When is matchy too matchy?

Now that 2015 is gone (may I say we won’t regret it), we are now looking forward to a bright 2016!

BONNE ANNEE! (happy new year <3)

For starters, what about keeping dressing better and better without necessarily investing a lot?

Therefore, a good resolution would be to keep following my blog and share it around you to make your friends as stylish as yourself (come on, you would not want to always be the best dressed out there would you?).

As the last topic of this year I chose the much discussed “matchy matchy issue”.

Our grandmothers took great care of matching the details in their outfit together and it was considered being super elegant.

Nowadays though, this manner of assembling clothes looks outdated.  Yet, some fashionable bloggers still do it. This outfit is actually nice, but I personally do not like the matchy effect. If you do, then keep matching the old fashioned way 🙂

Great news: changing this habit does not require any investment at all: it is all about rethinking the way you style your clothes together.

Does this mean matching colors is totally over?

Let me reassure you, not always. There are many modern way to achieve it.

I’ll show you how to spot when does matchy become TOO matchy and how to replace this trick wit new ones.

I. What is too matchy?

I would define this as “when the match is so really obvious”.

This wrong equation results of the choice of the same bright contrasting color on at least two noticeable clothing pieces located rather far away from each other in the outfit.

I’ll define the elements one by one to make the sentence more explicit:

Bright color: the match of a bright color will be more obvious than the match of a more understated shade. Therefore that’s easy to match navy blue and navy blue, but red and red is a more risky choice.

Contrasting color: the match of pink shoes and a pink bag on a black outfit belongs to the wrong kind because pink has an harsh contrast with black. But if the outfit contained shades of pink and purple, then the match would not be contrasting and would therefore be nicer.

Two noticeable clothing pieces (at least): shoes and bag are both important pieces of an outfit. Choosing them of a the same bright contrasting color will lead to the wrong kind of match. But if you match your nails with your shoes then the match is less noticeable and therefore more modern. The more pieces you match, the more likely you are to fall in the matchy matchy fail.

Located rather far away on the outfit: remember the contrast thing? We deal with it here to. Supposing you choose your bag and sweater/ your shoes and your skirt in the same color, that would not be to matchy because they are close to each other and it looks like they belong to the same clothing piece. Doing a color allover is very daring but not too matchy, it is something else.

II. How to match without being too matchy?

Simple, do the opposite as stated above ^^

1. Match details instead of several noticeable items

– Match one of your print colors with another item

Match everything with heart print hello it's valentine

Hello it’s Valentine nicely matching the gold and black print of her rompers with… all her accessories! It works because everything lies in the details and because the colors stand on different materials which make the “two colors outfit trick” less obvious.

Match makeup with bag and stripes cherry blossom girl

The cherry blossom girl matching the red of her Chanel bag with the stripes of her top and her lips. Notice she also matches the gold of her bag chain with the gold of her necklace as well as the hints of black together.

Match stuffs with print troprouge

Trop rouge matching her coat and bag with her dress print.

Matching bag with shirt detail

Modetrotter spotted a stylish girl matching the embroidery on her blouse with her bag.

Matching shoes with top print Sincerely Jules

Sincerely Jules matching the subtle almond green of her shoes with the one contained in the print of her top.

Matching top and pants Lakrause on Bootsandpine

Boots and pine‘s friend matching the rust color in her shirt with the one of her pants.

– Match make-up

Match shoe lips bag print lady moriarty

Lady Moriarty matching her bold red shoes with her lips (and her bag with her printed top).

Matching lips with printed shirt

A smiley lady matching the fresh flashy pink of her lips with the one on her blouse.

– Match a jewel with a piece of clothing

Matching jewels with print les babioles de Zoé

Les babioles de Zoé matching the turquoise and jade colors of her jewels with the ones printed on her pants.

2. Match less contrasting hues

– Match dark colors

Match shoes with belt Sonia Rykiel dark colors

Sonia by Sonia Rykiel matching the accessories in a dark burgundy hue in the brand’s lookbook.

– Neutrals

Match neutrals

A cool girl matching her shoes with her coat. Notice how she makes it more subtle by also adding an hint of orange in the print of the top.

– Match subtle hues

Match subtle shades Bensimon blog

Like Kakhi pink (spotted on Vogue by the Bensimon blog)

3. Match pieces that are close to one another

Match top colors into your closet

Into your closet putting all the red on her outfit in the upper half.

Match top with skirt and hints of gold

The northern light transitioning from sand to sand.

Match pants with top Jcrew blog

A stylish lady spotted on the J.Crew blog in a green total look (but that’s already something else ^^).

And you? Do you match the same color together? How?

Next time we’ll see how to match… different colors with one another 🙂

Cover collage: Style scrapbook, Cherry blossom girl

22 Responses to “When is matchy too matchy?”
  1. Emma says:

    Can I get your opinion on my outfit? I’m going to the races and my dress is white, nude shoes, and a white and hot pink fascinator. I was thinking pink and nude bag, pink necklace and nails. Is that too matchy? I was going to do pink lips but I think it would be too much

  2. Carmen says:

    my outfit does afcfet my mood. when i’m in a foul mood, and if i happened to wear something i like, my mood would lighten up a lot. on the other hand, if i wore some crappy outfit, i would be sulky & cranky for the rest of the day. i’m super shallow!btw, love your bangles and the photos are very well taken!!

