M&B resident dad of twins Chris Windle tells us why he won’t allow his babies to wear identical outfits...
When my wife and I found out we were having twins I had one request: could we not dress them identically? At all. Ever. Obviously, because we’re a modern couple who discuss things, she carefully considered my concerns and ignored them.
But I still believe it is wrong on many levels: not only does it offend my, admittedly underdeveloped, fashion sense; it offends my sense of what’s right and what’s weird. I’m a reasonable man and happy to compromise – outfits that match but aren’t the same I can deal with, and I’m very much in favour of contrasting yet complementary bodysuits. But identikit humans? Not on my watch. Or, at least, not when I get my babies dressed before my wife has noticed what’s happening.
If you’re considering dressing your twins up as clones of each other, take a moment, read this and think again.
First let’s turn to Hollywood - not usually the place to go looking for wisdom when a tricky subject raises its head, but in this case showbiz provides some important evidence. Let me present the Grady twins, who are still freaking people out 36 years after they were introduced to the world in horror flick The Shining. The ghostly girls sporting matching blue dresses appear in the corridors of the Overlook Hotel and have a habit of asking passing kids to “come play with us”. Bad idea.
Then there’s the dreadlocked twin tough guys in the Matrix Reloaded who wear identical off-white three pieces and, less terrifyingly, can transport themselves through walls, floors and doors. I rest my case with khaki suit wearing oddball double act Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Twins.
Directors know that matching twins, ideally ones who speak at exactly the same time, add an extra sprinkle of freakiness to a film. You wouldn’t want that for your child. Equally you wouldn’t want to dress in exactly the same clothes as your sibling, because you’re an entirely different human and, frankly, have much better style. We’re told relentlessly that each twin should be treated as an individual, so it seems a shame to throw that all away by making them look exactly the same.
Granted there are holes in that argument. It’s fair to say my two-year-olds don’t seem to care either way. But I’m thinking more of the long term psychological damage of creating our very own version of Tweedledum and Tweedledee just because we think it’ll make a really cute picture that’ll send Facebook into meltdown.
Also I’m wary of confusing them even more than they already are. One still refers to himself and his twin by the same name and I’m not entirely sure he understands there are two of them. Looking at a mirror image of himself isn’t going to help him untangle this mess.