6 New Ways to Wear a Matching Set

by Lauren Caruso
Aug 22, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. ET

If 2016 was the year of off-the-shoulder everything, summer 2017 might as well have been the season of the co-ord. Yep, the matching set took over early on, taking our Instagram feeds by storm and slowly leaking into our closets. And sure, while coordinating separates became the sartorial solution du jour for everything from your office happy hour to the indiscernible wedding dress code, just throwing one on as intended can feel a little, well, tired.

More: 31 Cool Summer Outfit Ideas to Copy This Month

Plus, the co-ords of yesteryear (read: the one Taylor Swift basically lived in during 2014) have given way to less literal iterations of the trend — and it got us thinking: Is it possible to style a matchy-matchy set other than the way it as intended? (Answer: Hell yes.)

Get ready to see your favorite summer outfit reimagined: Ahead, find six new, totally-not-juvenile ways to get in on the trend.


Originally posted on StyleCaster

1 /18: Print mixing

1/18 :Print mixing

If you thought print-mixing was for Iris Apfel and nobody else, this should clear things up: To look put-together rather than kooky, mix a big print with a small print in complementary hues. Plus, layering a summery pink with an autumnal hue like rust is a great way to get double the wear out of each, says stylist Calvy Click.

  • Rouje Paris blouse (Rouje, $115)
  • M. Martin trench (M. Martin, $537)
  • M. Martin crop trouser in floral jacquard (M.Martin, $357)
  • Charlotte Olympia sneakers
  • Paige Novick earrings (Broken English, $1,030)
  • J.Luu necklace

2 /18: Print mixing

2/18 :Print mixing

3 /18: Print mixing

3/18 :Print mixing

4 /18: Florals on stripes on florals

4/18 :Florals on stripes on florals

An easy way to ground a florals-on-stripes-on-florals look? "A bold stripe, like the one pictured, reduces the busy floral to a lovely texture," says Click. "Plus, the uniformity is calming to the eye. Keep the rest of the look — the silhouette, the accessories, the textures — a little toned down if you're dealing with major prints."

  • Samuji matching set (Samuji, $520)
  • Senso Franco oatmeal matte kid sandals (Senso, $265)
  • Spinelli Kilcollin pegasus hoops (Broken English, $3,400)
  • Vanessa Montiel necklaces

5 /18: Florals on stripes on florals

5/18 :Florals on stripes on florals

6 /18: Florals on stripes on florals

6/18 :Florals on stripes on florals

7 /18: Matching like it's 1994

7/18 :Matching like it's 1994

See? Everything your mom taught you about matching your clothes back in 1994 is totally useful today. Sure, technically these separates are from three different brands, and sure, technically, the greens are different colors, but the blueish-green stripe in the Missoni pants plays well with the greenish-blue Ajaie Alaie one-shoulder top.

8 /18: Matching like it's 1994

8/18 :Matching like it's 1994

9 /18: Matching like it's 1994

9/18 :Matching like it's 1994

10 /18: A graphic tee

10/18 :A graphic tee

A graphic tee seems like an unlikely pairing for a printed matching suit, but here's why it works: We didn't try to match the color, print or material spot-on. "Here, the pink graphic tee matches the pants, but the graffiti print is a total contrast to the floral," Click says. "So if one element matches, make sure the rest of it doesn't."

11 /18: A graphic tee

11/18 :A graphic tee

12 /18: A graphic tee

12/18 :A graphic tee

13 /18: New pink-red combo

13/18 :New pink-red combo

These greens are technically in the same color family — but they also sort of clash à la the new pink-red combo du jour. "The playful and edgy elements, like the oversized, quirky sweater and fun hair, help balance out a matching skirt and top that was probably meant to be worn with minimal heels and beachy hair," says Click.

  • Faithfull The Brand Suns Out olive green striped strapless top (Lulu's, $129)
  • Faithfull The Brand Caro sage green striped midi skirt (Lulu's, $169)
  • Ph5 sweater (Ph5, Price upon request)
  • 324 New York Cairo green mini purse (324 New York, $350)
  • Spinelli Kilcollin pegasus hoops (Broken English, $3,400)
  • J.Luu necklace
  • Senso Alannah sneakers (Senso, $265)

14 /18: New pink-red combo

14/18 :New pink-red combo

15 /18: New pink-red combo

15/18 :New pink-red combo

16 /18: Mixing colors

16/18 :Mixing colors

Sure, Click went a little less literal here, but by mixing colors that are (mostly) in the same family — blues and greens — you don't run the risk of looking too juvenile.

  • M. Martin trench
  • Rachel Antonoff tee
  • Ph5 skirt (Ph5, Price upon request)
  • Senso Avery III sneakers (Senso, $239)
  • Chan Luu stonewash bloom necktie (Chan Luu, $48)
  • 324 New York fire red mini purse (324 New York, $350)
  • Anita Ko panther bangle (Anita Ko, $7,875)
  • Anita Ko earrings (Anita Ko, $4,625)
  • J.Luu Necklace
  • J.Luu Ring
  • Stylist's own anklet and chain

17 /18: Mixing colors

17/18 :Mixing colors

18 /18: Mixing colors

18/18 :Mixing colors