The Queen does it to brilliant effect, and so did Jackie Kennedy. I’m talking about an age-old styling trick — one that takes the decision-making process out of getting dressed and delivers a note of polish to its wearer. Drumroll, please… It’s matching your shoes to your handbag.
When the Queen made her surprise appearance on the front row at Richard Quinn’s London Fashion Week show in February, she did so in a duck-egg-blue suit by Angela Kelly and a coordinated trio of black gloves, black mid-heel pumps and a black handbag from Launer. Her granddaughter-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, relies on matchy-matchy accessories for evening functions, and created a symphony in scarlet on the 2016 Canadian tour in an asymmetric red Preen and a rouge box clutch and court shoes.
Jackie Kennedy used to take things a step further in head-to-toe colour, taking care to ensure her hat, gloves, shoes and handbag were harmonious with the hue of her coat. For Moschino’s autumn/winter show, the models were dressed in near-perfect imitations of her skirt suits, pillbox hats, wrist-length gloves and buckled heels, all of which came in peppermint green, Cadbury purple and tangerine.
It might sound old-fashioned, better suited to women who grace podiums and cut ribbons, but matchy-matchy accessories were also the surprise hit of fashion month. Fashion director at Net-a-Porter Lisa Aiken, always one-to-watch when it comes to styling out It accessories, paired poppy-red boots with Simon Miller’s equally bright Lunchbag clutch in Paris. Stylist Shiona Turini didn’t let the capital’s slushy pavements stop her from pulling on a pair of optic white boots from Stuart Weitzman, which added a palette-cleansing pop of non-colour, along with M2Malletier’s snow-coloured envelope bag, to her royal blue suit.
Buying all your accessories in one colour might take the decision making out of getting dressed, but you still have to watch what you wear them with. Keep scrolling for five ways to style matchy-matchy accessories without looking like you’re impersonating a first lady.
Primary red works a treat against forest green, which shouldn’t come as a surprise—they are Christmas colours after all. Slouchy knee-high boots in scarlet and a lipstick red handbag will be gifts that keep on giving in spring.
It takes a certain kind of woman to wear all-white accessories—preferably one with access to a driver and a six sense when it comes to dodging puddles. If you fall into one of those categories, then by all means copy MyTheresa's Tiffany Hsu and wear a white polo neck with a snowy boots-and-bag combo to take the sweetness out of a Pepto Bismol–pink suit.
The boldest of the bunch is influencer Doina Ciobanu, with what can only be described as slightly bananas accessories. If shoes and a bag in the same shade of sunflower are too much IRL, downgrade to socks and a bag instead. Also best to stick to neutral colours elsewhere—a trench coat and jeans should do it.
Brown isn’t the most exciting shade on the colour wheel, but Camille Charrière made a strong case for chestnut at the most recent round of shows. Make a teddy bear–coloured coat from Stand, along with patent boots and a woven Loewe bag in similarly delectable shades of caramel your spring go-tos and you’ll stand out in a sea of pastels.