Initially, crop tops may have seemed like one of the most difficult trends to style. Finding the perfect high-waisted bottoms to vibe with them for every occasion isn’t so easy (and not at all budget friendly). Then matching sets came along, a pre-styled two-piece made up of a top — one that’s often cropped — and a skirt or shorts made to be worn together, and that all changed. Add on the fact that the sartorial PICs could work on their own, and you just tripled your wardrobe with a single purchase. Cha. Ching.
Matching sets have been the It item of the summer, but this flirty piece has major potential all year round, and not just as a dressy duo. For this week’s Style Resolutions, and our resident hair + makeup specialist, Misty Spinney, and I teamed up to show you five ways to style this must-have number from head to toe (How gorg is this asymmetrical number that you could rent and pack along with just a few other things for a glamorous weekend away? Thanks, Rent the Runway!). Scroll below for inspo for how to wear the pieces to the office, when you’re off duty and more.
FOR A BFF POWER BRUNCH
Turn the top into the perfect little brunch tank with a pair of roomy high-waisted shorts, culottes or pants, all of which are just a touch more casual than the skirt from the set. We picked a bright pair of culottes to keep the look feeling really fun and of-the-moment — if you go the same direction, be sure to slip on a pair of walkable heels to keep those legs looking long. A statement clutch + next-level braid make this look ready for bottomless mimosas.
David Koma Lawrence Top ($85 rental; $580 retail) + Fashion Union Crepe Culottes ($48), The James Roland Shop JRS Dual Strap Sandal ($105), Whistles Leather Metalllic Purple Clutch ($81), Cheap Monday Earrings, Sweet & Spark Bracelet, Gigglosophy Extra Wide Gold Band Ring ($12)
FOR THE OFFICE
This might be one of our favorite style hacks of the series, and it couldn’t be more simple. We’ve styled the top of the set *over* an office-friendly LBD to give the dress a completely new feel while chicly camouflaging the illusion panel that makes this top a bit of an HR issue on its own. Commuter-approved flats or Oxfords, especially when worn with tights, and a sleek ponytail add a preppy and slightly conservative touch, blazer optional.
David Koma Lawrence Top ($85 rental; $580 retail) + model’s own dress, Forever 21 Flats, Muk Luks Women’s Microfiber Tights ($14), model’s own bag, Highlow Jewelry Cali Bracelet ($78), Isobell Designs Onyx Art Deco Post Earrings ($26)
FOR YOUR COLLEGE ROOMMATE’S WEDDING
One of our favorite things about matching sets is that the pieces tend to feel pretty formal when they’re worn together, even with your midriff peeking out. Strappy, heeled sandals and a lightweight wrap like this summery blanket scarf will enhance the dressy feel and refine the look, not to mention make that tummy easy to hide when the groom’s parents come around to say hi. A crown braid will match the ethereal feel, and all you’ll need to carry is a mini bag that holds the essentials: waterproof mascara, tissue (for those here-comes-the-bride tears) and lip gloss.
David Koma Lawrence Top ($85 rental; $580 retail) and David Korma Lawerence Skirt ($100 rental, $580 retail) + Miss KG Frenchy Strappy Heeled Sandals With Heart Tie ($145), model’s own scarf, Future Glory Mint Tangerine Pencil Case ($65), TopShelf Jacket Earrings, Elisha Marie Elven Ring ($47)
FOR A DAY DATE
To make things a little more daytime appropriate, we paired the asymmetrical skirt with a long-sleeved form-fitting top, kind of the opposite of its natural mate but still really flirty. To mimic the color blocking of the set, we chose a solid colored top and a pop-of-color statement necklace and playfully clashed with the skirt’s mesh panel with a giant polka dot clutch whose sequins add just the right amount of bling. Barely-there waves ensure you’re polished without feeling too overdone for afternoon swooning.
David Korma Lawerence Skirt ($100 rental, $580 retail) + Monki Cropped Step Neck Tee ($15), model’s own shoes, ASOS Spot Embellished Clutch Bag ($63), Brit + Co Laser Cut Pendant Necklaces Kit ($25), Gigglosophy Spike Bracelet ($24), Is Was + Will Be Flora Ring ($54)
FOR A SPORTY #OOTD STYLE
This look is all about getting creative with your outfit. Pull inspiration from the details on your set’s skirt. If it’s got a gorgeous floral pattern, play that up on your off-duty day with boho accents. If it’s got pretty pleats, dress it up with French-girl stripes. Since ours has a thick mesh panel, we channeled our inner sporty girl with a track jacket and a simple white shell top. Wedge high-tops, hoop earrings and a trendy half top knot make it obvious that under those team colors, you’re still a fashion girl at heart.
David Korma Lawerence Skirt ($100 rental, $580 retail) + model’s own jacket, TopShelf Scallop Crop Top ($42), model’s own shoes, model’s own bag, Batsu Maru Ellipse Hoop Earrings ($30), UNA Ascent Ring ($37)
Do you own a matching set? Share your best summer style hacks with us in the comments below!