Posts Tagged: accessories

Reader Request: Go Versus Match

matchy matchy

Reader Roxane posed this great question:

What’s the difference between accessories that “go” and ones that are “matchy-matchy”? For example, if you’re wearing all silver accessories (necklace, bracelet, shoes) is that matchy-matchy? Would you need to mix metals to have things that “go” and still stay metallic? 

I wonder which assumes the need for a large supply of accessories (and thus perhaps a larger budget) – being matchy-matchy or having things that “go.” (Of course, if you stick to a very small color palette, this isn’t an issue.)

You all know I love talking matchy. Just a quick reminder: Matchy-matchy is not a crime, no matter what the magazines say. If you love matching your accessories, do it.

Matchy can apply to the clothing within outfits, but it’s more generally discussed in terms of accessories. Roxane’s question about jewelry is an interesting one: In my opinion, wearing necklace, bracelet, and earrings that are all silver is not matchy at all UNLESS they are part of a jewelry set that has repeating elements and motifs. Their silver-ness alone doesn’t make them matchy. I think wearing jewelry that’s in the same metallic family makes visual sense. If it feels like overload, try doing earrings and bracelet in one metal, necklace in another (or in a color) – that gives you a little distance between the two similar items and the chance to bring in a dissimilar third.

Silver necklace, bracelet, and shoes? That might be verging on matchy territory depending on how prominent the silver of the jewelry is and how shiny the shoes look. If you wanted to go with metallic accents beyond jewelry, it might be best to do at least one that isn’t silver.

When I think of matchy-ness, I mostly think about non-jewelry accessories. So, here’s an example:

mustardtealred_outfit

By doing a red necklace, belt, and shoes – three red pops in three different areas within the outfit – this is already matchy-matchy. If I were carrying a red handbag, too, that would be extreme overkill in my opinion. I like to think of two matched elements as being unifying without getting matchy. So this:

redyel_outfit

… works much better. There’s still red and yellow, but only two red elements, a non-red belt, and a non-red bag. Other variations that would’ve worked include:

  • Red belt, red shoes, non-red necklace, non-red bag
  • Red belt, red bag, non-red necklace, non-red shoes
  • Red necklace, red belt, non-red shoes, non-red bag
  • Red necklace, non-red belt, non-red shoes, red bag

Etc. Go ahead and match your shoes and belt, just make sure they’re the only matched items to keep things contemporary. Also consider tights, earrings, bracelets, scarves, and hats as potential elements to match or mix.

It’s a little harder to describe what it means for accessories to “go.” In this older post on the subject, I say that accessories that go are different colors from each other and don’t pick up on any elements present in the design or colors of the outfit’s garments. But everything is harmonious, similar without echoing. The outfit on the right at the top of this post “goes,” since it includes a burgundy belt, teal bag, and leopard shoes.

In terms of which route requires a larger budget and/or supply of accessories, my guess is matchy-matchy would create a bigger burden. If you need to have belts, bags, and shoes that match exactly and want them in multiple colors, that’ll get expensive. If your accessories are either all one color or in mix-and-matchable neutrals/colors, you’ll have more variety using fewer pieces.

What are your rules for matching accessories? Would even two matched items feel like too much to you?

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Reader Request: When Matchy-matchy Makes Sense

matchy matchy

Reader Patricia had this request:

I know you mentioned a little while ago that soon you’d write a post about the benefits of matchy-matchy — yes please! I’d also love to see that expand into something about the different attitudes and situations when matchy-matchy works, as opposed to more contrast (if that makes sense?).

I must’ve been born too late, friends, because 50’s style matchy-matchy STILL makes more sense to me than looks that “go.” Pretty much across the board. I feel that matched accessories create unity and visual harmony, and that striking the right balance of complimentary but different accessory colors is often more trouble than it’s worth. Two matched accessories total is a good cap – when your belt, shoes, bag, and earrings are all the same color, it can get a little overwhelming – but those two matched accessories are like outfit bookends. Neat, harmonious, unifying.

Since that is not the current preference, though, I’m happy to suggest a few times when matching will trump going:

If your outfit is retro-influenced

Since this is a practice born in a bygone era, vintage and throwback outfits are the perfect time to employ it. Anything that hearkens back to the 40s through 60s will make visual sense with matched accessories. Not a requirement, obviously, but a choice that will seem natural.

