Another fun trend to hit the streets this fall, matching sets are incredibly versatile, flattering and — most importantly — require little-to-no effort to put together. If you’ve been on the fence about rocking a matching set, consider the many benefits that come with the style.
What are the benefits of wearing a matching set?
First off, matching sets can be super flattering. “Because they are the same color/pattern from top to bottom, matching sets can be really elongating,” explains Gloria Cospito, a New York-based stylist. “They create a continuous line for the eye, which helps to make your form appear longer and taller.”
Plus, according to Cospito, any body type can rock a matching set. “There are no rules for who can pull off a great matching ensemble,” she says. “However, if elongating your shape is a style goal of yours, then a matching set is a really good choice to achieve the appearance of a taller silhouette.”
While matching sets can look great on everyone, there are some styles that might flatter your body type more than others. “The key to finding the right matching set for you is understanding what your body type actually is and knowing which cuts, fabrics, colors and details [look best on] you,” explains Gianna Nucci, a Jersey City-based stylist. “For example, a more curvy body type, like hourglass and triangle, might opt for more form-fitting styles so their shape doesn’t get lost in excess fabric; while more straight body types may lean toward styles with more volume — think wide legs, puffed sleeves, loose and flowy — to help give them shape. There is truly a matching set out there for everyone’s structure and personal style.”
What matching set styles should you try?
There are tons of different matching set styles to rock, depending on the occasion. “The options are endless, which is great because you can really find sets that mix-and-match different types of pieces to create a variety of combinations that align with what you want,” explains Nucci. “Matching sets are also available in a wide range of dressy to casual options — cut, fabric, and style detail are all factors that will help determine if a set is appropriate for dressier occasions or more fitting for throwing on after the beach.”
Some of the most popular set combos Nucci is seeing — outside of the favored loungewear sweat sets we saw a lot of last year — are midi skirts with cropped tops, ribbed knit two-piece sets, shorts with short- or long-sleeved button-downs, miniskirts with blouses and dresses and skirts with jackets (a la Clueless). “We’ll [also] always have the classic suiting combo of the trousers with matching blazers, which we’re seeing take a new twist with the trending ‘short suit,'” she said.
How should you shop for a matching set?
When on the hunt for a great matching set, Nucci suggests asking yourself a few questions first, including:
- “What is my current lifestyle?”
- “What categories do I like to wear and feel most confident in?”
- “What works best for my body type?”
- “Can these pieces be maximized as separates?”
Cospito is particularly a big advocate for making sure you love each piece on its own. “With a set, you are purchasing two pieces to be worn together, but they can also be worn apart,” she says. “Make sure you love the individual pieces on their own just as much as you love the set together, because then you'll multiply the wear you'll get out of the whole look.”
Must-try matching sets for women, according to experts and shoppers
“Pantsuits are here to stay and this set in a warm neutral (either brown or cream) feels right for all seasons,” explains Cospito.
“Aside from it being cozy, I like the balance of the oversized button-down with the more form-fitting knit short,” says Nucci. “This set can also be styled in so many ways, including wearing the top open as a shacket over another top, buttoning just a few or all the buttons, tying the top in the front or wearing it as a beach coverup, just to name a few.”
Embrace the ribbed knit sweater trend to the fullest in this comfortable two-piece set from Mango. With a cropped short-sleeve top and midi skirt with a flattering slit, you'll be ready for any wintry wonderland you come across.
Who says you can't look polished while remaining relaxed? This Express set can be easily dressed up with loafers and classic accessories or kept casual with statement kicks.
Although these two pieces are not sold as a set, they both have the same colorways and are from the same designer. “This is an example of a set that is not specifically designed to be worn together, but are the same colorway from the same brand, and therefore work together as a monochromatic set,” says Cospito.
This extra comfy set from SIDIA can be worn with sneakers to (stylishly) run errands around town or dress it up with heels and fun earrings for an easy-to-wear date night ensemble.
“This set can work as an elevated leisure set for home or as a comfy, casual look for going out,” explains Cospito.
“This set is a great example of how you can still look polished without sacrificing comfort,” explains Nucci. “I like the texture of the ribbed knitting, which adds some interest to the basic pieces. It’s also great that someone who prefers more coverage can easily add a camisole or tank underneath the cardigan to create a chic, layered look.”
Nostalgia remains all the rage this season and this Eloquii set is the epitome of the trend. Beyond going all in on the '60s mod look, this checkerboard sweater / skirt combo is available in plus sizes up to 28!
Sage green is another consistent fashion trend, as evidenced by this flowy sweater dress set from Anthropologie.
Combining a contemporary cropped jacket with flared trousers, this checked set from Mango should be a no-brainer addition to your fall wardrobe.
“The loose tailoring we’ve seen become really popular over the last couple of years really takes the stiffness out of suiting and makes it more appropriate for everyday wear versus just in the office,” says Nucci. “A suit set is great to break into separates and, worn together, create an effortlessly polished look you can dress up or down with the right shoe and accessory pairings.”
“Switch up the pantsuit for a shorts suit,” suggests Cospito. “This versatile gingham set works just as well for work as it does for drinks, and can go from brunch to date night just as easily.”
“I like that this set combines two elevated basic pieces — a flattering square neck, puffed sleeve top with a ruffled hem midi skirt — that will also work very well on their own,” explains Nucci. “The solid color provides a nice blank canvas to style any way you like and the simplicity of this set allows you to dress it up or down with the right shoes and accessories. I also like that the cropped top isn’t too revealing and shows just the right amount of skin for those who prefer more coverage.”
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- From puffy slides to chunky rings, stylists share the 16 must-have accessories for fall
- 19 cute and trendy plus-size dresses you need for fall