Fun Fashion Fact Friday: The History of the Polka Dot

The Polka Dot is a fun and iconic pattern with a rich fashion history. This classic pattern first became popular when Miss America was photographed in a polka dot swimsuit in 1926.

Miss America in a polka dot bathing suit in 1926

Miss America in a polka dot bathing suit in 1926

Soon after, Disney’s Minnie Mouse was introduced wearing a red polka dot dress and bow. The pattern did not receive high fashion acclaim until Christian Dior incorporated polka dots in “New Look” collection in the late 1940s. Dior told Vogue that he used this lady-like print, “to make women extravagantly, romantically, eyelash-battingly female again”, referring to the shifting gender roles after World War II.

At this time, polka dots became the go-to pattern for celebrities like Lucille Ball and Marilyn Monroe. Brian Hyland’s hit song “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” brought polka dots back into the fashion limelight in the 1960s.

The polka dot originated in Europe in the mid 19th century with the popular dance called the polka. Polka enthusiasts were so excited with the dance craze that they developed the polka jacket, the polka hat, and eventually, the polka dot. The word “polka” means “little woman or girl” in Czech, making the pattern intrinsically feminine.

Julia Roberts in a polka dot dress in the movie "Pretty Woman"

Julia Roberts in a polka dot dress in the movie “Pretty Woman”

Today, the polka dot has a nostalgic feel and is often associated with vintage. Polka Dots are an easy print to incorporate in a modern outfit. The timeless print can be treated like a neutral, so don’t be afraid to pair it with other textures or patterns!

Want more polka in your closet? Be sure to check out Back In Style’s collection of polka dot attire for fun and unique vintage finds!

5 Ways to Wear Summer Scarves

Scarves are a great way to add a personal touch to any outfit. This accessory is perfect for all seasons. There are so many different ways to style scarves, making them summer’s chicest accessory! Here’s a quick guide for rocking your favorite scarves:

Stylish Scarves

Add a pop of color.

Refresh your standard denim outfit with a scarf as a pop of color. Scarves can add an unexpected and exciting element to an outfit. They’re an easy way to play with color or different patterns that might intimidate you otherwise. One tiny piece of fabric can have a big impact if styled correctly.

Wear as a head scarf.


The Wonder Forest’s Guide to Styling Head Scarves

If you’re in a boho mood, wear your scarf as a head scarf. This is a perfect look for the beach or relaxed summer events, where you want to stand out but still stay cool in the hot weather. Need inspiration for styling head scarves? Check out this great tutorial, “How to Tie a Head Scarf for Summer” from

Channel your inner sailor.

Wear your scarf around your neck for a nautical look. Pick a scarf with red, white or blue in the pattern for the full effect! Wearing your scarf this way also has a very vintage vibe, a favorite of the Vintage Fashionistas!

Baar & Beards Blue and Coral Retro Silk Scarf at

Baar & Beards Blue and Coral Retro Silk Scarf at

Replace your jacket on a night out.

Summer outfits don’t typically revolve around staying warm, but on your nights out, you may want to add a light layer. Instead of wearing a jacket or sweater, use a scarf! Drape your scarf around your shoulders for an elegant and warm outfit.

Tie around handle of bag.

For a tres chic look, tie your scarf around the handle of your bag for a French feel. This is a great way to use your light silk scarves from summer into fall when it gets a bit chillier.

How do you wear your favorite scarves? There are so many different ways to wear an outfit with a scarf. The way you choose to style your scarf sets your personal style apart from the rest.

Check out to add even more beautiful and chic scarves to your summer wardrobe!

Style Icon: Jackie O

Happy Birthday Jackie O!

Jackie Kennedy Pillbox Hat

Today marks the 84th birthday of this famous First Lady! But Jackie Kennedy was more than just a First Lady, she was a fashion icon who revolutionized women’s fashion in the 1950′s and 1960s. She was inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1965 and continues to inspire women’s fashion today!

She is known worldwide for her iconic look of clean suits, sleeveless A-line dresses, low-heel pumps, and pillbox hats. The “Jackie” look has been copied by more women than any other First Lady. Here’s how you can get the “Jackie” look:

tumblr_n5s9b5f2N11rd11tco1_500Invest in a good pair of sunglasses.

This style icon was known for her iconic sunglasses. They were the finishing touch to any outfit. When searching for your own pair of sunglasses, be sure to find the best style for your face shape.

 Less is more.

