Monday, March 29, 2010

Seeing Double

Okay, so I wanted to write this post because I have a very specific opinion about dressing twins and some people may disagree with me. It became a little longer and a little more rant-y than I anticipated so I apologize for that. But please remember, how you dress your children is your choice. I'm not setting out to tell anyone what to do. I just want to put my opinion out there and vent a little bit about my frustration with the children's fashion industry and the expectations in both directions put on parents of multiples.

This was all brought to the surface when one mom on my local Moms of Multiples' forum shared the advice with an expectant mom of triplets to buy a few of the same outfit when you find one you like (especially for boys due to the lack of selection, but that's another rant) because it's more convenient and often cheaper. The future triplet mom responded with a short - and I thought borderline rude - response that she "will never dress my triplets in the same clothes because they will be individuals." I laughed aloud and thought to myself, "Ah, how naive." I'm sure I said something similar when I was pregnant with Eli and Jude, and I'm sure plenty of other twin/multiples moms have too but I quickly realized that my preconceived notions of how I'd dress my children became null and void after their birth.

I too decided that Eli and Jude would be "individuals" and I would help to foster their personal growth by never dressing them in the exact same outfit, but may on occasion coordinate their outfits to reinforce their special twin bond. The first thing I realized was that families and friends will buy you gifts that don't necessarily fall into your fashion "box" and we received MANY identical outfits immediately at birth and still continue to receive them to this day. Why? Because they also realize that it's cheaper and more convenient (okay, and cute)! That segues into my next realization - buy it if it's on sale. You see that polo shirt you like that only comes in one color or style for buy one get one 1/2 off? BUY IT! We live inside a pretty snug budget - like many families - which has made me really rethink the necessity of buying two completely separate and different wardrobes. I don't even try to separate Eli and Jude's clothes after doing laundry anymore. They wear the same size and it's simply more work than I choose to put on myself and Travis. Thirdly, they already ARE individuals! What they wear doesn't make them any less of who they are. You can put a punk kid in a preppy sweater, but he'll still be a punk! Putting Eli and Jude in the same outfit doesn't make them any less themselves. Eli still observes and thinks through things and Jude still jumps head first off of the couch when they wear the same onesie. My two little sisters who are two years apart choose to wear the same dress sometimes but they couldn't be more different. The idea that "twins that dress the same are the same" is just fallacious. I refuse to buy into that mentality.

What does this mean? Do we dress them the same? Do we dress them differently? Both! The reality is that we have duplicate outfits of most of the clothes the boys own and most of the time, we put them in the first thing we grab. It is easier for us to dress them differently because it's easier to identify the boys from far away if they're in different colors. Some days, it just so happens that we grab the same outfit or the same colors for the boys and then I'm just too lazy to change it. I have enough to do without changing the boys' outfits because I don't like what they're wearing. Also, due to the lack of choice for little boys' clothing, a lot of our "special" items are duplicates - like overalls, shoes, and dress clothes. I'm sure if I REALLY was dedicated to finding two pairs of overalls that were not the same and were both inexpensive I could find them but I just don't have the time or energy for that kind of a search. And finally, we had a family portrait session yesterday and the photographer recommended that we all wear clothes in the same color family. Lo and behold, the only clothes I could find for Eli and Jude in the same size and in similar colors were a light blue polo shirt from Old Navy. The shirts were on sale and that was good enough for me! I really wanted these cute guayaberra shirts they had (also on sale!) but of course, they didn't have two in the same size and the different patterns clashed and we were stuck. Sometimes preconceived notions are changed and plans get thrown out the window. This is life.

I guess the theme of this whole post is that worrying about the minute detail of whether or not Eli and Jude are wearing the same shirt today requires too much effort. My brain power is occupied with more important things like what to make for lunch or if Eli is using Jude's face as a step-ladder. Any twin/multiple mom who DOES have the energy to worry about exactly which outfit to put on their kids deserves admiration. Or they're on speed. I pity the poor future triplet mom because I fear she is in for a rude awakening.


  1. 100% AGREE! I dress my identical twin girls alike because I think it's cute and definitely easier to just have to pick out one outfit for the day! We do same but different colors, too. But I'm also an identical twin myself and know that my girls will be individuals without any effort on my part! Great post :)

  2. I love this post so much, even though it is extremely rare that I dress my identicle twin girls the same it has absolutly nothing to do with me wanting to or not its just because it's what I picked out first lol. You can't say what you are or are not going to do for certain before you are hit with that obsticle. I too feel sorry for that soon to be multiple mother. If she can pull it off good for her! I also do the whole matching but different color thing a lot lol! It is just plain cute now come on.