For formal occasions

This is a personal preference for me, and I’m not sure how others will feel. If I’m getting truly dressed up – like just-shy-of-ballgown dressed up – matching accessories feel sophisticated and appropriate. I’m unlikely to do complementary but different shoes and clutch if I’m fancied up.

When you’ve got three solid colors at play

If your outfit already includes three (or more) colors, introducing accessories in multiple colors or tones will make things look a bit chaotic. Use matched accessories to create cohesion.

Whenever you need visual unity

Even if you’re not wearing three solids at once, you may feel like your outfit isn’t hanging together quite right. This often happens with print/pattern mixing and outfits that contain juxtaposed genres (moto jacket and tulle skirt), but it may surface unexpectedly in any outfit. A little bit of matchy can fix you right up.

Aside: If matching your shoes and belt or belt and bag doesn’t appeal, try matching your shoes and earrings/necklace. Naturally, this works best when you’re doing colorful shoes, but it’s a great, subtle way to bracket your look with harmonious accessories. And feels more modern and less matchy to many women.

NOW. In terms of matchy clothing? Matched sets are extremely trendy right now, but I think this is a trend that’s still evolving. I honestly don’t know what to say yet because the matching that is happening is rather suit-like: Top and skirt in the exact same print. I think if you were to do a scarf and pants or skirt in the same print, it wouldn’t fit within this particular trend, but might still look appealingly retro. I’m curious to know what you all think.

About matchy in general, too! Do you prefer to match a couple of your accessories? Absolutely never match? What are your personal guidelines and tips?

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Tulle Skirt: Feminine Edge

Tulle Skirt

How to style a tulle skirt

Thank you very much for the warm welcome to Already Pretty! My very first post as a Contributor (Unapologetically Size 14, see here) was one full of depth and considerable feeling. Although there are many things that I feel quite passionately about, I wanted to share something light and airy this time around. Nothing says light and airy like a super poufy tulle skirt, right?! Too bad that the weather happened to be dreary and gray on the day that I wore this look… Alas, I’m moving on…

Tulle Skirt

Styling a tulle skirt: Feminine Edge

The cat is out of the bag; I am completely smitten with my tulle skirt (purchased back in 2013). In my mind there are 99+ ways it can be styled, and I just might be on a mission to document each and every one. Today I’m sharing one way, “Feminine Edge.”

How to wear a tutu

Tutu /tulle skirt styling

Tulle skirts ooze femininity. One rightly feels a sense of frilly girlhood each time it is worn. Side note: Although I ordered my skirt from a vendor on etsy, since then I have discovered tons of DIY tutorials all over the web.  They show you step-by-step exactly how to make a skirt identical to this one! I have that on my lengthy to-do list, because there are at least three other colors that I can totally see myself in.

How to wear a tulle skirt

Styling a tulle skirt with edge

Typically I style my tulle skirt/tutu with femininity in mind. But there’s no fun in staying inside ‘the box‘! I decided to step outside of my comfort zone, to target an edgy spin on things. Please check out my previous tulle skirt/tutu styles here, here, and here.

How to wear a tutu

Styling a tutu with edge appeal

My Rocksbox membership actually provided me with most of the jewelry worn here. I must say, their pieces added the exact edge factor that I was looking for! Have you heard of Rocksbox? It’s a membership-based jewelry styling service. Jeweled sets are curated for you based on your style profile, which you personalize. You can keep and wear the pieces for as long as you like, or return sets anytime, as often as you want. Guess what?! Just for YOU: Try the service free of charge for one month, by using code InMyJoiXoXo at checkout!

How to style/wear a tutu

Styling my tutu

To fully bring in the edge, I opted for reflective sunnies, studded spikes, mixed metals, a jean jacket, and rugged cowboy boots. Without further ado, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Did I accomplish my goal of “Feminine Edge”?

Until next time,
Joi

Sunnies: Bestsey Johnson | Jean jacket: Michael Kors | White top: Jones New York
Tulle skirt: Custom made | Cowboy boots: Steve Madden

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