During a recent hat related Friday discussion, regular commenter Jimbo posed the following question:
I’m confused about the term “matchy” which is oft-times bantered about on this blog. 99.99% of what Queen Elizabeth (I always hear sweet music in the background when typing her name!) wears is matchy to a fault. Same color, material, pattern – the term I’d use is that she’s always perfectly coordinated. Where is the line to be drawn where her ensemble is balanced and coordinated or it’s too “matchy?”
I think, Jimbo, you’ve ventured into completely subjective territory! However, as we’re already into a season of major hatted events, clearing up terms such as this one can only help our discussion.
For me, the line from ‘coordinated’ crossed over into “matchy” territory in one of three ways:
Formula #1: The ensemble is one-note in texture and colour, without something to visually break it up.
Formula #2: A particular pattern or motif is repeated on significant item(s) of clothing AND the hat
Formula #3: One item- often a jacket or dress- is chosen as a focal point and ALL other elements of the ensemble (including the hat and all of its trimmings) are matched to it to the point that the ensemble feels too much. Usually, the focal piece is in two or three colours, all of which are repeated throughout each of the other pieces of the ensemble. However, this formula also includes single colour ensembles where all the accessories (again, including the hat) are in the same colour family as the focal piece, like the orange one below.
A disclaimer here- while Queen Elizabeth appears in each of these three categories, I don’t think all of her ensembles warrant the “matchy” label. Most, I would consider as beautifully coordinated!
So- what do you think of my classification of these pieces as “matchy”? What other ensembles with hats do you think are overly matched? What, in your estimation, takes them from ‘coordinated’ over the line into “matchy” territory?