Ready, SET, Go!


In the past year, two-piece sets have gone from fashion statements to a closet staples. I became intrigued to try two-piece sets when they started appearing more and more frequently in the clothing store where I worked this summer. I was confused by the trend at first because I noticed that sets, when worn together, resemble either a dress or jumpsuit. I also noticed that the sets were slightly more expensive than a normal dress/jumpsuit. This made me wonder why people would pay more for two pieces rather than just one. After overcoming my initial skepticism of the growing trend, I finally bought a two-piece jumpsuit, and I guess you could say it was love at first set (I’m sorry I had to).

I have a very busy lifestyle (which only increased when I came to Berk), which leaves limited time in the mornings to put together my outfit for the day. Especially during the week when I have classes, I am not able to compose my outfit thoughtfully without running out of time (even Berkeley time... ugh). This made sets even more exciting for me because I didn’t need to plan out a top and a bottom that were cohesive; the work was already done for me. I could just throw on the top with the matching bottom and have a complete, trendy  look in seconds. Also, as sets become more desired, fast fashion retailers are starting to sell sets, making them accessible to everyone, including students, who encompass a large part of the target demographic.

SET 1: Beachy Blue Jumpsuit

I would consider this a perfect “starter set”. The tube top with the classic cut striped trouser is a super versatile look. The cut of the pants adds a sophistication that is complimented by the playfulness of the bouncy top. (Perfect for Berkeley students who need a somewhat professional look for those last minute interviews during club recruitment szn.) Pair it with some heeled booties and blazer or jacket to add a feminine touch.

[ Set: Hollister Co., Jacket: Diesel, Booties: Jeffrey Campbell]

SET 2: Street Mod Sweater Dress

Fall is here, which means SWEATERS!! Being from Colorado, I am all about sporting cozy knits for 6 months out of the year, and this set helps make the average striped sweater pop with a matching mod tube skirt. Rock this look with a pair of chunky boots and crew socks to add a punk vibe to this retro pattern.

[ Set: Urban Outfitters, Boots: Doc Marten]

SET 3: Flowy Fire Jumpsuit

This is the first set I  purchased, and it has slowly become my most-prized closet piece. I can’t help but feel empowered by the striking color and long pant legs. The extremely wide cut of the pant adds a feminine touch by letting them flow almost like a maxi-skirt, but with more mobility.

[ Set: Free People, Shoes: Buckle]

After purchasing my first few sets, I played around with making them more versatile, rather than just wearing the two pieces together. By using only the top or bottom piece, I was able to create entirely new looks with other clothes in my wardrobe. This allows for unlimited combinations using the top of the set as the foundation piece of an outfit.Now it finally made sense why I was dishing out more money for a set than just a normal jumpsuit. While the two pieces together created one specific look, the pieces individually also have so much potential to create more fashionable outfits..

SET TOP 1: Beachy Blue

The top of this set works perfectly for transforming your outfit from your everyday campus look  to a night outfit. Just pair the top with a super flirty skirt to turn heads while having fun downtown with your friends! I paired the shirt with a denim skirt, but this look can also be paired with a flowy skirt for a more flirtatious feel.

[Skirt: Pacsun]

SET TOP 2: Street Mod

The top of this set screams cool girl without trying. The cut and pattern are super flattering and the color blocks add lots of dimension to the look. Pair it with a pair of distressed high-waisted jeans to keep the edginess of the look.

[Jeans: Ragged Priest]

SET TOP 3: Flowy Fire

This top by itself immediately reminds me of the classic retro look with the bright red color and front tie. To fit the vintage vibe on a weekend stroll down Telegraph,  pair it with flared bell bottom jeans and some chestnut colored boots or white sneakers.

[Jeans: Free People]

Just as the top of the set can be worn separately, so can the bottoms! This can be more challenging at first (but also more creative) because sets often come in fun patterns and fabrics that take some practice pairing with different tops. Luckily, fun pants are in style right now so this can be thought of more as creative experimentation rather than an impossible task. When in doubt, a cropped, tied or tucked in plain t-shirt never fails when paired with a patterned or colored pant style.

SET BOTTOM 1: Beachy Blue

These pants are great for a casual picnic with friends on Memorial glade. They can even be dressed up to create a more sophisticated look. Wear them with a white blouse for a perfect business casual or date look.

[Top: Urban Outfitters]

SET BOTTOM 2: Street Mod

The vivid orange and modern pattern make this skirt a great statement piece, so I would try to wear it with some more neutral top pieces. A plain white bodysuit with a jean jacket is a super easy way to make this skirt a casual masterpiece.  

[Jacket: Free People, Bodysuit: Forever 21]

SET BOTTOM 3: Flowy Fire

These pants are quite an attention grabber, so wear them with something that keeps the focus on the pants. A solid blouse tucked in with a slim cut jacket for the perfect outfit for a night in San Francisco!

[Jacket: Urban Outfitters, Top: RVCA]

Overall, two-piece sets are the perfect styling option for busy college students, because they can be worn in so many different ways. I recommend them to anyone looking to ramp up their style without having to set back the morning alarm clock. Let your creative side run wild and have fun playing around with the infinite styling possibilities with a two-piece set. Once you do, you will be able to take your style versatility to new heights!

Words by Sophie Banta

Photography by Cindy Huang