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July 19, 2012

"Why Do They Have the Same Clothes?"

If you ask me, I'll tell you that I prefer to dress our girls in coordinating outfits...the same prints in different colors, or both in denim shorts with similarly-constructed tops, for example.

That's not always the case, though, and I realized not long ago that it's likely my end-of-season bargain hunting that drives the girls to have more matching in their closet than I'd realized.  When I'm shopping clearance racks, I'm lucky to find two dresses in their upcoming size.  The chances that I'll find two dresses in coordinating colors is much slimmer.

...well, that, and there are times when I buy things I know they'll just their ice cream shirts...and it would just hurt my heart to buy only one.  The "coordinating" butterfly shirt would surely seem like second-rate to them, I know.

Sometimes I'll ask the girls if they want to match or wear something different.  Sometimes they will ask to wear the same outfits; other times they'll want to wear different things, even if a matchy-matchy ensemble is available to them.

To date, at 3 1/2, the girls' wardrobe has never been an issue either way.  It's been a topic of conversation here and there, as I think that's one of the "standard" questions asked to parents of multiples: "Do you dress them alike?"  "Do they like to dress alike?"  "Do they ask to be different?"

As we approach the start of preschool (did I really just type that???), I've been thinking about making more of a concerted effort to send the girls in coordinating, or altogether different, outfits. 

I mentioned it jokingly to the teacher when we met her a couple of months ago, that I'd try to help her out by dressing them in different colors.  She was very supportive, saying either way she'd get to know the girls as individuals.  (Score for the right answer there, Ms. E!)

I had an experience yesterday at the indoor bounce house that made me pause, though.  A four-year old girl came up to me and said, "Why do they have the same clothes?"

"Some of their clothes are the same.  And sometimes they dress differently from each other," I explained.  "They're twins."

Even as I was saying the words, I was thinking, this kid has no idea what "twins" are.  She just thinks it's funny that two girls are wearing the exact same shorts and [beloved] ice cream shirts.

I'm not about to begin replacing half of the girls' closet, or to consign their yet-to-be-worn winter wardrobe I bought this past spring...but I will probably work a little harder, especially at first, to encourage the girls to wear different outfits when they start school.

I'm confident their two-man support system -- even in the face of new classmates and a new environment -- will be firmly in place, with or without matching gingham.


Carrie said...

We are going through the same thing at our house. Sometimes the girls choose to dress the same or coordinating and sometimes they choose to be altogether different. I hang two outfits on their closet doors each night and they pick out which outfit they want to wear. When Sophie sleeps an hour past Evie, she often ends up putting on a completely different outfit and neither seem to care. I do plan to buy "different" clothes this fall/winter because I think they are getting to a point where they like to be different. Plus they are starting to show a preference for different styles. Maybe I'll end up spending less money because I won't feel the need to buy two of everything! Maybe they could even (gasp!) share clothes! Should be an interesting adjustment...

Cuz I'm the mama! said...

This is so interesting because I debate the same thing. Although we are behind your ladies age-wise it has also been on my mind. Sometimes I find myself buying two of everything just in case they both want to wear it, but then it seems like one of them might not want to which is always a pain. My ladies definitely have ideas about what is comfy, etc. I said to the hubs the other day -- it will be so interesting to take them school shopping (when the time comes) and see what they select. I think I'll try to take them individually and see what they come up with. Non the less I think this is a bit of a "topic" for twin moms and especially when you have two girls. I am curious to follow along and see how it goes for you guys with buying different things for the girls.

Cecilia said...

I've been letting my girls pick out their clothes (with the power of veto) since they turned 3. I usually try to buy things like you, in coordinating colors, unless it's something I just absolutely love and have to have one for each. Lexi and Lyla insist on wearing dresses everyday, and interestingly enough, they rarely want to wear the same thing! Even though they are identical, people always ask if they are twins!

Charlene said...

When Sarah and Zach were babies they were the same thing, just pink and blue. Unless Sarah was wearing a dress. My mother did the same thing for me and my twin brother, she actually had matching things made for us (as in sailor suits, I had a little sailor dress and my brother a sailor suit), etc.

Then of course they got older and you can match them for colors anymore and Sarah wanted to wear dresses and stuff like that. They went through a stage a few years ago where they wore the same colors as each other (on their own, I didn't make them).

I say, take advantage of it now....because they will decide later what they want to wear.

Charlene said...

I meant *wore* not were in the first sentence, I should proof read more often ;)

Mandy said...

People always ask why I don't dress the girls alike. Especially my mother, who as a twin herself loathed being dressed like her twin! I do often go the coordinating route, especially if we are out.

Tomorrow they'll be three, and they still don't know that they are twins or what a twin is. They're just happy to share their birthday and I'm ok with that!

~ Crystal ~ said...

I am a mom to 2 sets of g/g twins. Set #1 look identical but are actually "mirror twins". Set #2 is very obviously fraternal. I used to dress Set #1 alike when they were younger. Now (age 7), I let them choose their own style. I still dress them alike occasionally for pictures or outings or because they both find 1outfit they both like. It amazes me, when dressed alike, how many people including grown adults ask if they are twins.

PJ said...

I really like coordinating outfits on my girls. In fact, it bugs me a little when they are not. Haha! But they have the same clothes sometimes also, simply because it's just easy. They are only 2 now, so maybe I'll feel differently once they start school.

championm2000 said...

If I had two girls or two boys, I can see myself writing something very similar.

Even with boy-girl twins, I find myself trying to coordinate their outfits (maybe as a result of my OCD???)

Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

My twins came after a singleton daughter so we have been mostly using what we had already. I'm noticing that even with the hand me downs certain things are Jude's and certain things are Elie's because they have decided that. When we were shopping a few weeks ago, Elie latched onto a fish bathing suit. Jude wanted one too but there was only one. I told Jude she could pick something else out that was just for her. She chose a pair of PJs with ice cream cones on them. Now, Elie will say "Jude, I'll let you wear my bathing suit if I can wear your ice cream jammies." We're at the point in the next few months of dividing all their clothes into separate dressers.

Jayme said...

I almost always dress mine alike. Always have. BUT in my defense, it's not a twin thing LOL
When my oldest three boys were little enough that I had the say over what they wore, I matched them all the time too, even through different sizes.
And the same with my girls- and I still buy them coordinating or matching stuff because they like it, at 8 and 10.

Barbara Manatee said...

I kidna miss dressing my two in coordinating outfits. Being boy/girl and a bit older, with BIG opinions on their clothes (Sarah especially), its very rare that I can come up with anything that works together for them. And now with Jacob getting bigger and in a different size range than Adam, its even hard to coordinate/match the boys. *sniff sniff*
I actually had someone ask me last week, for the first time in forever, if J&S were twins. When I have all 3 with me, I think everyone assumes I just have 3 in a row, all close in age. The twin-radar is very low for them these days. In some ways I don't miss the awkward questions but in other ways, I still want that something special recognized!

(on that note, a lady at the dentist last week thought Jacob was 8 and Sarah was 5!)