| 18.8°C Dublin

Mini-me fashion: Is dressing your kids in clothes that match your own cute — or just cringey?

From the royals to a host of celebs, we are seeing more and more matching parent-and-child looks. But not everyone is buying into the trend

Close

The Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince George and Prince William after a visit of Cardiff Castle. Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage

The Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince George and Prince William after a visit of Cardiff Castle. Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage

Chrissy Teigen and daughter Luna in matching avocado onesies

Chrissy Teigen and daughter Luna in matching avocado onesies

Designer Heidi Higgins wears Lauren top, €155, and daughter Matilda wears Mini-Me Collection, €125

Designer Heidi Higgins wears Lauren top, €155, and daughter Matilda wears Mini-Me Collection, €125

/

The Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince George and Prince William after a visit of Cardiff Castle. Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage

The royal seal of approval has been given to one of fashion’s fastest-growing trends: the art of mini-me dressing. Forget watching to see what Kate and Meghan were wearing during the recent Jubilee celebrations, it was Prince William and his eldest son, eight-year-old Prince George, who provided the most style moments.

First came the matching navy suits, blue shirts and brown loafers for an event at Cardiff Castle, then the identikit dark blazer and tie combos worn on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

The British royals have always been fans of handing down childhood outfits — Prince Louis’s sailor suit was reported to be the same one worn by his dad, William — and keen to pay homage to previously worn ensembles (Kate’s a big fan for echoing her mother-in-law’s taste in prints), but mini-me dressing takes it to the next level, with parent and child both wearing versions of the same outfit, at the same time.

Whether you think it’s cute or cringe, parent/child twinning is undeniably having a moment. First we bought into the notion of matching festive jammies for the family and now savvy retailers have realised that the lucrative market of matching outfits doesn’t have to just be for Christmas.

Fashion giants and celebrity endorsements led the way. Dolce & Gabbana launched its first miniature line in 2012 with Beyonce and daughter Blue Ivy swiftly spotted in matching print dresses from the label’s line in 2014. The mother and daughter’s appearance in matching €5k D&G Ortensia print dresses during a Mother’s Day visit to the Museum of Ice-cream in 2017 sent the internet into meltdown.

Gucci, Burberry and a rake of other major names have followed suit. The fact that the big fashion houses are on board, combined with the number of stylish famous families embracing the trend, have given it credibility. Kim Kardashian and Serena Williams are leading the way for matching mums and daughters, while John Legend and David Beckham have both showcased dashing daddy-and-me looks with their kids.

And now the mainstream retailers have leapt on board with GAP, Penneys, Joules and a host of other big names offering mini-me looks. When M&S launched its collaboration with label Ghost last year, 70pc of children’s dresses were bought alongside the matching womenswear version.

Irish designer Heidi Higgins added a line of mini-me dresses to her clothing range in September last year, at the request of her eldest daughter, Matilda.

“She’d see me wearing my own designs and say she wanted one, and sure she’s always trying to rob my shoes and my lipstick,” laughs Higgins.

Now the five-and-a-half year old is only delighted to be able to wear the same prints as mum, as are plenty of other mum and daughter customers who’ve bought into the popular range.

Home & Property Newsletter

Get the best home, property and gardening stories straight to your inbox every Saturday

This field is required

Close

Designer Heidi Higgins wears Lauren top, €155, and daughter Matilda wears Mini-Me Collection, €125

Designer Heidi Higgins wears Lauren top, €155, and daughter Matilda wears Mini-Me Collection, €125

Designer Heidi Higgins wears Lauren top, €155, and daughter Matilda wears Mini-Me Collection, €125

At around €235 for an adult version and €125 for a kids’ dress, it’s not a cheap fashion option, but Higgins reckons that’s an important aspect to the mini-me look. “It’s not for every day,” she explains. “Most people buy them as investment pieces for special occasions like birthdays or communions, where it will look sweet if mum and daughter are in matching fabrics.”

And, with her matching children’s dresses available only in ages three to 10, the designer mum believes there’s an age-limit on matching outfits. “I think I’ll maybe get to about eight with Matilda and then she’ll maybe want to do her own thing, but it’s lovely that the interest is there now, I’m so glad I did it,” she smiles.

Fashionista mum-of-one Cathy Martin used to love mini-me dressing with her daughter Valentina, but the Belfast-based stylist and PR director reckons there’s definitely a shelf life for the look.

“I think it’s gorgeous with mum and little ones,” she says. “But Valentina stopped wanted to look like me, and wanting to look like all the older girls that she looks up to in her Irish dancing school, when she was about seven.”

It’s accepting this inevitability that parent coach Aoife Lee of parentingsupport.ie says is crucial to navigating the mini-me trend. “It really depends on the child’s age and stage of development,” she explains. “The older a child gets, the more they will want to fit in with their peers and not stand out as different and it’s important to be tuned into that.”

When children are young, their style is often going to be heavily influenced by the parents’ own taste, even if that doesn’t extend wearing identical outfits. “And that’s fine,” says Lee. “It’s about individual preference for the parent. Where it could become an issue is if the child is getting older and is starting to resist and becoming upset.”

Dr Malie Coyne, clinical psychologist and author of Love in, Love Out, agrees. “I think it really depends on the age of the child and if they’re happy, and it’s a bonding experience for them, then fair enough.”

Older children, she says, should be listened to in their choices but she also has concerns about very young children being put into matching clothes when they’re too young to understand or consent.

She also raises concerns that sometimes the sartorial choices might be less about a shared moment between a parent and child, and more about sharing the ensembles with followers online.

When model Chrissy Teigen posted a snap of her and daughter Luna wearing matching avocado onesies (to celebrate the last day of shooting for her cookbook Cravings 2) internet searches for ‘avocado print’ increased by 35pc over the next 72 hours as followers were desperate to recreate the look.

Close

Chrissy Teigen and daughter Luna in matching avocado onesies

Chrissy Teigen and daughter Luna in matching avocado onesies

Chrissy Teigen and daughter Luna in matching avocado onesies

It’s this aspect of one eye being on Insta that Dr Coyne finds troubling.

“It’s cute from a superficial point of view, maybe for an occasion, but if it’s being done in pursuit of sharing online to get attention for yourself then that’s not something I’d be comfortable with,” she says.

“I’d be concerned that it could be part of a greater narcissism, ‘look at us! We’re dressing the same!’ But your child is not an accessory to be used in an attention-seeking exercise on social media.”

That’s just one of the things that puts Dublin-based fashion stylist and poet Jan Brierton off matching her outfits with her two kids. “It just seems like dressing your baby or little one is much more of an ‘instagramable’ exercise,” she explains.

“And I suppose I like to dress my age, so at any given stage I wouldn’t have liked to dress myself in an outfit that my five-year-old or seven-year-old could mimic.”

Moreover seeing her children, now 10 and 13, develop their own style preferences is something she’s long taken pleasure in.

“Fairy wings and wellies, jumpers and frilly shorts...from around three or four my daughter had very clear idea of what she wanted to wear and I’ve always enjoyed watching her mix up her favourites,” she laughs.

“But I’ve no desire to wear the same combinations myself, or at least not at the same time as her, I wouldn’t want to cramp her style!”



Most Watched





Privacy