Style Trial: The Matchy-Matchy Look

Do you pride yourself on perfectly coordinated outfits, or do you think the “matchy matchy” look is a crime of a fashion? The Fashion Police pose the question:

Can you be too matchy matchy?

woman in matchy matchy all-pink outfit

Matching your shoes to your bag, your bag to your dress, your dress to your lipstick, your lipstick to your nails… Go back a couple of decades or so, and no one would have batted an eyelid (coated in matching eye shadow, naturally) at any of this. In fact, not so long ago, being coordinated was seen as a GOOD thing: it was what stylish people did, and you’d no more clash the colours of your clothing than you’d go out in a pair of shoes that didn’t exactly match your handbag.

Now, however, it’s a different story, and the “matchy matchy” look, as it’s called, is considered a crime of fashion by many. Urban Dictionary defines the term as follows:

[yo_quote author=””] Often used in fashion blogs. Used to describe an outfit that is too coordinated and consists of too many of the same types of colours, patterns, fabrics, accessories, designer pieces, thematic elements, etc. [/yo_quote]

Why do people hate the matchy matchy look? Because we live in a fashion era which prizes the “edgy” and “unexpected” above all else, basically. For those who like to see themselves as being at the forefront of fashion, matching colours or accessories is just too safe, too predictable  too boring. Even if you DON’T self-identify as a “fashionista”, however, making sure everything matches can look dated and matronly: it can be an overly-fussy look which makes the wearer appear to be trying too hard, or like the outfit is wearing them, rather than the other way around. For many people, it’s an unsophisticated look, or one which they associate with much older women and styles.

On the other hand, however, there are still those who match their clothes with pride, and see no reason why they should stop. For these style renegades, the matchy matchy look is just a natural way to dress, and taking pains to ensure your clothes DON’T match perfectly (changing your shoes because you’ve just realised they match your belt, for instance) seems just as silly as making sure they DO match seems to the first group. Of course

, there IS a middle ground: you don’t have to meticulously match all of your colours in order for your outfit to work, but you don’t have to deliberately clash, either. We suspect most people probably occupy this middle ground, but tell us anyway: are you a Matchy McMatcherson, or do you want to round up all of the coordinating outfits and send them to a secure wing of the Fashion Police Jail. In other words..

Is the matchy matchy look a crime of fashion?

9 Comments

  • old school!

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  • May 2, 2013

    Sandy

    Well seeing as I dress vintagey (??!) it’s aaaall about the match! LOL! But in reality I tend to probably only match a couple of items…or maybe three? 😀

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  • May 2, 2013

    naiadknight

    I don’t try to match things perfectly. Too much heartache for something of too little consequence. I also abhor the clashing looking and tend to think of it as tacky. I tend to dress in color families with a neutral on bottom. For example, yesterday was navy slacks, a white shell, a periwinkle on blue printed cardigan, multi blue and rattan wedges, and a royal blue and dark brown necklace. No two colors matched perfectly, but they were all in the same family.

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  • May 2, 2013

    b.

    Not everything, like the woman in the photo, but I do like for my accessories to match. For instance, if I wear a black dress, everything else will probably be red (shoes, bag, earrings, eyeglasses). If I, on the other hand, wear a red dress, I don’t like everything else to be red as well, so all the accessories will still be coordinated, but not red. I like the matchy look, but I still don’t like to look like a power ranger and have everything in the same colour.

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  • May 2, 2013

    Jane Allen

    Not a fan of matchy match much for everyday or night on the town dates… My philosophy is clash or connect. I do like monochromatic for slimming effect but am a fan of colour with colour… it’s a personality thing for sure!
    Jane

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  • May 3, 2013

    Leah

    I love matchy-matchy, and I love contrast…anything goes as long as the color/s is/are pretty.

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  • May 3, 2013

    Claudia

    I don’t like any kind of “sets” which have made a reappearance recently: To buy a pair of shoes, bag and a belt actually of the same material. Same with home sewing, if you do it: Until the 80s editors tried to persuade you to make trimmings, little purses, belts or summer hats out of leftover fabric (preferably patterned: floral or polka dot) to make your wardrobe look more coordinated. Shudder! If you saw a woman whose jacket lining matched her blouse and she had a little quilted clutch of the seme stuff, you were to think “Chanel!”, but you rather thought “Singer”. Not that I have anything against home sewing, I do that, too.

    On the other hand, I think to really clash (with a bang) successfully you have to be on the tallish side. If you are short (like me), there is not enough room for too many colours, patterns or styles. I skipped the colour blocking trend completely, I do not like a contrasting belt to cut me in two, I do not like it when a contrasting shoe cuts off a piece of my leg length. But that’s about it. I combine neutrals, brown, black and navy, and other similar colours, I match my make-up to my complexion, not to my clothes, and try not to look as if I bought it all from one hanger. Once I recieved a silk scarf with my new trenchcoat, the silk being the one from the (inside) piping of the coat. I never wear them together.

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  • May 4, 2013

    Francesca

    I have two problems with the matchy look:

    1) people tend to do it in really grating colours, and end up walking around like enormous oranges/canaries that have escaped their cage

    2) It can go wrong so easily. You think it matches and then you go out looking like a pastel sampler for wallpaper, in grading shades of (almost but not quite the same) colour

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  • May 5, 2013

    Jane

    I think matching looks good in like…pastels? I don’t know. I will co-ordinate things, because wearing the same colour family is nice and clashing makes me want to bang my head on a wall, but like… not a full body match? Like I have a red hat and coat, but I wouldn’t wear red pants with them.

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