There’s a reason why Jackie O is a symbol of style and grace. She kept her outfits simple and elegant. Stick to timeless pieces for a classically chic look. For example, wear simple jewelry, like pearls, for instant elegance. You don’t need to keep up with trends to be stylish.

Invest in a quality jacket.

This First Lady loved a good jacket! Look for pieces that will last a long time and can be worn in various ways. Most importantly, choose a jacket that is figure-flattering! Look for the right cut for your body type before purchasing this investment piece.

Don’t be afraid of Black and White.

An iconic Jackie O look involved pairing black and white in an outfit. She preferred black on top and white on bottom. Look for white pants or a white A-line skirt to pair with a simple black top.

orig-15232991Find the right fit.

Make sure that your clothes fit correctly, neither too big or too small. There’s no point in investing in wardrobe pieces that don’t fit correctly for your body type. Befriend your tailor to make sure that you’re always looking elegant and chic.

Jackie Kennedy will be remembered as more than just a stylish First Lady, but a fashion icon who continues to influence women today!

Wear Now, Wear Later: Summer to Fall

Its never too early to start thinking about your fall wardrobe. But, that doesn’t mean that you need to ditch your favorite summer dresses! Sometimes, all you need is a jacket and a pair of boots for your perfect fall outfit. Continue reading for “Wear Now, Wear Later” outfit inspiration!

Outfit #1

Wear Now Wear Later

This Multi Colored Striped Cotton Seersucker Sundress has summer written all over it. The 1950s vibe of the dress and its preppy color scheme make it a great option for any casual summer occasion. For jewelry, these thin gold hoop earrings complement the colors of the dress well with their pale green striped effect. Pair the dress with gold sandals and a natural woven basket purse to complete your summer outfit.

To transition this dress into fall, switch the sandals for ballet flats and add a denim jacket for warmth. Complete the outfit with this Andrew Gellar 1960s handbag. The olive green color of the handbag will tie the outfit together for its fall transition.

Outfit #2

Wear Now Wear Later #2

Transition this bright Needle & Thread Abstract Jersey Dress easily between summer and fall with a change of accessories! A cool summer look includes woven sandals and a big bohemian purse. The comfortable and earthy feel of the sandals balances out the bright geometric pattern of the jersey dress. Simple bracelets, like these three gold bangles, complete this hippie chic look.

For colder weather, add a leather jacket, like this Bottega Veneta Leather Jacket. The woven pattern and warm brown color make it a unique find! Opt for a pair of high brown boots to take the dress into fall, such as this retro 1970s pair. To break up the brown in the boots and jacket, pick a bright purse in a color found in the dress.

Outfit #3

Wear Now Wear Later #3

The final outfit centers on this vintage 1980s khaki shirt dress. The open lace back of the dress adds a funky, unexpected element. For a summer look, don’t shy away from bright accessories. The 1960s Ingber Orange Linen and Wood Retro Bermuda Handbag adds a mod pop of color. Add these Stuart Weitzman Camel Thatch Flats for a textured dimension to the outfit. Lastly, top of the outfit with a necklace, like this Burnt Orange & Beige Long String of Beads from the 1970s.

For a fall look, try adding a scarf, like this 1970s Lavender Paisley Pattern Scarf. A scarf will add an extra layer for chillier months while incorporating color into the outfit. Switch out flats for a pair of low booties, like this Miu Miu pair. The low booties add a distinctively fall feel to the outfit and incorporate an edgy element to the dress. Complete the outfit with a metallic purse, like this minimalist chic Sergio Rossi bag.

The transition between summer and fall is not difficult. All you need are some different accessories to take your favorite summer dresses into fall!

Fashion Favorite: The Little White Dress

While the Little Black Dress will always be a fashion favorite, refresh your wardrobe with the perfect summer outfit- the Little White Dress! The LWD is sure to be an instant classic. With so many variations, there is a dress for every woman!

The beauty of the LWD is that it can be dressed up or down with the right shoes and accessories. Before you purchase your own LWD, make sure you go with a classic cut, so you aren’t limited on when you can wear it in the future.

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For a summer party, try styling your LWD with a statement necklace. You will literally have a blank palette to work with, so have fun with an array of bold necklace choices! Pair your dress with heels or go for wooden wedges for a low-key, but stylish, look. This Herve Leger dress is a classic bandage dress that will shine at any summer event! Complete the look with this stunning Green Multi Strand Necklace for that needed pop of color.

