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16 May

Why Matching Is The New Clashing

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I don’t know about you, but my favorite person in this photo is not Kim Kardashian. It is not even North West, even though I will never stop loving her perma-put-off face.

Backgrid
Backgrid

It is, in fact, one of the supporting characters: the dude in the putty-colored jacket, trousers, and sneakers. (Hello, I want what you’re wearing for myself.)

We’ve long extolled the virtues of a monochromatic outfit for a longer, leaner silhouette, but in the practice of dressing that satisfies the self versus the perceived self (not mutually exclusive), prints might be the sartorial device for expressing the kaleidoscope of one’s innards. The more chaotic the mishmash, the better! But maybe it’s time to play your cards closer to the vest, as Gigi and Bella and Fashion as a Whole return to matching, stealth and less so.

Getty
Getty

At this particular moment, the archetypical look—as seen on the celebrities at the tippy-top of the food chain and other people of note, even if they’re just cool civilians—would be something like a T-shirt from a streetwear brand with jeans and a jacket in denim or leather or some sort of Courrèges vinyl, which is the coolest. The shapes can thin and widen, and the particular pieces don’t really matter, but the colors are always the same.

It’s a straightforward way of putting an outfit together, whereas print-mixing only gives the illusion of ease. (It takes a lot of thought and time shopping to look like you just threw this madcap combo on.) Maybe we’ve got more pressing matters to attend to than figuring out if a William Morris floral works with ocelot spots. Maybe the simple honesty of like-goes-with-like provides structure in an uncertain time. Or maybe the climate is just too damn volatile at the moment—because remember, you do risk failure when you experiment.

Hannah Kim
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