I remember a time when my mum made me wear co-ordinated tops and shorts or skirts or trousers. That feels like it was a million years ago when they were called matching sets. And I hated them.
However, the co-ordinated sets that came back in fashion about last year are a far cry from the matching Mickey Mouse shorts and tops that were my style as a kid. You now have sets in lovely cutesy prints, florals to Aztec print to geometric and abstract. For those of whom a printed set is a bit much there are sets in bright solid colours with some interesting details.
River Island Yellow Chelsea Girl Heart Print Shirt and Skirt
Missguided Floral Scuba Bralet and Skirt
Miss Selfridges Blue Aztec Sequin Bra Top and Skirt
New Look Blue and Black Check Short Sleeve Top and Skirt
Missguided Laser Cut Top and Skirt
I did end up liking the co-ordinated trend but felt there was was too much commitment required. I didn’t feel upto taking the plunge and spending so much money. So how do you shop (or preferably, not shop) for this fading trend you want to try but which may not be around in a few months and which is difficult to align with your normal wardrobe?
- Try and use your existing wardrobe. Even if you are like me and wear five primary colours (I am, of course, including black and white as primary colours), you should have something in your wardrobe that is a colour. So for instance, if you have mint green pants and a mint green tee (major fading trend as fall and winter approach), use it. Put it together with a white belt and you are set. Even if you don’t have the mint tee for it, its easier to buy a tee then a whole trend outfit.
Note: this kind of cheating works well with specific colours like bright blue, red, yellow, green, etc. Needless to say, wearing black and black is not working the co-ordinate trend.
- Use a coloured or patterned blazer or jacket. Coloured or patterned blazers and jackets were a major trend and should go through this fall as well. Chances are you did manage to acquire a coloured blazer/ jacket not appropriate for office. Use it. Wear it. If its a solid colour you have more freedom and can wear it with some colourful shorts or trousers or skirts. If its a pattern you can wear it with its co-ordinated piece or it would still be an interesting item to wear as is after the co-ordinated trend is done and dusted.
Missguided Tiffany Premium Blazer and Shorts in Neon Orange
H&M Textured Cape and Skirt
H&M Patterned Leggings and Bomber Jacket
- Dots on dots, stripes on stripes. I first saw this look on Helena Grazer from the Brooklyn Blonde, one of my favourite blogs. This is an easy and interesting look to pull together with some basic separates just like she did.
Apart from polka dots, you can also use the cutesy star and heart prints that were around recently to achieve this look.
I tried this look with stripes, as you will be seeing soon enough.
- This is a little more difficult, but use a dress, a jumpsuit or a romper and pass them off as separates. How do you do this? With a belt.
Note: this works very well with items which have patterns like this jumpsuit shown below.
H&M Patterned Jumpsuit
H&M Scuba Top and Skirt
There maybe some amount of shopping to be done – you might need to get a coloured tee or a pair of shorts. That’s ok. But if you are invested enough, go the whole hog and get a set. For me personally, I would go for a geometric set with basic neutral colours like the H&M one above. Items like these are easier to wear separately at a later point but are still interesting enough.
- Another idea is to look for a set with a silk shirt (one with a floral pattern is preferred) as the top. I admit this is a difficult find. This is suggested since a silk shirt is a wardrobe staple for most. Apart from the co-ordinate shorts or pants, it can be worn with your jeans or black trousers later, or over a vest as a jacket or wrap with your co-ordinated shorts or skirt.
- A denim-on-denim look would also be an interesting twist on the co-ordinated trend. I have tried this with items of different colours but definitely want to try it out with the same colours as well.
I know what you are thinking – why am I not following my own advice? Don’t worry – I did make myself the guinea pig and the pictures will follow soon!
Have you tried this trend yet?