In a recent study, researchers from the University of North Carolina and Duke found that moderately matched outfits were considered to be the most fashionable. This takes the guess work out of choosing what to wear in the morning. The best outfits are not too monotone but at the same time not overly loud- a classic balance of bold but restrained. The matchy-matchy may seem easy but isn’t doing any favors to your appearance.
The findings uphold the psychosocial theory known as the Goldilocks Principle. This proves that individuals don’t want to stand out too much, but at the same time don’t just want to blend in. You have to be able to find the happy medium in order to have an optimal impression on people to be considered “fashionable”. This does not come as too much of a surprise as people generally tend to find a balance of extremes in their life. A good pair of shoes can be a good balancing tool to keep your outfit neutral, or to be the show piece (just be sure not to over do it with the rest of your outfit).
This study is important because it is the first of it kind- most designers like to think fashion is something that isn’t quantifiable, but now there is finally a way of telling what your peers will find fashionable. It is also important because it states that fashion is “an essential part of the human experience” that goes past vanity to influence “perceived and signaled social identity, employment outcomes, romantic success, and even cognitive processes.” If this doesn’t make you think twice at the store I don’t know what will.
Let’s test it! Which would you rather wear?
None of these things is quite like the other: Agi & Sam, spring/summer 2015/Getty; Berluti spring/summer 2015/Getty; Dunhill spring/summer 2015/Dunhill.