Two Piece Coordinates (Not Crop Tops!)


Summertime usually brings with it a few outdoor events: poolside cocktail parties, beachside weddings, outdoor graduations, etc. It can be tough to find the right attire that will a) be flattering and b) provide you with options to wear again. I do hate having to buy a dress or outfit that I only wear once!

Enter the two-piece coordinating outfit (the British sites call them coords – love that.).   With two pieces to work with, you can wear them to your event together (for the dressiest look), then pair them with other pieces for future options. I love the versatility! Three or more outfits in ‘one!’

Reader Randi wrote in asking about two-piece dresses and that’s what spurred this hunt for these hard-to-find yet 0h-so-versatile pieces.

I am desperate! I have a 40th birthday and a casual wedding coming up. I am looking for a fun two piece dress that is not a crop top and hides some of my extra winter pounds.  I am desperate to feel fabulous!! Any ideas?!?!

The Search

Here are the key words here that complicate matters: not a crop top. Oh boy. Crop tops are everywhere right now, and the vast majority of co-ords feature some sort of crop-top paired with a skirt.  And while there are some mamas who can successfully show off their toned abs (high-five, you!), many of us are a little…softer in that area.

The tricky part of this search was…how to search. Do you search for ‘two-piece dresses’? Yes, there are a few that come up. But you also get a lot of Mother-of-the-Bride outfits. Searching ‘coordinates’, brings up a few more options. Some of the pieces were discovered by simply hunting for a top and skirt in the same fabric/print…not as easily entered into Google. In any case, after much searching, a collection has been made! Thank you to Shana and Jess for help and some great additions!

Styling A Few Coordinates For Summer Events


Summer Soft

Ann Taylor Floral Cut Peplum TankAnn Taylor Floral Cut Full Skirt – This is a very classic option in a lovely cut lace. This is perfect for summer and each piece is easily styled to wear again…cropped ankle pants with the top and a tucked-in navy cami with the skirt.

Vince Camuto Mariana Ankle Strap Sandal – Love the soft rose color of these. So good with ivory.

kate spade new york mini square semiprecious earrings – These. So gorgeous. Especially with the color of the clutch. Yes.

Skagen Anne-Marie Clutch – That color. I die.

Summer Glam

Milly Diamond Fil Coupe Trapeze Camisole & Midi Skirt – This was one of the first options I found and still one of my favorites. The trapeze top is very flattering for hiding a bit of a middle section and the black cut fabric is gorgeously glam. Style the top with white skinny jeans for a date night later.

Nina Payne Izzy Cutout Heels – So bronze summer goddess…love love these for all summer parties and date night. The color is just spot on.

Michael Kors Color Block Cuff – This cuff is such a great accessory to wear with black. It’s so interesting and unique, but simple. Love the chunkiness of it.

Maru Beaded Pouch – I love the design on this. Being beaded, it’s dressier but the print hints at beachy/summery. Adore.

Summer Casual

Ann Taylor Scalloped Eyelet Shell  & Scalloped City Shorts – I was excited to find this top and shorts set that looks like a romper, but has the benefit of actually fitting well and being easy to wear (ie. trips to the restroom). I love the cutout fabric of this. This is perfect for a more casual occasion, like a fancier barbecue or daytime event.

Free People Dahlia Lace Up Sandal – These are really cool and a great subtle metallic. I’m all for a more subtle color when you are rocking a bold sandal like this. Love them.

J.Crew Tassle Earring – I like the idea of a dressier earring with this outfit and these are a nice pairing with the tassle on the clutch.

Anthropologie Floris Pouch – A great floral clutch for summer. I love that it dresses up this outfit a bit more.

Shop More Two Piece Coordinates

I hope all this searching will help some of you solve a summer event outfit dilemma! I usually try to avoid being too matchy, but I have a new appreciation for these versatile pieces. The matching factor makes them dressier for the event. The two piece factor makes them more flattering and much more wearable. Yes. Thanks Randi for writing in and inspiring this search. I hope your events are fun!!



  1. Ann taylor really offers a TON of options for matched sets and a lot of very pretty prints. I really love this post so much!

  2. I also love coordinates for the same reason you exposed. Totally love the casual look! More options to mix and match and play with your wardrobe. However I don’t really get the crop top thing! Crop top doesn’t necesarily mean that you have to show your midsection. A crop top can hit a litlle below the waist and paired with a highwaisted bottom we moms with very saggy skin and stretch marks can have our “abs” fully covered…and is great for the petite ones since our legs will loke longer!!

  3. You ladies are reading my mind! Exactly what I was looking for, love the romper look, but getting the perfect fit given everybody’s different proportions, is tough (and there’s that bathroom thing). Have you read about J.Crew coining the Hookup and Breakup term?
    Same idea, but your post is great since I wanted more options and I was having a hard time with search terms.

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