Softly, Softly, Matchy-Matchy

Matching is a pretty clear cut choice. You either do it or you don't. The Matchy-Matchies like to co-ordinate shoes with bags, fingernails with toenails, necklaces with bracelets, etc. Whereas the Clashers like to make it look like they've put on the exact opposite to what one would expect (there's a fine line between that and looking like one got dressed with the lights off). Personally I'm more of a Clasher. There is a time and a place for matchy-matchy and I think it was the 80s but that's just me. But....(wouldn't be much fun without a 'but' would it) this season co-ordinating seems to be all the rage. And I don't just mean shoes and bags, this is about tops and bottoms, wearing co-ordinated two piece outfits. Heck, Zara have a created an entirely new online menu option devoted to it so it must be BIG.

I'm not quite sure about this. Wearing a top which exactly matches my skirt makes me feel a bit queasy. The co-ords, as they shall be known henceforth, are mostly in a pattern so won't I run the risk of looking like a pair of curtains? I did venture to wear one co-ord outfit this summer, a kimono with matching shorts from H&M. I absolutely love it everytime I look at myself in the mirror but I just can't quite bring myself to leave the house in it. Separately, yes, but together, no.

However, I have been searching for my ideal co-ord and here are a few ideas. See what you think:

Let's kick things off with a bit of drama. This co-ord set is pure Gothic Victoriana (another big AW15 trend) but the pieces would work wonderfully as separates too (surely, the co-ord triple whammy).

Clare Edwards Personal Styling

Lace top £39.99 & lace skirt £49.99 - Zara

Now for the aforementioned grandma's-curtains look. I already have the top of this little ensemble and I love it. I also think the trousers are fab but decide.

Clare Edwards Personal Styling

Printed top £25.99 & loose fit trousers £29.99 - Zara

This is a beautiful look from the second V&A collection at Oasis. Both pieces are as pretty as a picture and are versatile on their own too. Pair the skirt with a crisp white shirt for a nod to Audrey H and wear the top with your jeans at the weekend.

Clare Edwards Personal Styling

V&A floral top £40 & V&A floral jacquard skirt £60 - Oasis

This blazer and culotte/cropped/'awkward' trousers look is a great way to get your matchy-matchy on. This ensemble is denim but it's a lovely dark weave so looks very smart when teamed with a structured top and heels. Personally I wouldn't add the crop top but that's because I don't want to put anyone off their dinner.

Clare Edwards Personal Styling

Navy tailored denim jacket £60 & culottes £35 - River Island

There has been much talk of a brown suede skirt from Marks and Spencer recently made famous by various celebrities and bloggers but I'm not going to mention that one....instead I'm going to bring another brown suede* skirt from Marks and Spencer to your attention (*it's actually faux). This version has a matching bomber jacket so it slots into my feature nicely. I cannot vouch for the suede-ness of these pieces as I've not seen them in the flesh and I always think one needs to when one is dealing with faux suede - one does not want to look like a chamois, darling.

Faux suede bomber jacket £65 & faux suede skirt £39.50 - both M&S

Please excuse this next suggestion as it has nothing to do with the new season or clothes for that matter but I do love a flamingo. If you've yet to jet off to sunnier climes for your summer jaunt then these little gems should make their way into your suitcase; they're just darling.

Flamingo beach bag £15, toothbrush holder £4.50, wash bag £10 & beach towel £15 - all John Lewis

Well, there you go. If you do fancy trying out a co-ord I say go for it - I may be retracting my opening statement regarding Matchy-Matchies and the 80s. And if it doesn't work out at least I'll have a toothbrush holder with flamingoes on it. Result.