Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, I was ever so quick to judge women who dressed their daughters like themselves. Then I had a girl and we started dressing in almost the exact same slim-fit black jeans and army jackets, and I promptly became the woman I once ridiculed. The end.
Oh dear, oh dear, oh me, this ain’t no fairy tale – it’s my life. And what a cliché I’ve become. Consciously, subconsciously – I really can’t tell – but my just-turned four-year-old daughter and I often step out wearing the exact same gear. Skinny jeans, sweatshirts, vintage T-shirts, army jackets, Stan Smiths – and that’s just her. The other day, when the weather was boiling hot, we wore hippy dresses and Birkenstocks, and walked to the park as though we were members of the same religious cult. Yup, I realise this is all very “eww”, but it’s good to know I’m not alone.
Thank God for Instagram. Enter stage left Beyoncé and Blue Ivy in their matchy-matchy Gucci ensembles, and stage right Kim Kardashian and North West wearing identical monochrome Adidas athleisure gear (minus the high heels for North). The kids look dead cute, although admittedly, I’d never dress a child in Gucci – ridiculous. It’s just a bit of harmless fun, if you ignore the narcissism aspect of seeing your child as an extension of yourself, but let’s not get too "deep", eh? It’s all OK – well, just as long as no one’s dressed-up like a wedding cake aka Charlotte from SATC; there’s something ghastly about saccharine pastel-hued prom dresses on mother and daughter. Too Stepford Wives. Pass the Valium.
A decade away from being stonewalled, right now I am the head of the Wardrobe Department
What’s wrong with a bit of outfit twinning, especially when we all know none of this dressing-in-the-same-clothes-as-our-daughters shit will last. I give it two years until Martha refuses to wear what I buy, 10 until she’s no longer talking to me. A decade away from being stonewalled, right now I am the head of the Wardrobe Department and if a 14-year-old Martha despises the rock T-shirts, skinny jeans, camo-jackets and hippy dresses of her youth, she’s welcome to shop for her own clothes. I wonder what she’ll wear? Cardis, long skirts, flats, pearls, no make-up? Probably. We all rebel; my mother is immaculate and still asks, "Have you brushed your hair?"
We’re away next week, so I did a trolley dash to the shops and ended up in Next. It was there I found three dresses for Martha I wished came in my size: a sludgy pink dress to the ankle, I returned home to discover the Topshop dress I bought last week looks surprisingly similar (eww); a Mexican-inspired dress, that looks remarkably like something I picked up at Zara the other month and a tropical print all-in-one I feel I need in my life. Yes, I am officially envious of a four-year-old's wardrobe. Wow, that’s low. Eww.
People a lot smarter than me cottoned on to this "mum dressing child exactly like mum" phenomenon and have set up shop, literally. There are loads of kids’ websites selling posh clothes at eye-wateringly expensive prices (especially given how fast small people grow out of their clothes). And, not as awful as it sounds, there’s now a kid version of Net-A-Porter, but you’ll have to live in the States to shop Maisonette.com. When it comes to dressing my kids, I’m fine with good old M&S, Next, Debenhams, Mango and Zara. What’s good enough for me is certainly good enough for her. For now, at least. Until she turns into Saffy from Ab Fab.
Stacey's outfit twinning edit: