For my ninth birthday, I had a bowling party. Previous to this, I had only been to very traditional birthday parties at my friend’s houses, with games such as Pin The Tail On The Donkey, Pass The Parcel and Musical Chairs. I was the first person in my group of friends to do something different, and (in what should have been a clear warning to my mother about what was to follow later in life) I decided such an occasion warranted a new outfit.
My Mum is a talented sewer, and so we headed to a local fabric store to choose material for my birthday outfit. I still remember as though it were yesterday (and there are photos to prove it), choosing a black cotton Lycra that had blue dolphins and sea shells printed all over it. Mum supervised the construction of a little singlet with a blue ribbed neckline and matching shorts with fancy top-stitching around the legs. I felt like a million dollars.
In the following years, my wardrobe boasted many other sets. There were the Barbie pedal pushers and pink t-shirt, pleated skirts with matching halter-necks… honestly I could go on all day. Suddenly, I was wearing adult sizes, and sets were no longer a thing. You were expected to put your own combination of top and bottoms together, rather than have it pre-determined for you- in fact to wear a matching set as an adult would be decidedly uncool.
But 2016 has seen a throwback to the naughties (is it just me or am I hearing Destiny’s Child like it’s 2001) and with it, matching sets.
At first I thought it was just brands showing cohesion through their collections with the same fabrics, but I started looking at lookbooks and campaigns and realised that these tops and bottoms were intended to be worn together.
What can I say? I’m a big fan- as you can probably tell from this post and this post. A few of my favourite sets include this Seed Heritage top and skirt, this AJE top and shorts, this Zimmermann top and shorts and this Gorman activewear crop top and tights.
My all-time favourite matching set for 2016 goes to the AJE top and skirt that I am wearing in today’s post (both 50% off now in the Boxing Day sales). The brocade is so pretty, I can’t get over the fullness of the skirt, and the little details in the high neck and on the sleeves make me feel like a bit of a princess, and life’s too short not to feel like that more often, right?