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For a boho look, try styling your LWD with a light summer scarf and sandals. This would be a great look for a weekend brunch! Try this Diane Von Furstenberg dress, a fabulous option for the summer season. The crisp and clean lines of the dress make it both polished and fun! A bright scarf, like this vintage Emilio Pucci scarf from the 1960s, give the outfit an artsy flair. For an added layer, wear a denim jacket to complete the outfit.

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For an office appropriate outfit, pair your LWD with a blazer. A thin belt will add a sophisticated edge to a great summer dress. The neutrality of the white dress allows you to play with color in a professional manner with this look. Try this Trina Turk blazer for a suitable 9 to 5 outfit! The lightweight fabric and feminine shape make it an excellent blazer for your professional summer attire.

For all your LWD needs, be sure to shop at for a great selection of white dresses and chic accessories!

Designer Spotlight: Stephen Burrows

Stephen Burrows is an American fashion icon whose work in the 1970s continues to influence designers today. Burrows made a name for himself in the 1970s as one of the few African American designers, paving the way for many to follow in his chic footsteps.

stephen burrows

Burrows got his start with the launch of Stephen Burrows’ World Boutique within the Henri Bendel store in 1970. He became known for his use of color blocking and fluid design of sexy separates that defined the 1970s woman. Though his career has had its ups and downs, his superb design concepts have been constant over the years.

In his most iconic work, Burrows was able to capture both a comfortable and sexy look with his clinging jersey dresses. He embodied 1970s design with his Native American themes, bold color schemes, use of jersey material with exposed seams, and the nonchalant appearance of his puckered lettuce edging. This period of fashion echoed the youthful culture of the era and the desire to return to the basics.

Stephen Burrows' collection for Henri Bendel in Central Park (1970)

Stephen Burrows’ collection for Henri Bendel in Central Park (1970)

After Henri Bendel was sold in 1982, it seemed that Burrows’ career was over. But, after a twenty year hiatus, Burrows made one of the biggest fashion comebacks with a revitalized Bendel boutique and subsequent fashion shows. The resilience of Burrows original design concepts was noted by The New York Times in 2013 with the fact that “every decade or so Mr. Burrows has a moment”.Stephen Burrows Gray Jersey Dress

To celebrate the superb design work of Stephen Burrows, Back In Style features a couple of his dresses, which highlight the hight of his career. A perfect example of Burrows in his prime is this Vintage 1970s Stephen Burrows Gray Jersey Dress. The jersey drapes beautifully and creates a sophisticated and sexy silhouette. The unique silvery gray color makes this dress an elegant option for your next formal affair. When wearing this dress, keep accessories minimal to avoid detracting from the distinctive 10-06draping of the front and back.

For a more summery look, try this Stephen Burrows Coral Jersey Dress with Draping Back, also from the 1970s. The bold color, the V neckline, and wide shoulders make it the ultimate dress for understated elegance. The unexpected back vent reveals the fun of the design concepts of this time period. The dress is fitted through the body with more room for movement below the hips, so feel free to dance the night away in this vintage Stephen Burrows piece.

Be sure to check out these fabulous, vintage dresses at!

Style Icon: Audrey Hepburn

When shopping for vintage fashion, what better way to start than by looking back at how fashionistas of the past wore these looks? Without a doubt, one such style icon is Audrey Hepburn.Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 5.33.45 PM

Audrey Hepburn is the quintessential style icon. The British actress and humanitarian has been ranked as the third greatest female screen legend and is a member of the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame. Her wardrobe has inspired many of the fashion staples still popular today. From her fitted pants to her famous Little Black Dress, Hepburn’s style challenged the fashion of the time, while still evoking a distinctly feminine aura.

Hepburn’s most famous role was Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961). But more importantly, her style in the movie is still revered by women today. The black dress she famously wears at the beginning of the film made the LBD a fashion icon. The Givenchy piece sold for nearly half a million pounds in 2006, proving that the LBD is still a style staple. Hepburn also proves that sunglasses can be worn with any outfit for the ultimate cool-girl look.

So, we know Audrey Hepburn is the ultimate symbol of style and grace. Now, here’s how to get the Hepburn look:

Know what works for your body type.

b82c40a91de11498b18acd99f44097abThis is the key to dressing like style icon, Audrey Hepburn. Trends come and go, but style is more permanent. Even if something is trendy, it doesn’t necessarily mean its the best choice for your body type. Look for pieces you know are figure flattering. If you are struggling with finding flattering clothing for your body type, be sure to read our Fit Clinic series, which highlights the best fashion for your figure.

Once you find clothing that works for your body type, befriend your tailor. Sometimes all you need is a little individual help to make classic clothing look amazing. This extra step can make a huge difference in your look.

