polkadottieDressing yourself is hard. Color coordination? Accessories? Clean? Dirty? These are just words. When you put it on and it feels right, you just know. It’s like picking out your first baseball glove in Junior High, when it suits you, it’s a bolt of lightning. The same is true with a particular style. Now, for those looking to make a splash, the more eccentric trends might go off like gangbusters. But some trends just don’t hold water (I’m looking at you pink polos). Can an average joe pull off the notorious polka dots?

The phrase “polka dots” summons images of terrifying distant relatives chain-smoking in lawn chairs and sipping prune juice. They are like Hawaiian shirts. Their novelty seemingly wore off some time in the Reagan era and now they are like badges of honor. They say “I was there, man. I saw it for myself.”

But it’s 2014, if we can say anything stylistically about this age, it’s enormously eclectic and packed with people experimenting with their personal style. I’m not saying bell-bottoms are about to come back, but there is a freedom in the air. Strange isn’t that strange and different isn’t all that different. Look at it as a chance to buy that jacket you never would have in college, or that hat that no one owns.

But we’re not all Prince. We don’t all get up at noon and put on leather pants to go work out (Kanye). You need a personal style you can enjoy and function in. So yes, polka dots are an excellent flourish on an otherwise simple outfit. Things like these only work in moderation. We’ve all seen clowns at the circus. So buy that polka dot tie and wear it with gusto. Small risks can have big payoffs.