I distinctly remember one of the most frequently asked questions during my pregnancy was, “Are you going to dress your twins alike?” I really hadn’t given much thought to it, and I’m pretty sure I gave a pretty vague answer.
At our baby showers, we got lots and lots of duplicate outfits. Thus, much of the girls’ first year was spent with them looking much like each other.
When I finally started buying the bulk of their clothes myself, I found them matching about half of the time, and the other half of the time, they wore coordinating outfits.
(There are reasons for this, as I’ve finally realized…from shopping lots of end-of-season sales and often finding duplicates more readily than separate outfits…to the ease of doing laundry…to the simplification of picking outfits for the day…but that’s another blog post.)
For the last couple of years, I’ve let the girls choose what they want to wear. Some days one will say, “I want to look like Sissy,” and some days they’ll choose something different from each other. With the exception of a few more formal situations where I like to select their outfits, this has been fine with me.
Before the girls started three-year old preschool last fall, though, I had a revelation, sparked by an incident at a park. The girls were dressed alike, and a three- or four-year old came up to me and asked, “Why are they wearing the same shirt?”
Well, duh, Kid! It’s because they’re twins.
And then it occurred to me…while it’s super cute to most adults to see pint-sized mirror images, matching from head to toe…that might just seem a bit “odd” to the average preschooler.
Between this and my motivation to try to help the girls be seen as individuals, I promptly went shopping to expand the girls’ back-to-school wardrobe (after I’d originally vowed they had more than enough clothes to start the school year). I wanted to make sure they had plenty of non-matching outfits, at least to get them through the first month or so of school.
There were a few times I allowed my girls to wear matching outfits to school, but it was long after their teachers – and more importantly, in my mind – their classmates, had gotten to know them as individuals.
This was definitely the most thought I’d ever given to the girls’ “clothing strategy”, and I felt really good about where I’d landed.
And then I had to laugh when, on the first day of four-year old preschool this fall, my B asked, “Mommy, can we please wear the same thing so people will know we go together?”
Do your multiples dress alike? Does that change based on the situation? Do you think it impacts how people view them?
MandyE is mom to 4 1/2-year old fraternal twin girls. She blogs about their adventures and about overthinking parenthood at Twin Trials and Triumphs.