After some recent research into the topic of matching twins’ outfits, it appears I may by in the minority when it come to dressing my fraternal girls differently. It seems, for many parents of same sex multiples, matching outfits is their preference and that of their twins too.
The main reasons given were for ease of shopping, speed when dressing and to avoid tantrums because their twins wanted to wear the same. These all seem perfectly reasonable but I still wouldn’t do it.
Even since before our twins were born, I was determined to raise them as individuals, hence the blog name. In my opinion, a child’s sense of identity come partly from their outward appearance. Putting two children in the same outfit day in day out is a sign to the world and to them that it’s ok to be identify them as one.
As much as I value the twin bond, I firmly believe dressing them differently won’t damage to their unique relationship. Instead it may strengthen their sense of self and developing personalities. To nurture this, it may mean we as parents have to work a little harder or spend an extra few minutes choosing separate outfits but for me that seems worthwhile.
Are they Twins?
Twins are definitely a conversation starter. Ask any mum or dad of twins how many time they’ve been quizzed about their multiples and you’ll be told that, especially with newborns, it’ll be daily if not more frequently. Add matching outfits in and they are even more easily identified as ‘the twins’.
…but it’s cute
The fact that parent’s choose to dress twins alike because it’s considered ‘cute’ does frustrate me and seems short sighted. It’s no wonder that the older they get, the more resistance comes from individual outfits when all they’ve known is the familiarity of matching.
Without having the option to match, there is no argument. Most days I still choose outfits. I know that Jessica dislikes long sleeve tops and Emily would rather wear legging under a dress than tights so I pick accordingly. Of course their outfits will be similar to fit with the weather and the day’s activities. However, no more so than if I were dressing different aged siblings or boy/girl twins.Non-matching twins are no less special than matching ones but you just might lose some of the attention. Click To Tweet
On the days they pick their own outfits, their choices are even more distinct. There is only one wardrobe (which is something that I may change in the future) but they often go back to their favourite pieces time and time again. When I shop, I often buy items for a specific twin and tell them which piece is for who straight away.
Just like for the parent, choosing matching outfits is the the easy option for the child too. This is especially the case if that’s all they’ve known. Even the smallest difference such as socks can become a big deal. It’s why I’d encourage parents with very young twins to reconsider matching. The older they get, the more intertwined their perception of what being a twin is with their outfits.
What’s the harm?
Of course I’m not suggesting that by dressing twins alike that it will cause long term emotional damage. Yet you are certainly showcasing them as one unit. Every child wants to be seen as special, especially by their parents. So by valuing and celebrating their uniqueness and differences, you will be encouraging a stronger parent/child bond.
I know this will be a contentious issue that many parents of multiples will strongly oppose. However, I too feel strongly about twindividuality and dressing them differently is just the start.
I’d love to hear your thoughts too.