Over the years I’ve talked about the twinset effect you can create by combining two top layers that match perfectly in colour and/or pattern. It’s not the traditional twinset pairing of a pullover and cardigan in exactly the same fabric, colour and pattern, but rather the more unexpected pairing of two other kinds of top. 

Here are some items from my own wardrobe as to illustrate the effect.

Patterned Blouse and Matching Scarf

First, there’s the patterned blouse that can be worn with a scarf in exactly the same pattern (although the fabrics are different). I bought the floral combinations at J.Crew last year and LOVED the set. So I bought a botanical and striped combination in the Netherlands a few months ago and have enjoyed it just as much. The effect is maximally Modern Retro, which appeals to my sartorial preferences.

Double and Triple Layers of the Same Solid Colour

Second, there’s the layering of two or three items in exactly the same solid colour. The collection shows two tops that I interchange with the same topper and scarf for a triple layered effect. The topper can be a cardigan, jacket or coat, and the top any silhouette at all. Sometimes I leave off the topper or scarf to create a double layer with the top.

The yellows look mismatched in the pictures, but they match perfectly in person. The fabrics are different, creating textural interest and outfit depth. Personally, I find the visual effect most effective in a non-neutral, and any non-neutral will work. Pastels, brights, mid-tones, jewel tones, muddy colours or earth tones — it’s all fab.

Both versions of my modern twinset feel fresh and different, create a polished effect, and I very much enjoy wearing them. Granted, combining a patterned blouse with matching scarf is an acquired taste and the sets aren’t easy to find. But a solid, non-neutral version is fairly easy to accomplish.

Who’s liking the modern twinset?