Dear Shopping Savage,
I have 7-year-old identical twin boys that I adore to dress in matching outfits. My friends are telling me that I should stop and let them decide what they'd like to wear and create their own sense of style but I just can't help myself! Am I wrong for wanting to match their clothing or are my friends overreacting?
Mother of Twins
I'm actually surprised you are just getting this reaction from your friends. It sounds like you have had six blissful uninterrupted years of dressing your sons in head-to-toe matching outfits. However, now is the time to start letting them choose what they would like to wear. Ultimately it's what's best for the boys...and for you.
If you think about things from their perspective you'd see that twins have it hard enough without the added attention from coordinating outfits. They have to work twice as hard to be seen as individuals. From an early age they are constantly being compared to one another so the sooner they develop their own sense of identity and style the better off they are at avoiding added pressures of sibling rivalry.
If you are completely in charge of assembling their outfits, let them help you. It won't take much coercion to get them to open up about what they like and don't like to be dressed in. You will also want them - and their opinions - with you when it's time to get them new clothing. If identical outfits are chosen, try to convince them (or more importantly, yourself) to either go for different colors or settle on the idea of buying them both, but not letting them wear them at the same time. Reiterate how valuable setting yourself apart through personal style can be and give them the freedom to do so.
I'm sure this isn't what you wanted to hear M.O.T. but one day when your boys are all grown up leading separate lives - and maintaining separate wardrobes - you will thank yourself. I know it may be heartbreaking now, but you've had your fun and now you must cut the umbilical cord....both of them.
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