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.
8 thoughts on “Dressing Twins Alike: Why you Should Reconsider Matching Outfits”
This is such a thing, isn’t it?! I started off never matching mine because I wanted them to be individuals, but I ‘co-ordinated them’ which looked really nice. But then I got given some matching hand me downs and it’s like a slippery slope! Can’t see me still matching them once they’re much past 2.5 – 3 to be honest. It gets less ‘cute’ the older they are!
I don’t dress my twins alike but for a different reason- almost all of our clothes are hand-me-downs and we only have one of each item! Hand-me-downs have saved us a ton of money AND they’re much better for the environment, so I won’t be buying new clothes just to have them match! We do have a few sets of outfits that we got as gifts, and I’ll admit it is fun to dress them matching once in a while for special occasions, but I just don’t see it ever being an everyday thing.
as an identical twin my self with identical girls and identical nephews and we all like to dress alike!! We call it our twin power! My twin and have spent most of our lives now being 40 fighting to get people to let us be ourselves and that it it ok to to and be both! My twin and i are opposite on many things but the same on the other 50 percent! So sometime I wear a jeans skirt while she wears jeans but same everything else! I let my girls make there own decision on clothes while we are at home and for bed but i buy same of everything so they have the choice! When we go places sometimes they pic but most often they choose the same!! I plan to let them choose!
I love following your posts, I’m a fellow teacher, mommy to two girls and also walked the path of infertility for many years before having my girls so I feel I can idenifid with you a lot. They are not twins but 2 1/2 years a part so could twin dress however I’m not keen. I prefer them to have individual pieces to suit their style and their preferences. I think if I had twins I’d be more keen not to twin dress. I saw grown up twins talking last week and they said they made conscious efforts as they got older to find their own path (hobby and taste wise). I think individual clothes would help with this from early on. Saying that if they really wanted to wear the same, I’d consider letting them wear a few outfits the same. Sorry to hear some people have been so venomous with opinions. Xx
Hi Katie, thanks. I feel sometimes people just fall into the status quo with twins and don’t think about what they’re doing or why. x
I am a twin who has twins. I am a boy/girl twin and I have fraternal twin boys. My twin and I are my parents only children. I have always believed my mother showed favoritism towards my brother (others have noticed it and she has even admitted it). Of course she loves me and we have a good relationship, but I can’t get her favoring my twin out of my mind. When I found out I was pregnant with two, I promised myself I would never show favoritism. When it came to clothes, I bought two of everything (almost). When my boys got older, or when they look back at photos, I never wanted them to wonder why their brother is wearing what they perceive as the “better” clothing. We were gifted alot of hand me downs from singletons that there were obviously just 1 of, so my twins aren’t dressed alike ALWAYS but every new clothing item i bought was always doubled. I understand not wanting to dress your two alike, but not knowing their styles, what they prefer, or just for the simple fact their styles can change means that dressing them differently is more of a POSSIBLE argument later on than dressing them alike. When my two get old enough to dress themselves (or even pick out their clothing that’s suitable for weather) I will encourage their individuality. After all, i am a twin, and I hated being grouped together all of the time and never being seen as my own person. I just don’t think that dressing babies/toddlers differently accomplishes that.
We have twin neices who are ALWAYS dressed the same. Their mother says even if one gets dirty, she changes them both, and this can be multiple times a day. They are babies so don’t know any different yet but it seems like more of an attention thing on mum’s part. We have gifted them outfits that are similar or matching but in different colours, and she won’t let them wear them because they won’t be exactly the same. I personally don’t like it and neither does my partner, so he refuses to buy them matching as gifts, but they are not our children so we don’t verbalise anything. I just think they will never be encouraged to be individuals and that’s sad.
I find it strange that parents insist on identical outfits even down to socks etc. Why would you waste time changing a child that doesn’t need changing. life is too busy for that…lol