You simply don't need to talk me into it: I'm obsessed with matching sets. Co-ords have become my go-to in times of fashion need for many reasons. First, they look pulled-together with minimal styling effort required. Then there's the fact that they magically manage to straddle the tricky smart-casual divide I struggle with. There's something about dresses that feels a lot more formal and something about mismatched separates that requires a great deal of consideration each morning. Such is the co-ord's popularity in the land of fashion that it's made the impressive transition from trend to wardrobe staple, and you'll now find that many e-commerce websites have entire category pages dedicated to them.
Hannah Almassi wearing her favourite set of knitted co-ords back in 2018.
When I tried my first co-ord (this red-and-black striped combo from Warehouse, pictured above), I fell for the idea hook, line and sinker. I rarely wear the pieces of my co-ords apart—they look so much better together in this instance—but that is an upside to buying a two-piece look rather than a dress: You do have infinitely more outfit opportunities to make the most of your investment.
Photo:Courtesy of Blazé Milano/Emilia Wickstead/Nanushka/Rejina Pyo
Clockwise from top left: Blazé Milano, Emilia Wickstead, Nanushka, Rejina Pyo
Although this combination is now well established and around three or four years old, designers are still keen on adding matching sets into their latest collections. For spring 2021, you'll find myriad options across both luxury and contemporary brands: laid-back linen skirt suits at Rejina Pyo, ribbed loungewear-ready top-and-trouser sets from Nanushka, suiting across countless runways, and fancy formal options like flounced tops with swishy skirts at Emilia Wickstead. From casual weekend sets to smarter options for events or a return to work, keep scrolling to shop all of the very best designer co-ords available today.
Imani Randolph wearing a knitted bra and cardigan from Paloma Wool.
Whether demure (a knitted tank and matching cardigan) or a little more adventurous (hello, bralette!), the concept of the twinset has been reborn for 2021. Perhaps first jettisoned into the spotlight via Katie Holmes in that Khaite combo, this trend rumbles on across the board in many different cuts and colours.
SKIRT + CROP TOP
Chloé Pierre in a matching ribbed sky-blue set.
Matching skirt-and-top sets come in many guises, from prim (see Alessandra Rich's 1980s-style pairs) to laid-back and easy-going (knitted and stretchy versions are so simple to fling on), so pick your perfect partner and look sophisticated forevermore.
Xiayan in a trouser suit from No Stock Paris.
The slickest of all co-ords, trouser suits haven't faded out despite the fact that they can be easily associated with corporate office wardrobes. Instead, designers are introducing more daring colours, looser silhouettes and unique styling ideas.