Readers, today I challenge you to dig a little deeper than usual. In fact, you might want to lie down on your couch, close your eyes, and free associate. I want to know how you feel about matchy-matchy dressing.
Matchy-matchy...the very term connotes contempt, am I right? Whereas matching is like, red skirt, red shoes, matchy-matchy is red skirt, red shoes, matching red lips and nails, coordinating gloves, hat and veil -- you get the idea.
Matchy-matchy evokes the marvelous art direction of all those widescreen technicolor movies of the Fifties, classics like Imitation of Life or Pillow Talk, the latter's matchy-matchy aesthetic sent up recently in the movie Down With Love.
|Down With Love -- terrible film, cute art direction|
And yet it seems matchy-matchy is enjoying a revival. Maybe it's due to nostalgia for mid-century formality (and prosperity and optimism), maybe it simply reflects the normal back-and-forth swing of the style pendulum. Or maybe it's the vintage sewing blogs. Or Mad Men. Or all of the above!
Cathy is totally a matchy-matchy young mother-to-be. And who can blame her? Matchy-matchy looks better. It says, I care. You match your clothes and accessories not just for yourself, but because it makes the world a prettier place.
I'm not a particularly matchy-matchy person myself, but I am open to exploring the possibilities.
I think matchy-matchy is harder to pull of today simply because women (and the above photo notwithstanding, matchy-matchy is more closely associated with women's fashion than men's) don't accessorize the way they used to. Most women don't wear gloves and hats anymore, let alone opera coats with linings that match that dress!
What can you really match-with-what today? Bag and shoes?
Flank steak and prosciutto?
I think sites like Polyvore allow us to explore our matchy-matchy fantasies without ever having to leave the house (or wear opera-length gloves in public). Matching is a very basic human instinct, after all -- a way of imposing order on the chaos.
Readers, how do you feel about matchy-matchy? Do you try to match your clothes and accessories or don't you bother?
Does matchy-matchy seem dated-- a throwback to the days of girdles and veiled hats -- or chic and of-the-moment?
Matchy-matchy style -- yea or nay?