There is a phenomenon here in the Midwest and I always find it fascinating. A large percentage of the population believes one’s clothing and accessories should perfectly match. Now I’m not talking about tone on tone or coordinating monochromatic styling, no…I have seen women walking around with shoes looking for the EXACT color of handbag, or the EXACT color of hat which matches a tiny spot in, or sometimes the entire color of the dress. This topic is of particular importance when styling and dressing for Derby and related events this time of year. If the customer doesn’t find what they are after, the question becomes “why not”? Why make a color in one category which doesn’t match other items from the same brand? The “all nuetrals go together” thing is totally out the window here and who cares if the hat fits correctly or even looks good as long as EVERYTHING is the same color. Oh, and I do mean the SAME color. Not a shade off. Not a hue, not a hint, not a shadow off. Just as if you took a swatch to the paint store and it was duplicated with that machine which reads paint colors. I often question what reasoning dictates this fashion faux pas as one can clearly see an outfit goes together only if it is completely matching in the same EXACT color from head to toe. Who made this rule? I find this is something which is taught from childhood and observed by others as correct and true because clearly it is not practiced in the fashion world. I have also found that going against the grain so to speak, even with authority to which I am loosely given by being a “brand representative” is unwise. I am often given the look as if I have an extra head growing off my shoulders at the mere mention that no one really notices they aren’t the EXACT same color because the bag and shoes aren’t in the same eye frame at the same time. At this point my credibility is completely out the window and nothing I say from this moment forward is regarded as an opinion that matters. Now not all women around here feel this way about fashion and some will disagree with me but if you go to the Kentucky Derby this year or you watch the event on television, pay attention. I think designers are clearly missing their customer base in this market.