When the weather gets warm, a comfortable and easy-to-throw on outfit is an absolute must. Whether you opt for a breezy nap dress or a cute romper, there’s no question that an all-in-one outfit makes getting dressed a whole lot easier. And the latest style trend that’s just as convenient (and even more versatile) than a single piece? A matching set.
According to NYC-based celebrity and personal stylist Samantha Brown, matching sets are “having a major moment.” People want to achieve a chic and cohesive look, she explains, but also want to look and feel effortless. Fashion stylist and costume designer Alison Brooks agrees. “Matching sets are in the initial stages of blowing up this summer,” she explains, “because it takes the guessing and stress of what you’re going to wear with what out of your daily equation.”
Celebrity and editorial stylist Avon Dorsey echoes this sentiment. “They work well because they provide an inherent cheat code to getting dressed — there’s a built-in monochromatic or print aesthetic right at your fingertips,” he explains. “The convenience of snap decision-making is what’s most enjoyable about choosing a matching set,” Dorsey shares. “You don’t have to deliberate too long about pairing the perfect top and bottom.”
The ease of a set is also what appeals to celebrity stylist Brian Meller, who has worked with stars like Bretman Rock and Lea Michele. “They’re easy and take away part of the stress of putting together an outfit,” he explains. “Especially during the hotter summer months, a set is “one way to look put together or purposeful with your outfit, without having to layer or wear too many pieces.” And if you’re traveling during the summer, all the more reason to add one to your wardrobe. “You can pack a matching set but use it for multiple outfits, mixing the top and bottom with other pieces you packed,” explains Meller.
“A lot of the most popular sets these days are often a top and bottom combo that incorporate cropped pieces with a skirt or pant,” explains LA-based stylist Estelle Aporongao, who describes matching sets as “the easiest way to pull together an effortlessly chic outfit.” Stylist and creative director Veronica Graye agrees, noting that she loves how versatile a matching set can be. She calls it an equally perfect option “for those moments when you need to feel incredibly put together, like a job interview or meeting the parents,” and also for the everyday errands like picking up your kids from school or running to the grocery store.
Ahead, these six stylists share some of their favorite sets, all of which are sure to keep you feeling and looking effortlessly stylish all summer long.
“Many sets have an exposed midsection since crop tops are very popular,” explains Brown. This set from Madewell is a cute way to wear the trend without feeling too exposed. Brown recommends throwing on a blazer or moto jacket if you’re looking for that bit of extra coverage.
It’s gonna be a hot summer, so linen and light cotton can be a real lifesaver. This cotton gauze set from Madewell is not only affordable but available in tons of sweet summer colors, which you can mix and match too. It’s a Madewell shopper bestseller right now.
This top-rated summer set from Free People can easily be dressed up with a pair of heels or dressed down with a swimsuit. It’s made with cotton and linen too so you know you’ll be able to stay cool.
$200 at Neiman Marcus and $115 at Neiman Marcus
“This just brings me joy,” shares Brooks, “it’s so fun and a little flirty.” Perfect for a beach day, international travel, and any dressy summer soirees, this set would pair perfectly with a bright, solid-colored shoe as well, explains Brooks.
An Underscored editor favorite, this set is not only adorable but has kept us sweat-free and covered up from the sun whenever we’ve worn it. Cute enough for brunch and also lazying around the house, it’s become an immediate closet staple.
With a cropped twist-front top and a pull-on waistband on the shorts, this set keeps true to its name. Plus it’s made from 100% cotton.
Not technically a two-piece, but we’re too obsessed with this not to include. Made of terrycloth material (which Meller says is “so perfect for summer”), it can literally help wick away moisture from you and be a fantastic swimsuit cover-up.
Brown recommends this linen set as a perfectly breezy yet still sophisticated outfit option for hot summer days.
Got a vacation planned in Europe this year? This is the set you’ll want to wear. A longer skirt keeps you cool and covered, and the cropped top features rolled sleeves. Naturally it’s a cotton-linen blend too.
There’s nothing like an all-white outfit for summer, and this denim option is an absolute dream. “The skirt and vest are great pieces that can be mixed and matched into other outfits,” explains Meller.
Graye recommends COS if you’re on the hunt for matching sets, since the brand’s website has a section dedicated to them. Plus, she loves their great price point, incredible quality and commitment to sustainability. “This skirt set will be my summer staple,” she shares.
“This set reminds me of a very iconic look that Gwyneth Paltrow wore in “Great Expectations,” shares Brown. “I love that it shows skin without being skimpy.”
“Matching loungewear sets are the perfect way to look chic when traveling,” shares Meller. This set is absurdly soft and comfortable, and perfect for summer travel as well as errand days or just lounging around the house.
For a more covered up look this summer, this easy-breezy long-sleeve shirt and shorts set can be your everyday outfit. It’s made from 100% cotton and was upcycled from other garments.
Graye recommends this set from KkCo, which she describes as one “you can throw on and just look like you made every effort to look as put together as you do.” And the fabric lends itself to every body type, while not being too warm for summer.
Brown explains that this versatile set can be styled together for dressier occasions, or dressed down for a more casual look. Simply pair the top with some jeans, and the skirt with a basic tee, she explains.
“Cult Gaia has a variety of beautiful matching sets ranging from dress sets to top and bottom pieces,” shares Aporongao. “Their bright colors, gorgeous prints and unique textures are versatile for any summer event where you want to make a statement with your look.”
“The empire waist skirt updated with a tiny crop top is all over red carpets recently,” shares Meller. “This set takes inspiration from that, but in a fun outfit perfect for a summer party.”
While Brooks explains that these two pieces work perfectly as a set, you can just as easily break up the two pieces and wear them separately. She recommends pairing the top with a denim skirt, and the shorts with a bodysuit and blazer. The lesson here, she explains, is that “sets offer up additional style options and are investment pieces.”
“This knit set is fun and relaxed, and comes in many color options,” shares Brown. It’s perfect for those late summer nights when the temperature starts to drop, but you still want something lightweight and cooling.
In the heat of the summer, “style comes in second to simply staying cool,” explains Graye. This linen set from Everlane is perfect when you want to avoid overheating while still looking super polished and put together.
$245 at Ulla Johnson and $395 at Ulla Johnson
Brooks calls this set the embodiment of the “one and done” expression. “Coordinate with a handbag, fun earrings, and shoes,” she explains, recommending a neutral-toned heeled boot, and you’re ready for any summer occasion.
“Cinq à Sept always does a great job with designing satin and silky-fabric matching sets for women,” explains Dorsey. “The brand understands the power of item options, and provides the same colorways in skirts and pants to match a top or jacket.”
“I love the easy, relaxed vibe of this corduroy set,” shares Brown. The soft blue fabric is a perfect alternative to your standard denim.
“A classic white linen set is great to have for the summer,” shares Meller. “Both pieces are super useful to have on their own and make a perfect combo on a hot day.”
$175 at Christos New York and $125 at Christos New York
“Christos New York is a staple for many NBA players,” shares Aporongao. She calls this work shirt and short pair “the perfect matching set for any summer outfit.”
“COS is incredibly affordable and their pieces are of such great quality,” raves Graye. “I love this short set from them, which is the perfect color and weight for summer.”
“It takes a bold man to pull off this 70’s-inspired set,” shares Brown. “But I love that it’s so different from what we’ve seen in menswear lately,” she explains.
$138 at Scotch & Soda and $98 at Scotch & Soda
“A sweatsuit is a very easy way for guys to integrate this trend into their wardrobes, explains Brown, “since it feels more familiar.” This unisex option can be a fun, fool-proof way to incorporate some brighter colors into your summer wardrobe.