The Crimson White

Matching prints introduce 2014

Abbey Crain

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Matching skirt sets are usually likened to Judy Bonner-esque red suits and floral-patterned legging-tunic combos from pre-K. But 2014 brings with it refined digital prints and modern silhouettes worth replicating on both the top and bottom halves of your ensemble.

Last year was a year of print mixing; from plaid and polka dot to stripes and florals, the perfect concoction of mismatched was prized among street style gurus. This year it’s all about making a big statement with coordinating prints from head to toe. Mara Hoffman and Vivienne Tam offered their take on coordinating separates on their spring 2014 runway looks. The models used the conservative hemlines to their long-legged advantage, bathing in tribal and geometric prints.

J. Crew offered its take on the look with a bright geometric and floral boxy top and shorts set and styled it perfectly with metallic heels and geometric earrings.

The key to a matching print is a proportioned silhouette and coordinating accessories. A large floral maxi skirt and matching cropped top probably wouldn’t flatter the average woman, but a swingy skater skirt and T-shirt set bathed in a smallish polka dot coordinates perfectly for a student looking to give matchy-matchy a go. As for accessories, opt for solid bags and simple shoes.

I have been searching for the perfectly printed skirt-pant-shirt set for more than a year now. Shying away from large floral suit sets, I looked for something on the neutral side, because of practicality. I found it in the form of a Zara basic skirt-shirt combo, and it was love. The simple black-and-white print seemed like a subtler way to get on board the possibly fleeting trend. Paired with a few bright accessories, I think it will be one of my favorite professional-ish looks I so often find myself in need of.

For those not convinced by the statement-making potential of an all-over print, there are more subtle ways to try this trend. A striped blazer and similarly striped legging would be a more doable matching print option – pair with a chunky bootie and dainty jewelry, and call it a day. Another way to try the matchy-matchy trend is to match your shoe to your bag. This isn’t just for the dowdy. A bright red bag and shoe screams confidence and class.

Maybe you’ll wait until the corporate world forces a skirt suit set on your wardrobe. Or you can take the bull by the horns and choose to match on your own time. In 2014. Because it’s trendy.

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Matching prints introduce 2014