  3. Kate says:

    I agree with this article completely! Many times I have seen a beautiful outfit ruined by just a little too much matching. Bold, bright colors can be fun and chic, but I certainly think the flashier it is, the more careful one must be. That example with the fluorescent yellow is good because it might’ve been fine if she had only worn a yellow belt–OR the bag–OR the shoes. All of them together is not cool, to me.

  4. Evelyn says:

    Very, very interesting thoughts! They’re very useful to me, especially when I’m going the vintage styling route (I’m an always changing style chameleon, showcasing rock/metal/alternative fasion, vintage 1920s-1940s styled outfits as well as artful, unusual ensembles)
    I’m always striving NOT to match too much and not too obvious, but as I sort of live in black, grey and red, it’s not such a big thing for me. I mostly pair the few colours I wear with black or grey, and vary silhouettes and materials more often.

  5. Oatman says:

    Belle surprise que ce blog 🙂

    Tellement moins idiot et crétin que le blog Mo..Perso…
    Ses commentaires creux et ses lectrices moutons de Panurge

    Merci :))

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Je suis contente que tu apprécies mon blog 🙂 J’essaie effectivement de tirer “la substantifique moëlle” de la blogosphère et de la “théoriser” pour en extraire des conseils modes applicables.
      Mais je souhaite souligner que sans l’existence de ces innombrables blogs de style personnel qui fourmillent sur le net, le mien manquerait cruellement d’illustrations (ça demande un paquet de temps et un encore plus gros paquet de fringues de créer des looks IRL)… En plus leurs looks me donnent de nouvelles idées! Certaines de ces femmes sont de très talentueuses stylistes (Style scrapbook, The cherry blossom girl, Lady Moriarty, la super repéreuse de filles stylées Inside closet, pour ne citer que quelques unes de mes préférées). Merci à elles de partager leurs looks! Evidemment il y a aussi pléthore de blogs mal écrits présentant des tenues (à mon goût) de mauvais goût, mais il y en a aussi de très bons ^^

    • Alex says:

      C’est bas ça. Facile (sans argument) et prétentieux en plus.
      Sinon, merci Aloïs pour cette formalisation de trucs faits à l’intuition. Bien vu.

  6. Julie says:

    Je trouve les tenues montrées très jolies sauf celle de Into your closet qui est ratée à mon avis, notamment à cause du blouson trop court (de toute façon, du rouge et du noir sur du cuir, c’est limite…) et du coup, je me dis que les tenues exposées à la vindicte via les liens ne sont peut être pas moches à cause du fait qu’il y a rappel de couleur mais tout simplement car les pièces sont moches et les couleurs aussi.
    Personnellement, j’adore les couleurs (et ne porte quasiment jamais de noir) et du coup, je suis obligée de faire des rappels sous peine d’avoir l’air d’un perroquet ! Celle que je préfère est celle du blog Bensimon avec le pull et les chaussures vieux rose !
    Merci pour ces charmantes sources d’inspiration !

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Merci pour ton commentaire 🙂
      J’adore son blouson de super-héroïne et je trouve le coup du “pull plus long que la micro veste super cool, je le pratique souvent d’ailleurs). Mais c’est normal qu’on ne soit pas toutes d’accord ^^
      C’est vrai que dans les tenues exposées à la vindicte comme tu dis (ohlala, c’est méchant vu comme ça, même si c’est pas faux… mais bon, elles ont choisi de s’exposer sur les internets, ce ne sont pas des photos de paparazzis alors je les utilise à titre de contre-exemple) les vêtements ne sont pas top quali et les couleurs sont super flashy. C’était pour donner des exemples exagérés et compréhensibles. Mais même avec des vêtements plus jolis je ne suis pas convaincue (voir le premier look cité ou celui-ci ou encore celui-là). Sur la même blogueuse avec le même genre de look, je préfère le dépareillé ou les looks qui comportent des pièces de la même couleur situées plus près l’une de l’autre.

  7. Cécile says:

    Ca a l’air un peu technique à maîtriser mais tu expliques super bien et j’aime ton analyse et ton sens de la couleur. Merci pour les tuyaux !

  8. Irina says:

    Thank you very much for the article Aloïs! It’s simply splendid! But I have one question. You know I’m
    very fond of belts. It’s easy to match them with a patterned piece of clothing when you find some similar colors in it. But I always have a problem when a belt is in some bright color and the whole outfit is neutral without pattern. The belt is right in the middle of the body – what can I match it with (without being too matchy) – with the upper part for example earrings, necklace or with shoes etc?

  9. Lisa says:

    This. This, I think, is what I have loved about your outfits all along but couldn’t have articulated. Thank you. This may be the best manual for sophisticated style I have ever read. Brava!

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