Coordinated vs. Matching Style
Happy day, reader dear!
It’s lovely to see you! If you are here for the first time, Welcome! I’m Liz, a certified Image, Wardrobe & Color Consultant. You can find me hanging out here on the blog thrice weekly, chatting about style and other loosely related topics. (In the name of transparency… Often very loosely related!)
If you are returning, Welcome back and bless you! It’s a treat to know you found something here of value. AND that you are choosing to spend some of your precious time with me! Thank you. If there is a topic you’d like me to tackle or one I’ve covered that you’d like more information on, please don’t hesitate to ask. That’s what the blog is about. It’s what I’m here for!
One of the questions I am frequently asked is: Do these match? or Do these go together? Answering that question usually means digging deeper to find out what the asker wants to know… And the answer depends on the asker! Some people love Matchy-Matchy, and others run in the opposite direction. It’s based on personality! And trends. If the question is about matching colors, that’s a different animal…
If you have a highly Classic and traditional style, the look of a pearl necklace and pearl stud earrings might make your heart sing. Classic. Understated. Simple. Other matching accessories? Imagine a 1950’s outfit with matching shoes, bag and gloves. Timeless style. The Queen of England rocks these two looks all the time. They are part of her signature style. The Queen is her own style icon. And she should be!
Sometimes it’s the accessories that match, other times it’s a coordinated top and bottom. A suit is the ultimate in matching… And explains why matching feels more formal and less relaxed than mixing it up.
Another personality style that tends toward matchy is Ms. Feminine, especially a younger Feminine. Think sparkly matching jewelry sets…
Matchy matchy can feel aging and old fashioned, or vintage, depending on how you play it. (When it looks like you’ve been wearing it since its heyday and are still wearing it = Aging. When you rock vintage with a vengeance and attitude = Fun and Quirky.) There are always exceptions. Note QE2.
Matching comes goes in and out of style. For decades, matching your shoes and bag was de rigueur. And fairly simple! You might have owned two or three pair of shoes (Black, Brown and Navy, maybe White for summer); owning a bag in each color wasn’t that much of a stretch. Then in the 1960’s, all the “rules” went out the window. Since then, wardrobes have grown MUCH larger and matching more complicated… Matching has had its fashion moments since: think double denim or the ubiquitous black everything.
I’m firmly in the anti-matching camp… (Probably a little Rebellious in me!) I don’t purchase jewelry sets. If an item comes as part of a set, I immediately donate the piece I didn’t sign up for. I can count the number of times I’ve worn my suits as suits in the past 20 years on one hand. (They were probably all funerals…) I DO wear my suits, but I treat them as separates. Care Tip: If you wear your suit as separates, have the pieces dry cleaned together.
… With one notable exception..
Because every rule is proved by the exception, right? I love the look of shoes and a bag in the same color. I don’t need them to match exactly, i.e. brown croc with brown croc. I want them to share the same color but each have their own personality. So give me blue suede shoes and a blue crocodile print bag! Or in this case green pebbled leather and green faux snake. It feels like a feminine combination of harmony AND interest! Balanced without being more-of-the-same. Polished but not stiff. (Pairing them makes even jeans and a white tee look like “an outfit!” #stylehack)
What is Coordinated Style?
Coordination happens when what you wear doesn’t “match” per se, but it shares common elements that pull the look together. That’s really what is happening with my green bag and shoes above. Or when you wear espadrilles and carry a straw bag. Or carry touches of color throughout an outfit. You can find other examples of coordination in this post about balancing glasses and jewelry. Coordination is a whole ‘nother post! Or two. Or three. Let me know if you are up for it!
So How About YOU?
How do you feel about matching pieces, or co-ords? Jewelry sets? There’s no right or wrong here! It’s about what feels like you! But not the in-a-rut version of you! If you are a match-er, try loosening it up a bit! If you never even think about matching, try it and see how it makes you feel! And then let me know how the experiment goes! I love to hear from you…