Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Matchy-matchy

Hear that sound? That hollow 'thunk' is me smacking my head at my own stupidity. Bianca did a great post recently about making accessory sets, so you've always got a go-to set of matching accessories when you need them. How had I never thought of doing this? I can't bear it when things don't match, yet in the past I've always tried matching everything to my dress. That sort of works, but I really come unstuck with separates, and always end up falling back on black because 'black goes with everything'. (It doesn't, it's just the least noticeable way of not going with things.)
At this point, you might be thinking, “But I don't make accessory sets and my outfits work”. And you're right, yours do. I struggle, though. I don't know whether it's because I like simple shapes and clean patterns and tend to wear fewer 'elements' than most people, but whereas other people can pick out things and have them all work together like that, if I pick out a dress and shoes and bag and piece of jewellery, all too often they stay as four separate things. A really good, strong dress will pull the other elements in and force the shoes and bag and jewellery to get along, but separates tend to weaken each other's impact and then I look like a bundle of random items.

So, I got out my bags and shoes, and looked at them all to decide which looked good together and which didn't. The happy thing is, I really do like all the things I've got. Especially bags. The modern liking for giant slouchy bags has definitely been to my advantage, as nice little boxy bags end up on the charity shop shelves every so often. I've got a couple that need repairs – the suede shattered on the bottom of my half-moon-shaped one, and my favourite black one needs a new handle – but on the whole, I'm sorted for bags. Most are black and brown and so fall into the 'never going to be the high point of an outfit' category.
Cate sent me a really lovely blue bag ages ago, and I want to get a pair of shoes to match that. Mostly that gets carried with a blue/coral dress and coral shoes, but it deserves proper partners, and then I think it'll be able to 'do more'. I'd also like a pair of dark cream or ecru shoes to go with my cream bag, as it looks utterly wrong with black. Then there's the stunning Welsh tapestry bag/cap set I bought from Baboushka; brown shoes would make sense to match the leather details but I want to make the most of the colours in the fabric, so I'm thinking the pistachio loafers Van-Dal have in their current range, plus a matching headband, might be a better option. If I knit myself some 60s tops in the other colours in the tapestry, how fab would that look? (I am so hankering after some 60s tops right now. I really need to get the cardi I'm knitting for a friend off the needles.)
I'm not really sure what accessories to pair up apart from shoes and bag, though. Headbands and brooches, I suppose, plus coloured tights in winter. I don't wear gloves, rarely wear scarves, and the last thing my wide middle needs is an obvious belt cutting across it. Have you any ideas what would do the job? I guess that's why outfits from the 1960s seem relentlessly matchy; with fewer pieces to play with than in previous decades, people focussed on co-ordinating what little there was.

28 comments :

  1. Bianca's post got me thinking too, I like the idea of 'sets' and could probably pull quite a few together. A task for the weekend maybe! I suppose you can match anything really, not just accessories, it could be a piece of clothing like a cardigan too. The one thing I need more of is umbrellas - that sounds silly but many a perfectly matched outfit may be overshadowed by a jarringly different brolly!!

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    1. I never thought of either cardigans or umbrellas. Cardigans are pretty high up my wishlist; I've realised just how much I rely on the few I own.

      All my umbrellas are black. A bit dull. Deffo something to consider!

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  2. I love buying vintage bags from charity shops and discovering matching scarves and gloves tucked away inside, its like a mini time capsule.
    I'm not really a matchy-type of person. I've loved the same type of stuff forever and I just assume it goes together because it has a common theme, me!
    Shoes, bag, opaque tights, a brooch and, even if you don't wear a scarf in the conventional way, how about tying one around the bag handle like the uber stylish women do in Europe? xxx

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    1. I've never had the luck of finding anything inside a bag, aside from the original bag paper hang-tag. That must be brilliant.

      I tie a small art deco scarf to bags, that's deffo something to consider. I might actually get some use out of my large, underused, scarf collection!

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  3. I might be adventurous with colour, but I still like things to sort of match, opaques matching my cardigans, and my brooches coordinated with at least one of the colours I'm wearing. I like the idea of matching sets. That Welsh tapestry bag/cap set, which is gorgeous, offers so many possibilities. Pistachio would be a good colour for shoes. And then maybe a scarf which picks up one of the other colours? Have fun experimenting, Mim. xxx

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    1. I've got next week off, so I might just pile everything into a heap and see what works...

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  4. Mod girls used to always do matchy matchy very well, like a bright green dress with white trim teamed with white tights and headband and green shoes. They also played with different shades of the same colour, so a bright pink skirt with a pastel pink jumper. I've always loved that idea.

    Oh and trust me I don't just pick things out and they go together just like that, it takes lots and lots of planning and researching. I have things that go together in my wardrobe because I took my time to find or make the right pieces and then I only wear those pieces together. xx

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    1. Yeah, I've pinned loads of mod outfits on one of my pinterest boards. I love the colours, it all feels so optimistic.

