Does this match?

What makes something match? I can’t really tell you, I just know I’m drawn to certain combinations that just seem like good ideas to me.  I looked this up on google- it brought up a million thoughts on marriage pairings, but not so much about textiles. Ok- a good marriage for me involves a man who can tolerate my textile pairings. Mission accomplished!Fred Essler and Katherine Mattern-Journey to Paradise

I think this matches- do you? The mood feels similar to me- I’d do it. Would you?


How about this Missoni?


Is runway pairing too much for everyday? When designers throw the outlandish together, is it just to save runway time or are they showing their intent?  Is it like stage makeup- just too much for close up? Will it end up looking like a drag clown on holiday?


I brought these 2 pieces together convinced I had a fab idea. But somehow, when the skirt debuted at work, it was with a black tank and the hot pink cardy and a pair of leopard flats that were trimmed in pink. I wimped out. What was I afraid of? Ok, I do live in the south and folks are quite genteel and matchy-matchy up in here. I’m telling you- their flipflops ALWAYS match their pedicure. Unless it’s a Christmas sweater, the ‘its too much’ line is as thick as a 4 lane highway. I get treated to a version of ‘Well, I don’t mind it on you….’ alot. This is followed by the audible whisper of ‘Bu-lesss….’ usually. I can almost here the ‘she is not raised right here, she doesn’t understand our tasteful ways’. This isn’t the cool south- the B-52’s don’t visit family here- this is the lame south.  But really, are there still rules or is it all according to how you feel? I searched for Glamour Don’ts that involved print mixing and didn’t find any. It was all about the fit, the shape, the muffin top. So here goes nothing:vogue.

Anyhoo- I’ll give you a moment to digest the specialness. I’m pleased with both pieces- the top is an old favorite- Simplicity 1806 and the skirt is a new to me, but retired, Vogue. I think I stretched my skills a little bit with this one. The linen got a little stretchy on  me as I forced it to my will with all these angles, but I persevered and I’m pleased. I realized that all those intersecting lines can only create what I will now forever think of as:


Here are the envelope mugshots of the perps:1806


I chose the simplest version of the top this time- thinking I’d pair these together, I wanted the feel of directions from the prints and keep that motif unmolested. No cowling- just a slightly fitted shape to highlight the print.


So is matching about color families, print size, motif compatability or what? What makes a pairing scream for you? Are you a gaudy matchmaker at heart? Or a stay within the lines kind of dresser? Do I just need to follow my heart or go back to  garanimals?


photo credits: pattern review, google images, pinterest, meadhawg. Retro-ads.netAll images remain the property of their original owners.

89 thoughts on “Does this match?

  1. sewbussted says:

    I am the last person to ask if something matches as I love mixing prints and patterns, colors, you name it. I think you look especially cute. I say just go with it!!


  2. I love those prints together! And am highly impressed by the paunch vortex too – I could do with one of those! Great colour/print combo and the two styles work together extremely well. Go for it!


  3. gilliancrafts says:

    Matching flipflops and nail polish? I…… wow. I don’t even know what to say! I guess the south really is different than the north! 😉 I LOVE your outfit – perfectly spring-ish, and really flattering! Love it.


  4. You look AWESOME. I love that combination and I would totally wear it. The analysis of why? (Not that it matters; my reaction is visceral.) The colours in the top are picked up by the sweater and the skirt. And the patterns don’t compete.
    And while I like the individual elements of the red plaid jacket and green trousers, they don’t have any cohesion and look like they are competing for attention.
    I say ignore your southern neighbours and do what makes you happy!


  5. Wow! You look so cheery and the colours go so well together! I love it! I’m sorry you live in a shushing-behind-your-back tsk-tsk milieu, because I totally admire your print. 😀


  6. Hari says:

    Gorgeousness! Heck yes that matches!! People who match their pedicures to their flip flops cannot be trusted in matters of taste and style, in my humble opinion.


  7. Anything less would be so un-Anne like…your could also try different colored leggings mimicking the colors in the blouse. I liked the blouse so much I went online and ordered one in my size. The skirt would not make it up my thighs and it really rocks on you! Be a rebel…your neighbors are not always on the cutting edge…they follow the rule book…how boring…flip flops and nail polish matching…are they just too lazy to change out of that footwear after visiting the nail salon?


