these jeans on and they were the perfect pop of color to complete my outfit. Jewelry and fun shoes are the perfect way to pull your outfit together.


So, let’s do a quick recap:

  1. Don’t judge polka dot denim based on its hanger appearance alone. Try it on! You’ll probably fall in love.
  2. Don’t pair polka dot denim with a printed top (unless, unlike me, you are super at print mixing).
  3. Use accessories to make a statement. Add a fun pop of color with your shoes or jewelry to give your outfit a little something extra.

What are your outfit-making rules when it comes to polka dot and printed denim?

PS- John deserves a huge shout out for these pics, and all the outfit post photos on my blog for that matter. John, if you’re reading, I love you! Thanks for putting up with me and always taking photos for me, you’re the best. 🙂

46 thoughts on “How to wear polka dot jeans (without looking like a 6 year old)

  1. Alyssa

    These are so adorable…I’m glad you found to perfect pair to get you to take the plunge, because they look adorable on you! And John is an outfit photo pro–kudos!

  2. Michelle

    Steph, you look great! I tried on some polka dot denim yesterday at Kohl’s and wish I would have bought them after seeing how cute yours turned out! 🙂 I do the same thing with fashion trends, I love them, want them, but hesitate to buy them because I don’t know how it’d “work” in my wardrobe.

    Great look! 🙂

    xx Michelle

    Fierce & Fashionable

    1. Stephanie Post author

      Looks like you need to go back and get them!! I’m glad I got these, it’s good to push yourself a little out of your comfort zone when it comes to fashion. I’m trying to be a little more daring!

  3. AJ

    I love how you paired this look! The green is so pretty and the pink cap toe shoes are perfect with the polka dots. However, I slightly disagree with your #2 rule. I think if you played around with it, you might find a double print combo that you like.


    1. Stephanie Post author

      Thanks girl! I am in love with that green color, hoping to add more of it to my wardrobe. I agree, I’m sure there’s a print out there that would work, but I guess I still feel a little clueless about print mixing!

  4. Maya

    I love this look on you Stephanie! The neons, the green and dots – such a killer combination. Also, major props to John on these photos – your skills are rubbing off on him 🙂
    Have a great weekend!

    1. Stephanie Post author

      You are so sweet Maya, thank you! I’m loving kelly green right now, I actually just ordered a pair of shorts from Loft in the same color as that top. And isn’t he doing a good job? He claims he doesn’t know what he’s doing, but I see him getting artsy with angles and even telling me how to pose sometimes! He secretly loves it…

    1. Stephanie Post author

      I felt the same way. After I had tried them on I showed them to John on the hanger and he hated them. I tried them on again to show him and he ended up loving them! I’m super glad I tried them on because they’re becoming my new favorite jeans.

  5. Inez

    I’ve been wanting a pair of polka dot pants for the longest time. Though I’d like a white pair with obvious black dot yours is perfect for shy first timers and I love your neon cap toes with it. It’s the perfect choice of shoes for the look.

  6. Megan {a ray of sun}

    I know I told you via Instagram but this outfit is awesome!!! I love how you rock the polka dot jeans while making it look age appropriate! I still have yet to run by Target but it’s definitely on my to-do list!

    1. Stephanie Post author

      Thank you so much! I was definitely worried about looking super young wearing these, but I think a collared shirt adds just the right amount of polish and makes the look feel more grown up.

    1. Stephanie Post author

      Jessica, thanks so much for the sweet comments! I love that shirt, I wish I would have grabbed it in a few other colors when I bought it. It’s so versatile and sooo comfy!

    1. Stephanie Post author

      I thought it would be harder to outfit the pants without feeling overdone, but I was so happy with this outfit. Thanks so much! The flats are awesome and I definitely recommend getting yourself a pair. They’re amazing quality for shoes from F21, and such a great price!


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