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  5. I wouldn't really offer anyone any style advice because we're all different and develop our own unique style. However, what I find does work for me is:

    Wear three items i.e. skirt/top/waistcoat; dress/jacket/scarf; trousers/shirt/cardigan.

    Make sure one of the items is patterned if the other two are plain.

    I use mostly jewellery to accessorise, but I love Vix's suggestion of the scarf tied to the bag handle. I think this looks so chic especially with vintage bags.

    As I've written this I can see that this isn't very sixties at, all; for me in the 60s it was loon pants and long sleeved t shirts sometimes with an afghan waistcoat, mini skirts and ribbed jumpers and dresses.

    There is no way I could get an accessory bundle ready - I have far too many clothes and far too many accessories!

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    1. Heh, I'm trying to picture you making an accessory set - you've probably got more than one of everything in all your favourite colours already.

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  6. i love really kitschy bags the crazier the better but this is a great idea too very chic

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    1. Hehehe, I have a few furry animal bags - one shaped like a highland cow, and a red panda one.

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  7. I read Bianca's post with great interest as well, and I like the idea of matching accessories, but personally I don't think I master the art of accessorising. I prefer the Gar├žonne style and limit my accessories to cravat rings, brooches, berets and gloves. Mostly black or something that goes with black. The climate doesn't make it easier either. In minus 15 celcius I reach for the warmest hats and mittens I have, and my wearable duvet (long down coat), style be damned. This winter I tried to cheer myself up by wearing a nice tweed skirt, but the duvet coat and giant wooly hat made me look like the village weirdo. I am really looking forward to spring and summer!

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    1. Brr, in that weather a wearable duvet is definitely the best plan. I think I'd go into complete hibernation.

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  8. If a bag or shoes have a pattern that can be easy to carry along to earrings, brooch, etc. Vertical designs do well with dangling earrings and triangular shapes-that sort of thing. The tweed hat and bag suggest large hoop earrings to me, and even a pair of round shoe clips if you have them.

    I never did bother to get dressed today, but you'd be impressed how I matched my slippers to my dressing gown ;)

    -Goody

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    1. See, this is why you are the Queen of Accessorising - I struggle enough with colour and you think of shape. Those are brilliant ideas.

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  9. I Love matchy matchy!!!
    But my matchy matchy-ness as far as shoe & handbags is limited to metallics- I have matching sets of gold, silver, bronze, pewter-y things (and sets of jewelry) that go with all my (garishly) colored Indian outfits.

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    1. I did consider metallics. I bet they look amazing with your Indian outfits. There's something about the light in Britain - maybe the moist air - that drains colours. Which you'd think would make us go for bright shades, but it seems to have the opposite effect.

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  10. Part of my problem is I have all good intentions then The alarm goes and I stagger out of bed and grab the nearest things! I do wear cardigans all the time at work I am the queen of them. I'm ashamed to say for a woman who collects handbags I use the same one for work every day.

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    1. I use the same one for work every day. Pete said I should make myself a 'handbag liner' that transfers easily between bags, and I think he's onto something there.

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  11. I never thinking about pairing my accessories up, I tend to colour co-ordinate in a slap dash, what's to hand kind of a way but not actually organising sets ready to go. Something to definitely ponder.

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    1. I think it might be an excuse for me to BUY MORE THINGS.

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  12. This is such a good idea! I like the idea of matching and wearing complementary colours.

    The main accessories I go for on a regular basis are hair scarves which I try to match to what I'm wearing. I always wear brooches on jackets, but forget to change them but will match my earring colour. I only have four handbags which I pick from and they're all in the brown and black spectrum and even then I prefer my flamingo handbag.

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    1. I always think of you when I see chiffon scarves in photos! (I don't seem to spot them in the wild, though.)

      Flamingos go with everything. They're the Folly Bird Neutral.

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  13. I tend to find one bright or unexpected item makes the rest of my outfit look well-matched. So for example, dark trousers, shoes and bag with a red top (even if the trousers are black and the bag/shoes are dark brown or burgundy). It creates colour groups within the outfit. Also seconding different shades of green - I often wear a mint green top with my khaki cardigan and bag.

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    1. That's an interesting idea. I like the idea of unexpected items - I've got lots of slightly silly things that would work for that. (Highland cow backpack!)

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  14. What a great post. I love your handbags and that 60's bag and hat set is absolutely fantastic. The colours are superb. I did like the Van Dal loafers to go with them. They are an amazing colour. What about matching less obvious things that would give a flash of colour, like eye shadows/nail varnish or even earrings/bangles? I don't think that I have a matching set of anything. I did try to buy a pair of shoes to match one of my handbags but bought the wrong colour so both of them don't match anything else. I will just stick with DMs. They go with everything. :D Xx

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    1. DMs are both cool and practical. That's one thing I will say for my footwear, it's practical. I'd rather look a mess and be ready for anything than look like a fashion plate and feel restricted.

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