    • They wear flipflops to weddings! I see them on office workers! I know a phys asst who qears them at work!!
      This is the blouse I salvaged the fabric from the awful tucked beast pattern for!


  8. I love your outfit! To me, it matches, although I probably would have never come up with the pairing. It all seems to blend well and the color showcases your creative personality. I guess I’m kinda matchy matchy but I also like some contrasts.


  9. Chris says:

    I love it. I’ve had that same chiffon blouse fabric for months now trying to figure out what to do with it – you’ve given me some new ideas! An idea jumped out at me as I noticed the how well the lime of the skirt picked up the same color in the top. I bet a turquoise jacket on top that would pick out the turquoise highlights, making the whole outfit about spring brights.


  10. I have always marched to my own drummer. I mix prints often. And if scares others. They say things like, ” I could not be so brave” and the double edged ” it looks like you”
    I painted my house outside and in in bright colors. I live in Southern Baja. My expat neighbors shudder.
    Go with your heart. You look wonderful in those colors and that combination.
    I don’t like the pink plaid and camo. The first blouse is stunning.
    Yours makes sense, the colors and prints compliment each other and you. Love the shoes. The tights make me hot just looking at them. Even in our chilly winters. I rarely wear socks!
    Love your blog!


  11. I can honestly say I would wear this outfit combo if it were in my closet! I totally would!

    I love bright colors and that’s the one thing from the ’80s I’m glad is back in style. Most people are afraid of color and so they wear black and paint their houses white (bor-ing!).

    I think your outfit works because, there are two stripes (one wide and one broken small) paired with a bright solid (cardigan), and the colors are connected by the top. The overall proportions are good and balanced. It even looks good when you squint at it (that’s a good test for lots of things). I think the only way you could muddy the look is if you over accessorized – which you did not! Wear it wear it!


  12. Leigh Ann says:

    I really like your outfit. That skirt is all kinds of awesome! I like prints and I wear them a lot, but I never mix them together because I don’t have confidence about whether they go together or not. But I like it when other people do it. You look fabulous. Maybe I should just take a leap and try it..


  13. I am certainly not the Jacqueline Kennedy of style so my 10 cents on this is probably worth a nickel. I like it together and i think the outfit is very flattering. Great job


  14. Definetly follow Your heart. I gues I do like the order of “within the lines”. That is a safe way to og, but oh dear, “HOW BORING”. I find the need to og Beyond and try to make something “SPECTACULAR”!!! Sometimes I “wince” at my results byt other times I am really pleased. Really, what New Development would ever take Place and what Things were never discovered if we always stayed “within the lines”!! Keep it up 🙂


  15. Oh, you really crack me up. I’m from the South, too, so I assume that “Bu-lessss” was the beginning of Bless your heart, no? And the paunch vortex, hahaha! But please know, you can’t see a paunch there, not from these pictures at least.
    I love all these colors together. And I think if it’s your personality to wear those bright colors, then by all means, do it!


  16. Donna says:

    I think they match perfectly! A match made in heaven. 😉 People here tell me I look German sometimes, which is just code for “wow, holy heaven, what are you wearing?”


  17. Jacqui (Demented Kiwi Diaries) says:

    I love your blog and was laughing about the “south” when Mr DK came in to look, he thinks you need to lose that cardigan and wear that top and skirt with pride – he liked the combination and I agree with him! Keep up with the wonderfulness that is you and your blog.


  18. FabricKate says:

    Nice outfit, and intersting post.

    Here are the “rules” as I understand them…1. When mixing patterns make sure there is one common colour to bring them together. The run way looks don’t do this as they want to shock and engage the audience. 2. Also stick to a group of colours that harmonise eg brights (like you are wearing so sucessfully), muted, cools, lights etc. (Sounds like I am recommending you take up smoking…). And finally 3. consider scale – ideally keep this similar. Your own outfit and most of the other looks achieve this by ensuring the stirpes etc are on a similar scale.


  19. danvillegirl says:

    I really like the top and skirt combo. I think it works well together. Great job with this skirt. I have this pattern, actually both patterns, and have not made either one. I think the styles work together as well.


  20. I have to confess, I’m a compulsively “matchy-matchy” person but any little bit of color in a print is fair game for matching. That is why we should all wear lots of gaudy prints – they match everything. Gaudy prints are the new neutral?


