Pre-children, my reference for how to dress a daughter was a romantic ideal, something with retro Mary Poppins-esque inspiration, and certainly something that was stylistically my choice. Fast forward a few years, and my strong-minded six year old has wildly different ideas. I am beginning to realise that my underlying preference is that her sartorial choices should mirror mine. Somewhere along the line, I have become a supporter of Instagram’s latest phenomena ‘Twinning’.
Twinning, ie dressing alike, or even identically, has always been a thing, albeit a sometimes slightly questionable one. From siblings in my 1970’s childhood dressed in matching outfits regardless of age difference, to the mother daughter twinning that has always found followers. As a redheaded daughter of a redheaded mother I remember our matching velour playsuits with fond nostalgia; less successful were our twinning hairdo’s. A Farrah Fawcett flick on a thirty-something is acceptable, but on an eight year old redhead with frizz issues? Less so.
Farrah Fawcett. Unsuitable mother daughter twinning inspiration.
In recent times however, twinning has had a huge rebranding. As our generation’s celebrity royalty raise their mini me’s over social media, the A list’s endorsement of synchronised style has been gathering widespread momentum. #Twinning currently has over 4 million posts on Instagram.
So what’s the appeal? The world we live in is all about the visual statement, and to dress your offspring as your carbon copy, especially when these matching outfits are broadcast across the world, says three clear things. Firstly: I might be very famous and/or busy but I have a close relationship with my child and our outfits prove it. Secondly: my child may only be three years old but they are already a style icon of the future like I am. And thirdly: Our family is a tight clan, we will absolutely not be estranged in five years time. The urban dictionary (yes this exists) puts an additional self-congratulatory spin on the idea: ‘A take on the popular term “winning,” it refers to identical thoughts or behaviour, as well as to brilliance.’
And before you dismiss the whole idea as frivolous, even the British royal family are buying into the idea, with Kate and Wills showing a penchant for coordinating with Charlotte and George. Proof that twinning really is for everyone.
However a warning for those of us with an interest in some familial branding. The younger we introduce our kids to twinning the better. Generally children have a habit of starting to express opinions on their wardrobe from a surprisingly young age. When my daughter started dressing as a Disney Princess I knew it was time for the twinning to stop.
Here is my choice of winning twinning brands easily available in Singapore.
The Uber Designer: DOLCE & GABBANA
Best For: Heirloom Pieces
The concept of family is huge for uber design house Dolce & Gabanna, so it’s no surprise it has gone all out with it’s Mini-Me seasonal collections, designed for the whole family to indulge in some high-end clan solidarity.
The British Hipster Brand: MUTHAHOOD
Best For: Quirky Motif Tees
Life-affirming motifs that take the twee out of twinning are what this UK based label does best, and Instagram has gone wild for the ‘Strong Girls Club’ and ‘Tutti’ and ‘Frutti’ little and large tees. Based in the UK but available to ship worldwide.
The Korean Trailblazer: K SISTERS
Best For: Korean Indie Brand Dresses
Asia can take credit for inventing the twinning concept, so obviously designers have got the look down. K Sisters, an online store was launched last year, introducing cool Korean brands with free Singapore (and worldwide) shipping.
The High Street Giant: NEXT
Best For: Swimwear
Perennial favourite Next just keeps upping its game, now with huge options for those partial to a bit of matchy matchy, particularly in beachwear. The father and son collection comes in excellent prints and colour-ways.
The Niche Local Brand: COCO CRUZ
Best For: Nightwear
Those of us more restrained in our personal statements might consider nightwear to be the more acceptable face of twinning. Local brand Coco Cruz creates sleepwear for all the family designed especially for the tropics, with the option of personalised embroidery.