Wardrobe Re-Wear: Polka Dots + Pattern Mixing

I love fall weather, but it’s still hard to say goodbye to my summer clothes.  So to get the most wear out of my closet, I like to pair my summer brights with fall neutrals. We’ve talked before about pattern mixing, bright pants, and generally transitioning summer clothes to fall, so I thought I’d bring all of those concepts together for you in 1 post. 


I picked up this floral dress from Bluetique for only $15 towards the end of the season, so the 1st time I wore it was down in Charleston.  I loved it so much that I was looking for a way to get a couple of more wears out of it this fall.
Outfit details here.
Enter this polka dot top from Old Navy.  I love ivory + black paired together, and the polka dots are so girly.  I was actually wearing this dress when I tried on the shirt, and thought “this might just work together!” Just knot the top at your waist for a chic look!  Thanks to Miss in the Midwest for the idea of wearing a button-up over a dress:) If you’re not reading her blog on a daily basis, you’re missing out!
Advanced pattern mixing tip– when wearing a pattern-on-pattern, polka dots work well with lots of other patterns, so long as the polka dots are of a similar or neutral color.  Here, the neutral colors of the shirt really balance the bright floral pattern of the skirt.

Shirt: Old Navy, $16 on sale.
Watch: Fossil, $105 (similar, $19).
Dot bracelet: Style This Life, $6 (no longer available).
Shoes: DSW, $15 (similar, $30)
Necklace: Versona, $12 w/ earrings (not shown).


Basketball season is upon us (UK fans everywhere rejoice), so I’m already thinking about outfits that work for both the office and gameday.  I spotted these J. Crew skinnies at Clothes Mentor and knew they’d be perfect!
Purse: Coach, old.
Earrings: Versona, $6.
Blue bangle: Starfish Bangles, around $12 on sale.
Skinnies: J. Crew by way of Clothes Mentor, $18.
Flats: Coach by way of Macy’s, $50 on sale (similar, $16.99 at Target)

I feel like the possibilities for this polka dot top are endless.  If you had this top in your closet, what would you pair it with?

If you’re loving these outfit ideas, be sure to follow me on Instagram (@brightonabudget).  I frequently post #ootd/#wiw, and pass along good deals as soon as I see them!  I hope these posts give you some ideas about how to shop your own closet and match-up clothes you never thought of pairing together!

Nice to meet you!

Hi there! I’m Tif Fannin, the blogger behind Bright on a Budget, based in Lexington, Kentucky. Bright on a Budget is a Southern fashion and lifestyle blog where I share everyday looks, beauty, and travel, along with a behind-the-scenes look at my life as a working mom of two. I have a penchant for bright colors + good deals. Follow along for posts that are relatable to the everyday woman.

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Leave a Comment


  1. 9.29.14
    Angie said:

    I love those skinnies! I totally want to snag some colored skinnies for Fall

  2. 9.29.14

    I love the skinnies as well. I need some for fall! Love the top over the dress! Great post!
    Della@Della Devoted

  3. 9.29.14

    i love those blue skinnies! seems to be a theme in the comments 🙂

    Midwest Darling

  4. 9.29.14

    Cute idea to pair a button up over a dress, and to show off to prints together is creative. You look great and I will have to check out your suggested blogging friend. Rachel xo

  5. 9.29.14

    Cute looks. I have a navy with white dots top and I pair it with colored bottoms all the time.

  6. 9.29.14

    I have that polkadot top too, but I LOVE it over that dress. What a cute idea!

    Katie @ Cup of Tea

  7. 9.29.14

    Cute polka dot top! Love the pattern mix over the dress!


  8. 9.29.14

    Love the cute polka dot top! I like the way you mixed up the prints by layering over top of the dress!



  9. 9.30.14

    Angie, if you're ever in Lex, Clothes Mentor is a great place to pick some up for decent prices! I've also had luck at JCP.

  10. 9.30.14

    Thanks, Della! I know you girls think you need these for fall, but really you need them the whole year round! And I was a little nervous about the pattern mixing, but I decided to just go for it:)

  11. 9.30.14

    Thanks, Sarah! I think it's a great color to wear all year round!

  12. 9.30.14

    Thanks, Rachel! I think you'll really enjoy the blog. I stumbled across it several months ago from the #H54F linkup and have been hooked ever since!

  13. 9.30.14

    Thanks! I love navy and white anything! And navy pairs well with a lot of bright colors.

  14. 9.30.14

    Thanks, Katie! Since you mentioned it, I had to go stalk your IG feed. I had forgotten about seeing that, but you did pattern mixing too! Maybe that's why I felt like I had to have that shirt!lol

  15. 9.30.14

    Thanks, Jill! It was stepping outside the box for me, but I liked the end result!

  16. 9.30.14

    Thanks! I'm pretty in love with those 2 prints mixed together.

  17. 9.30.14
    Rachel said:

    I'm a pretty big fan of polka dots in general. I love them with the blue pants!

  18. 9.30.14
    P!nky said:

    LOVE polka dots and that dress is fabulous!!!!

  19. 10.2.14
    Emily M. said:

    Totally in love with those cobalt pants! Love how you styled each of your looks!


  20. 10.10.14

    Thanks, Emily! I'm in love with those pants as well:)

  21. 10.10.14

    Me too! They're so classy!

  22. 10.10.14

    Thanks! I was all-around pumped for these outfits!