  21. Anne, I love this outfit. The mix of colours, print, and scale look great to me. In general I am a very conservative dresser, mostly because I don’t think I have the personality to pull off prints (as an introvert, I don’t like to stand out) and it is only recently that I have started wearing colour. But, I absolutely love it when people mix and match print and colour and it is something I am aspiring to be able to do myself. Baby steps. In any case, I think what makes something “match”, in all honesty, is the person wearing the outfit and whether or not she/he can carry it off in personality.


  22. Go for it! 🙂 Around here if you aren’t wearing a t-shirt and jeans (or you’re wearing conservative Holderman attire), you get looks and backhanded compliments, so I know what you mean. But I can’t see how anyone could say anything backhanded about that outfit, it’s very tasteful and cheerful. 🙂


  23. Gail says:

    From one SC gal to another, I would definitely wear this gorgeous outfit to work! Regardless of what the “neighbors” might say or think. Love love love that skirt design! I’m gonna dig that pattern out of my stash asap. As far as “rules” about mixing prints, I think you are intuitive enough to not need them. If it makes YOU feel good, wear it! You look fabulous; styles & colors are YOU! Do not chicken out next time!!! 🙂


  24. Shar says:

    There are 80 comments ahead of mine and I bet they’re all telling you this outfit looks great! I love it! I say ditch the cardigan and wear the top and skirt with pride (and give the locals something to talk about!).


  25. redsilvia says:

    You look awesome. Pink and green is my absolute fave combo so you’re firing on all cylinders in my world.

    I spend a fair bit of time in the south and to my California eye, the aesthetic in most places is conservative and slightly behind the times. They still wear pearls in a nonironic manner ffs. A favorite activity on layovers is to sit in the mall by the Nordie entrance sipping my latte watching the mother/daughter matching parade. So different from what I see in my neck of the woods.

    Long way of saying, just go with it! I’d much rather see you rocking a bitching combo than wearing a jeans skirt with a Cocks tee and espadrilles. I fell asleep just typing that.


  26. I think that instead of tuning in to what other people think as the go-by rule, we should look within ourselves and see what it makes us feel. I can hear people say “It works on you…”, I say it sometimes with a bit of envy. I tried making a flower dress a little while back, and I look like matreshka doll – wide, colorful, waiting to be taken apart at the belted waist. But I LOVE the look on others, I like colorful print dresses, they are just not me no matter how well I match everything. I have to say that your paunch vortex has a slimming effect, my eye gets drawn towards the center. The pieces of your outfit are “collected” by the blouse that has all the colors of the other pieces. Sometimes one button of the right color can hold the outfit together. You look awesome in my opinion, the outfit works. I live in the south too. Most “matchy” people shop catalogs and prearranged outfit collections, you give them credit they don’t deserve.


  27. AnnaBella!!! This is the best outfit (to me) I have ever seen you sew and wear! It TOTALLY ‘goes’. I don’t like to use the word ‘match’ since it reminds me of ‘matchy-matchy’ when things come in a set and no imagination or creativity were used to pair them. You have the citron lime green skirt, and then you have repeating spots of that very same citron in the blouse. Then, your cardigan is coral and the blouse also has repeating spots of that coral. This ties everything together and makes it very pleasing to the eye. Most importantly, all three garments are colours of the same intensity, meaning they have the same amount of brightness/dullness. This also makes a varied colour palette ‘go’ together. And, of course if it feels good do it, and blah, blah, blah, but we all know that aspect of dressing, what we really want to know is the science behind why something looks good, right? Right? Oh….maybe that’s just me then. 🙂 Anyway, love the outfit and also think it looks terrific on you.


  28. Hehe paunch vortex. You look great! I love the colours in the stripes and how you blocked them. I’m not brave enough to mix and match but I admire you for doing it!!


  29. I’m pretty sure “matching” is in the eye of the beholder… what matches for one may not match for another LOL I’m also pretty sure if it matches in your eye, you can probably pull it off 😉


  30. I personally am afraid of color combos and pattern combining. It makes me anxious. I know this about me and want to push myself to broader horizons but I can’t seem too. I am more comfortable with it “matches” than it “goes”. I wish I was a bit more daring.


  31. I think they’re fabulous, together and apart. I particularly love the skirt, the lime is delightful and I love the seam detail and that you’ve used a striped fabric to make it work. Brilliant!

    I have to say I’m not brilliant at print matching, I’m always impressed by people who do a great job. This is a great job!


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