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 love...like 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.