Keep your clothing choices simple.

Hepburn is a symbol of elegant simplicity. She did not become a style icon by constantly wearing complex outfits. Hepburn is a testament to the fact that sometimes less is more. Keep your clothing choices simple for an understated, yet undeniably chic look. A crisp, white shirt and tailored pants can go a long way for an effortlessly, chic look. 663ecadbf01ef1c3453db71ce72065ee

Invest in Hepburn’s go-to wardrobe staples.

To get the Hepburn look, expand your wardrobe with some of her favorites. Examples include a classic white shirt, fitted pants, and ballet flats. Don’t forget a little black dress and a pair of kitten heels to really capture her look. One example of a perfect little black dress is this Theory Little Black Dress found at Back In Style! The dress really captures the Hepburn look and is the perfect palette to start a classically chic outfit.

Have fun with accessories!

While Hepburn kept many of her clothing choices simple, she enjoyed accessorizing her outfits. Wear a scarf to add zest to your wardrobe. Dark sunglasses were another go-to accessory. Accessories are a great way to express yourself without overpowering an outfit.

Shop the Audrey Hepburn Look

Shop the Hepburn look: Theory Little Black Dress ($60)/ Vintage Black Double Brimmed Hat ($36)/ Vintage Yves Saint Laurent Black Oversized Sunglasses ($150)/ Vintage Half Moon Rhinestone Earrings ($24)/ Christian Louboutin Black Satin Mary Jane Flats ($120)

Now that you know how to dress like this style icon, don’t forget to shop for Audrey Hepburn-esque pieces at Back In Style!

Designer Spotlight: Chloé

Few brands can say they have made quite the impact that French fashion house Chloé has. Found in 1952 by Gaby Aghion, Chloé revolutionized the way clothing was produced. Originally, luxury brands only produced Haute Couture, or made to measure clothing.vintage chloe ad For those who could not afford couture, they were left with poorly made copies, supplied by local seamstresses. Aghion, noticing the gap in the market, changed the world of fashion by creating a line of off the rack, high quality clothing. In creating Chloé, she made a bold point to reject the strict formality of 1950′s fashion for accessible yet stylish clothing.   She called this ‘luxury prêt-à-porter’, launching the ready-to-wear model of the majority of fashion houses today.

Chloé has a history of famously catering to chic, celebrity clientele. As one of the iconic brands of the 1970s, Chloé’s customers included Jackie Kennedy, Brigitte Bardot, and Grace Kelly. Since its beginning, the brand has stuck with its concept of romantic, feminine fashion and celebrating a softer aesthetic. At Chloé’s core is a strong sense of modern femininity that has lasted since its creation. Chloé’s looks are feminine and flirty, without being too revealing. Many of this label’s clothing options look good year round and make excellent additions to any woman’s wardrobe. Today, Chloé caters to celebrities like Kirsten Dunst, Blake Lively, Natalie Portman, and Kate Bosworth.

chloe-black-silk-dressFor unique, vintage Chloé pieces, check out Back in Style’s collection of ready to wear options. One of the featured looks is this Chloé Vintage 1980s Black Long Sleeved Dress, which would be a perfect look for your next cocktail party. This versatile dress can be worn as either a deep plunging V neck, or with the snap on the inside of the dress, a more conservative option. The gathered, ruched waistline and the elegant movement of the skirt make this dress a prime example of the romantic, feminine fashion of Chloé. Pair this dress with a bold pair of earrings or a small, delicate necklace to avoid competing with the neckline. Depending on your choice of accessories, wear a bright or neutral set of pumps to complete your outfit.


Another great option is this Vintage 1980s Chloé Indigo Drop-Waist Dress. This dress is from the last collection that Karl Lagerfeld designed for Chloe before moving to Chanel. The unique color of the dress make it a must-have piece of vintage Chloé. If you’ve kept up with Back in Style’s Fit Clinic series, you will also know that the drop waist of this wrap dress makes it a flattering piece for any woman’s wardrobe!

Sofia Sanchez Barrenechea in vintage Chloe

Sofia Sanchez Barrenechea in vintage Chloé

Chloé continues to lead the market in new trends and innovations. In September 2007, Chloé was the first luxury brand to offer an iPhone-specific version of its website. The brand also led the way in broadcasting fashion shows on the same day they are held. Chloé’s styles, both vintage and current, are easy to wear piece that should have place in every fashionista’s closet. Many of the styles can be worn year round, and of course, of many years to come. We can’t wait to see what Chloé has in store for us next!

