There are many ways we can express ourselves and clothing is just one of them. It can reflect our mood, personality, beliefs or (though I hate to admit it) how behind we are on our washing! Some days we take care in what we wear and others we just grab what’s closest. But what about dressing our children? Do our clothing habits ripple down to them?
The simple answer is yes, at least until they’re old enough to decide for themselves and rebel! Nevertheless, for a few years you have control over how geeky or chic, smart or casual your kids look. In amongst the decisions over colour, style and functionality is also the option of matching clothes.
I expect there were both some raised eyebrows and sighs of “Awh” at that thought. Everyone has their own varying opinion on this age-old question and not everyone will agree; do they ever? But that doesn’t stop us from sharing our experiences. Speaking of sharing, enjoy the old family photos and have fun trying to guess which twin I am…
It boils down a bit like this. Some think it’s the epitome of cuteness to see tots in matching outfits. They’re probably more likely to choose identical or co-ordinated items over mismatched clothing. In contrast, other parents strongly advocate for dressing siblings differently. This could be a preference for giving each child their own identity.
Of course, I’m generalising here and there are many who don’t have a strong belief either way. Maybe you’ve never given a thought to where you stand on the subject or what factors might affect your choices. All the same, I’m intrigued by both sides of the coin and all that falls in between. After all, clothes are something we use every day!
genes, not jeans, alike
Apologies for the pun but the sentiment of the phrase is there. That is to say, our genetic similarity doesn’t have to extend to our clothing. We are all unique, even from birth, so our outside should reflect the diversity within. There’s plenty of options out there to make that possible! Did I hear someone say hand-me-downs?
As a twin, my parents had ample opportunity to dress my sister and I in matching outfits but they chose not to. My mum believes that dressing siblings differently is part of promoting individual personalities and still expresses her frustration when we’re addressed as ‘the twins’. Much the same, my dad preferred to dress us in a variety of colours rather than just stereotypical pink. But that’s another discussion entirely!
like two peas in a pod
On the other hand, most of us have a soft side which cuteness appeals to. There’s something to be said for identical outfits, especially on infants! Enjoyment can be gained from seeing a co-ordinated little family as well, the matching clothes acting as a visible bond between them. Plus, doting friends and grandparents are inclined to play dress-up.
Aside from the cute factor, there’s the ease and practicality too. Like school uniform, buying in bulk and dressing siblings identically means fewer child-related choices (which is only a good thing). The decision may even be made by your kids if they want what the other has, so embrace their preference. Whatever makes parenting that little bit easier eh.
beyond siblings to pets and parents
The debate isn’t limited to those with multiple kids though; mums and dads with just one youngster have a decision to make too. I’ve seen parents and their child in matching outfits, the adults holding hands with a miniature version of themselves. It’s definitely becoming more popular to find matching clothes for senior and junior family members.
Surprisingly, it doesn’t end there. Parents have even been known to dress their pet and child in identical outfits! Needless to say, there are plenty of people (and animals) who enjoy dressing to match those around them. Whether purely for the comedic and novelty factor or out of personal preference, to each their own.
decisions, decisions, decisions
All in all, it’s your prerogative as a parent to choose your child’s clothing. The factors affecting that decision may be complex, ranging from cost to culture. Or perhaps it’s as simple as ease and personal preference.
Whether you’ve been berated for dressing your children identically or quizzed as to why you haven’t, I’m pretty sure an agreement isn’t around the corner. We’re all individuals and should be seen as such but we also have free choice and a little cuteness goes a long way. Isn’t that what adorable animal and baby videos were made for?!
Perhaps the middle ground is the best place to be. Let’s say, save the co-ordinated outfits for special occasions and embrace diversity with individual clothing for day-to-day wear. Anyway, even the best made plans can go out the window where children are involved so why worry about it? The decision is yours.