Fashion

How To Style Polka Dots Like A Pro

Rae Hershey shares her styling secrets, inspired by everyone’s favorite (and fashionable) cartoon mouse.

Rae Hershey in layers, including a Minnie and Mickey Mouse top.
Rae Hershey / Disney

When it comes to fashionable cartoon mice, nobody’s more influential than Ms. Minnie Mouse herself.

The beloved Disney character and her iconic polka-dot garb have inspired decades of fans to live stylishly. Case in point? The Minnie Style Instagram account — and its more than 300,000 followers.

Rae Hershey is one such fan. She, along with fellow content creators, teamed up with Minnie Style on a range of virtual sessions aimed at inspiring and celebrating various aspects of life — career, body image, friendship, and, of course, great style.

Hershey, who hosted a virtual session on how she plans her own fashionable looks, chatted with Bustle about how to style polka dots, finding confidence through fashion, and more.

Polka dots (and prints) can feel intimidating for a beginner. Where’s a good place to start?

I used to be very hesitant about wearing prints, so I feel the struggle! The best way to ease yourself into a print like polka dots is to add them in with accessories. Whether it’s a pair of tights or a scarf, it’s an easy way to enhance your usual looks without the commitment of buying patterned clothing. Scarves are amazing, because you can style them in so many different ways — wrapped around a headband, tied to a bag, worn around your head, or as a belt.

What are some of your favorite ways to wear polka dots/prints?

Sheer and mesh tops adorned with polka dots are such a cool way to make polka dots feel luxe. It’s almost like flipping the classic polka dot tights upside down on your look and can be really fun to layer with. Right now, I’m also loving very techy/colorful prints on jeans. Jaded London has some of my favorites.

What type of outfit do you feel your best in?

I always start with one piece that I’m trying to highlight as the focus. As a challenge, I try to add at least three layers for added dimension. The fun of creative outfits for me is mixing and matching prints, textures, and colors to create a cool look you don’t expect.

How do you use fashion to help you feel confident on an off day?

Wearing something slightly bolder than I normally would always takes my mind off my troubles. I just got this pair of silver metallic bell-bottom jeans, and I always reach for those when I need a little pick-me-up. There’s nothing like getting compliments from strangers to boost your mood on a rough day.

What style lessons can we learn from Minnie Mouse?

Accessories and layering are everything! I’ve been experimenting so much more with enhancing my outfits with accessories. From her bloomers, to her gloves, to her iconic polka dot bow, Minnie has her layering and accessorizing down pat.

Here, take a page from Hershey’s book — and Minnie’s — by adding some polka-dot inspired items to your wardrobe below.