Long ago, I declared myself the Mayor of Matchy-Matchytown. My style has since shifted significantly, but back then I made this declaration with a mixture of rebellious pride and giggly shame. The Style Goddesses and Gods have declared that it is far more chic to “go” than match. It takes more creativity, it looks more modern, it creates a more multifaceted and interesting look. All of these things are true. And although I have changed my style quite a bit in recent years, a little piece of my heart will always reside in Matchy-Matchytown, and here’s why:
Matching makes instant sense
Harmonious outfits are borne of matching. When colors are repeated – in accessories, shoes, bags, jewelry, or even within the prints and pieces of the garments themselves – the entire ensemble is united. When you see someone who has matching elements within her outfit, what she’s wearing is likely to make visual sense to you. And just about everyone else, too.
Matching is hard to screw up
Now, you know that I don’t believe in “right” and “wrong” ways to dress, but here’s why I think this is important: Many other women DO believe in “right” and “wrong” ways to dress, and those beliefs may inform their dressing choices. Picking items that “go” in sophisticated yet harmonious ways can feel daunting. Picking items that match and then adding some complementary items to the mix is a simple way to generate outfits that feel complete and polished. Less stress, more fun.
Matching feels retro
If you love vintage looks but don’t like, can’t fit or find, or don’t enjoy wearing actual vintage CLOTHING, matching can create a throwback look using modern items. Of course part of the reason that matching is disdained by many style experts is that it feels old and stodgy, but feeling playful with your matchiness can be a great way to indulge in retro looks while flouting the current trends.
Matching can be done in degrees
While wearing a bag, necklace, belt, shoes, and sunglasses all in the same shade might feel like overkill to some, slightly less intense versions of matchy looks are always possible. Style experts might not want you to match your shoes and bag right now, but doing so and adding a contrasting belt and unmatched jewelry can help make the look feel more balanced and mixed.
Matching can be a launchpad
There are some women who were born able to assemble effortlessly chic non-matched outfits. The rest of us have to learn over time, using trial and error. Going matchy at the start and learning how to craft outfits that feel right using those simpler parameters can help build the confidence to branch out. If you start with necklace, belt, and shoes that are all red, you’ll feel marvelously matchy. But at some point you may look at that combo and think, hmmm, maybe a silver necklace instead. And what about cognac shoes? Would that work, too? Starting with matchy and swapping out is a great way to experiment with outfits that “go.”
Everything related to fashion is cyclical, so I’m quite sure that 10 years from now everyone will be expected to match from top to tail. But even now, when unmatched looks are the thing, I’ll continue to dabble in the world of matchy-matchy for these reasons and more.
Originally posted 2013-08-30 06:31:40.