It’s an accepted truth that we inevitably age out of whatever we adored as children, whether that’s super-sugary, dye-saturated cereal or miniature toy building blocks. But in times of turmoil and uncertainty (see: the last year), it’s not at all uncommon to reach for things that once provided comfort. For body-positive influencer Noelle Downing, that was matching sets — a look she grew up wearing but then abandoned, declaring them “gross,” only to now rediscover them as an adult.  

“My style has changed so much,” she says of the shift in her aesthetic in the last year. “I’ve completely gone back to basics — it’s become more relaxed. If I don’t feel comfortable in it, then I don’t even want it.” 

And coordinated sets check off all the boxes: They’re comfortable, they’re versatile, and they somehow inexplicably straddle the line between loungewear, activewear, and sleepwear that’s acceptable to wear outdoors. “There’s something so cute about wearing two-pieces made of the same fabric or pattern,” Downing continues. “And because they break at the waist, they look good on everyone. It creates a ‘look’ even if it’s a super-simple print or a solid color.” 

She wears her co-ords without any accoutrements at home — simple and fuss-free — but dresses them up with layers and stacks of necklaces for outings. In partnership with Macy’s, Downing shows us her favorite sets and how she styles them — click through to shop her looks.

“This is my absolute favorite set — the fit is amazing, the fabric is soft, and I can mix and match it with pieces in my closet,” Downing says. “I also love styling it with sneakers, an oversized dad shirt, and layered necklaces for an effortlessly cool vibe.”

Cotton On Seamless Rib Ballet Bralette, $, available at Macy’s

Cotton On Lifestyle Seamless Rib Hottie Hot Shorts, $, available at Macy’s

Cotton On Women’s Dad Shirt, $, available at Macy’s

“Baby blue is one of the colors I feel really good in, which is why I wear this one on repeat at home while I’m working, lounging on the sofa, or hanging outside on the balcony,” Downing says. “I’m also all for the return of tube tops, and I really like pairing this one with sweat shorts for a cute-but-comfortable look.”

Cotton On Samantha Seam Free Rib Tube Top, $, available at Macy’s

Cotton On Clubhouse Shorts, $, available at Macy’s

Lucky Brand Gold-Tone Pendant Chain Layered Necklace, $, available at Macy’s

“Nothing gets me motivated to work out quite like a matching set — and when I wear this lavender one, I can see a huge difference in my performance,” Downing says. “Also, it’s versatile — I can throw on a denim jacket and wear it for a coffee run. I can’t wait to wear it on a hike soon.”

Cotton On Workout Cut Out Crop Bra, $, available at Macy’s

Cotton On Rib Pocket Bike Shorts, $, available at Macy’s

Lucky Brand Layered Pendant Necklaces, $, available at Macy’s

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