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When matchy-matchy outfits started popping up on my Instagram feed, I questioned why it felt so fresh this time around. After all, the trend is far from new and has typically been a favorite styling trick among first ladies and grandmas. In 2021, though, the matchy-matchy trend has been reinvented with playful prints in the starring role and invites casual pieces like bucket hats and sunglasses to join the party for some lighthearted fun.

These days, fashion girls have embraced matching sets, three-piece swimsuits, and, of course, sweatsuits to look put-together with the least amount of effort possible. Matchy-matchy dressing is just the latest cheat code in that same lazy-girl arsenal, with the superpower to bookend an outfit so you can play more in between. Keep scrolling to find the best matching accessories online and my tips on how to style them.

When I was younger, if your shoes matched your bag, you were automatically the coolest. It was really that simple. While I no longer subscribe to that opinion (or Delia’s), this trick still works just as well to make an outfit look polished. The main difference I’ve noticed then versus now is in the styling—before, the outfit would not command any additional attention, but today, fashion girls are using the opportunity to explore just how much they can get away with.

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Matching heels to your clutch may sound precious, but when paired with the most casual outfit imaginable, it suddenly makes a very low-key outfit feel cool. Use this styling trick to instantly dress up all those sweats you’ve racked up over the past year.

First of all, this blue is so gorgeous. Second, you’ve already done the work to structure your outfit—now it’s time to color in the rest. Go wild!

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A little sparkle never hurt anyone.

Revenge heels are back, baby.

Wear these so that you don’t have to be this sweet.

This robin’s-egg blue would look lovely with light-wash jeans.

In my opinion, the baguette is the perfect bag shape. 

These mid-thigh boots will be a year-round staple

This one is for all y’all who never did their homework unless it was an extra credit assignment.

I can’t remember the last time hats were so popular among the fashion crowd. The bucket hat, in particular, has shown no signs of slowing down since it gained popularity in 2018. It has become such a staple piece that we’ve now evolved to matching it with other parts of our outfit, as we would a bag or shoes. A hat is one of the first things that people notice, so you’ll always be making a statement when it matches. Choose your patterns wisely.

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Don’t be scared to accessorize between the matching pieces. Sticking to the same color family is a great way to add personality without disturbing the flow of the outfit. Be sure to look for matching sets that use the same fabric, too—it’s usually a sign that the brand is minimizing fabric waste!

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You can never get lost wearing this. This may or may not be a mental note to self.

This little knapsack is perfect for late nights.

Usually, the tie-dye process takes place after a piece is constructed. This one is so much more interesting.

This cashmere sweater would be my layer of choice to bring on a boat… if someone were to invite me.

Lined with an all-black bandana pattern, this reversible hat is well worth the price.

These were my staple summer shoes last year and will be again this year.

I am suddenly transported to a garden bearing all the fruits and veggies I could dream of. You know the Oprah meme.

Florals for spring are still groundbreaking to me.

Why stop at hats and bags? You’ll be happy to hear the matchy-matchy trend has made it to every accessory under the sun. Whether it be scarves, jewelry, hair accessories, or sunglasses, there is a way to match your favorite accessories in a manner that may land you and Queen Elizabeth on the same Pinterest mood board. 

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Colored sunglasses are probably the newest item in your closet to color-block with. Fashion girls have these sunglasses in several colors and throw them on to match their ‘fits. 

Sometimes, the same colors in a different pattern can still feel matchy-matchy—especially when the rest of the outfit is pared back.

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Don’t you just love metallic shoes in a low-key shape? Give me attention but not too much.

Grecian goddess.

For those days you leave the house in the morning not knowing when you’ll be home.

A cute surprise for those behind you in line.

Are the gloves practical? No. Does it matter? No.

Plush cloud-wear is in.

I already know this strap will prove useful.

Get ready for a mood-boosting effect as soon as you put these on.

You and I both know the ties are clutch.

Disco inferno.

Ombré chain mail?! Sign me up.

The one thing I always seem to need when at the beach, but never seem to remember, is definitely a hat. These matching bikini-hat combos have me brainstorming all the events I can set at the beach because I now have the perfect outfit idea.

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This print is simple enough to be considered neutral and as playful as the word polka. I’d suggest using your beach accessories to add pops of color.

This density of flowers would normally be too busy for me, but the muted colors used in this set make this pattern look more like diffused splashes of color.

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The high cut will have your legs looking super long.

Hey, big head. This hat has a wide brim and deep bucket, which, as a big-headed girl, I appreciate!

I love Burberry’s print because it’s logo mania without being logo mania if you know what I mean.

This hat is evergreen.

Mark my words: Orange is the new pink.

The buckle details on the whole set add points to its matchy-matchy score and, simultaneously, set it off.

This shade of pink gets better as my skin gets browner.

Terry cloth is such a vibe for the beach. I see my future self deep-conditioning under this hat.

Next, I wear streetwear every dang day—I’m all about these six trends right now.


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