For more vintage Chloé, shop Back In Style’s collection here!

Stylish Sunglasses

Sunglasses are a stylish way to complete an outfit and protect your eyes from harsh sunlight. Especially during the summer, you should never leave the house without a pair. Because they are such a focal point for any look, its important to wear the best pair for your face. But with so many choices, how do you decide what pair of sunglasses to buy? Here’s a quick guide for throwing some shade:

Look at these options and decide what face shape you have before purchasing sunglasses.

Look at these options and decide what face shape you have before purchasing sunglasses.


black-square-sunglasses-2Round faces are characterized by an equal length and width. A round face will have soft curves with few angles. The best sunglasses option for a round face would be one that helps add definition. Look for an angular frame, such as a Wayfarer or a square pair of glasses. For example, this pair of Vintage Large Square Sunglasses with Gold Accents are sure to flatter anyone with a round face. The 1980s flair of this particular pair will stand out from the usual sunglasses options.


jacques-faith-pink-sunglasses-3A square face is proportional in length and width, with a defined jaw, square chin, and broad forehead. To balance out this face shape, look for round sunglasses. Round sunglasses will soften the appearance of a square face. Rock this pair of Vintage Jacques Fath Pink Oversized Round Sunglasses for a cool boho look. The pink tint and gradient in the lenses will keep your eyes protected and fashionable.

Heart Shaped

5435813876_6c41c144eeHeart shaped faces are characterized by a wide forehead and a narrower jaw line. Heart shaped faces are accompanied by a narrow chin and high cheekbones. The best sunglasses for a heart shaped face are cat-eye sunglasses. The unique shape of cat-eye sunglasses will create more symmetry in the face for a flattering, balanced illusion. Recognize this cat-eye sunglasses lover? Audrey Hepburn reminds us why she will always be a style icon with her classic portrayal of Holly Golightly in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.


foster-grant-4An oval face will have balanced proportions, a narrow forehead and jaw line, and high cheekbones. The chin will be slightly narrower than the forehead for this face shape. Oval faces are the easiest to shop for, so any style will look great. Try aviators, or another funky glasses shape. Though aviators are currently a very trendy look, this style of sunglasses have been around for years. Try on these Vintage Foster Grant Gold Aviator Style Sunglasses for a chic blast from the past.


YSL-black-sunglasses-3Long faces are distinct from their oval counterparts because they are typically longer than their width. To complement this face shape, choose oversized sunglasses. An oversized pair will add width along the temples to create the illusion of a more balanced face. This pair of Vintage Yves Saint Laurent Black Oversized glasses are the perfect choice for long faces. Don’t be afraid to play with colors when looking for sunglasses for added dimension.

Whatever your face shape is, there is a perfect pair of sunglasses for you! Browse Back In Style’s sunglasses section for more inspiration here!

Fit Clinic: Dressing with Large Busts

Dressing different body types can be tricky. Different cuts and styles are better suited to certain body types, as we’ve discussed in the last two posts of Back in Style’s Fit Clinic. This week, we’ll focus on dressing figures with large busts. To flatter large busts, follow these guidelines:


Pick shift and sheath dresses. Look for drop-waist dresses to minimize the amount of fabric higher on your figure. Open necklines are also flattering for women with larger busts. Lastly, wrap dresses are a great solution for this problem area, as well as many other problem areas.

Pencil skirts are especially flattering for women with large busts. Pencil skirts create balance and enhance the illusion of an hourglass figure. Shop for pencil skirts like this Roland Mouret skirt. A-lines are also flattering on this body type, but look for skirts that have a defined waistline. Pick skirts that sit low on the hips to balance out this body type.

Pick low-rise pants and wide-leg trousers, such as these Diane von Furstenberg Ultra Wide Leg Jeans. These pants will bring more focus on your lower body and draw attention away from your bust. Bootcut pants also flatter this body type for the same reasons.

Look for tops with distinct necklines. V-necks, scoop necks, and square necks will flatter large busts. These necklines create an open area of skin that will make your bust appear smaller. Pick long, tailored or fitted tops and jackets for a polished, streamlined look.

What to avoid if a large bust is your problem area: Anything that adds volume to the bust area. Avoid high necklines as well as pockets, ruffles, or pleats on the chest. This will only make you appear larger. Avoid empire waists and cowl-necks, as well as button-downs. Wide belts will cut your figure in half and make you look disproportional. High-waisted bottoms should also be avoided for the same reasons.

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