National Polka Dot Day | January 22
(Last Updated On: January 18, 2023)


Display your fashion sense on January 22nd and celebrate National Polka Dot Day! The day also honors one of animation’s most popular characters and fashion diva, Minnie Mouse!


Polka dots refer to fabric printed with spots. The word first appeared in the 1857 Godey’s Lady’s Book, a women’s magazine out of Philadelphia.

Today, polka dots appear on more than just fabric. They’re painted on walls and fingernails. You find them on pottery, phone cases, furniture, baked goods, and paper products. We wear them, walk on them and display them.

Polka dots are also Minnie Mouse’s signature style. Her polka dots are usually white and set on a red background. However, she also appears in shades of pink. Other notable personalities who’ve worn or used iconic polka dots include:

  • In 1934, Shirley Temple seemed to be channeling Minnie Mouse in her frilly red on white polka-dotted dress in Stand Up and Cheer.
  • Marilyn Monroe played “the girl” in the Seven Year Itch and wore a black on white polka dot dress.
  • Julia Roberts rocked the white on brown polka dot dress in her star-launching film Pretty Woman.
  • Artist Roy Lichtenstein used the Ben Day (Benjamin Henry Day Jr) process for printing and engraving in pop art often found in comic book design.
  • Artist Yayoi Kusama famously uses polka dots in her paintings, sculptures, and other design.


  • Celebrate Minnie Mouse on National Polka Dot Day. Watch your favorite Minnie Mouse cartoons or wear a Minnie Mouse bow in your hair.
  • Wear polka dots. Wear them head to toe or as an accent.
  • Host a polka-dotted event such as a tea party, fashion show, or bake-off.
  • Create polka-dotted art.
  • Share photos of your favorite polka dot design.
  • Use #NationalPolkaDotDay on social media.


In 1928, the ever-fashionable Minnie Mouse made her debut in the animated film Steamboat Willie alongside her best mate and life-long love, Mickey Mouse. The tough, independent and iconic Minnie Mouse contributed to Walt Disney’s success and grew in popularity right alongside Mickey Mouse. In 2016, Walt Disney World celebrated the first National Polka Dot Day with a Rock the Dots event.

Polka Dot FAQ

Q. Where did polka dots originate?
A. Polka dots originated in Swiss textile design in the 1850s and went by many names including Swiss Dots.

Q. Who can wear polka dots?
A. Polka dots are a fun, classy design that can be worn by anyone.

Q. Are there polka dot songs?
A. Yes. Perhaps the most famous is “Itsy Bitsy Teen Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” by Brian Hyland. Another is “Polka Dots and Moonbeams” sung by a variety of artists including Sarah Vaughn, John Denver, and Barry Manilow.

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