And the Survey Says… Matching Isn’t Fashionable


In a study by psychologists at the University of North Carolina, Duke and Carnegie Mellon, researchers found that overly coordinated outfits weren’t deemed fashionable. While Google translate has let us down on an exact translation, we believe that “compositus compositus” is the Latin form of “matchy matchy.” You’re welcome, scientific fashion community.

In a new study, psychologists asked 239 subjects from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service to rate drawings of men and women’s clothing based on how fashionable they were. The subjects saw 30 different color combinations of outfits that were either “matchy-matchy,” “clashing,” or somewhere in between. The researchers found that the Goldilocks Principle, which says people prefer to strike a balance between too [sic] extremes, applies to matching our clothes, too. {Fast Company Design}

While 239 people aren’t the broadest representative sample, the art of the clash (colors, patterns) is a somewhat recent hallmark of fashion or style. While Susie Bubble and Leandra Medine capture reader and advertiser interest based (in part) on their stylish mixing abilities, it wasn’t that long ago when the arbiters of style practiced and preached extreme coordination.


Diana Vreeland counters with Compositus Compositus perfection

At least according to this somewhat scientific observation though, a healthy mix of complimentary (but not exactly coordinated) colors is the modern height of style.

Top photo via Awkward Family Photos


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