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There are a lot of reasons to love spring's ubiquitous matching sets. First, they're basically three outfits in one — split apart the top and bottom to wear separately, or wear them together so it looks like a dress or jumpsuit. Two, they somehow manage to look way more fancy than any regular top-and-bottom combo, which makes them appropriate for weddings, cocktail parties, and evenings out. Three, despite their elegant appearance, they're no more uncomfortable than a regular pair of shorts and a shirt. It's that jump between fancy look and comfy feel that make them so compelling. But, let's stop right there: The fall iterations are not hitting the same notes.
When we first saw the matching knit set at the Marc Jacobs' fall '14 show, we can't say that we felt like shooting out of our seat to rip it off the model. Otherworldly, ethereal, captivatingly weird — yes — the ribbed stovepipe and tunic was a look that completely made sense on a runway. Actually, we didn't even second guess it (blame, too, the fact that it was the end of Fashion Week, and we hadn't had dinner yet that day). But, like they say, it's all about context, and when we ran into the fast fashion equivalent of it during our regular trawls through Zara, it was definitely a hold-up — what? moment.
As a matching set, it fulfills the first criteria in that it technically is three outfits in one. But, we prefer our tunic-over-pants styles infinitely more dressy than this fuzzy two-piece. Looking like a Victorian swimsuit or ultra-Orthodox gym clothes, this long-sleeved knit shirt and matching pants won't probably become our go-to "fancy" outfit this fall. We're assuming there will be many more versions of the matching co-ord for our formal events; we just don't know if this particular set is appropriate for any party other than the pajama kind.