Did you ever see one of those moms walking around with her daughter in matching "mommy and me" outfits and cringe? OK, maybe not cringe. Point and laugh behind their backs, maybe?
I did too. Until it was me. Yes. I went out in public wearing clothes that matched my daughter's, and I managed not to look like a complete idiot.
So how did I do it?
First, let me offer a little disclaimer: I swore up and down I would never be that pathetic mother. And then came the day when my daughter started to want to do "grown up" stuff. She wants earrings like me (not until I feel she's ready for the whole turn 'em every day for weeks thing). She wants to wear makeup like me (not for a good long time yet, dearie). And she wants to dress like me. This I could consider.
Seeing as I am NOT an idiot, I know that giving in to a 7-year-old's desires in the dressing room is thisclose to crazy. But the tweenage years are fast approaching. Soon enough she will ignore everything I do and roll her eyes at everything I say. And considering I have a pretty hardcore aversion to the mothers who try to dress like their teenage daughters, the window to make this work is closing ... fast.
So I did it. Twice. In two different matching outfits.
And the comments were all kind! Even when I took the photo (above) of us rocking matching shoes on the playground and posted it to my Facebook account ... where people are known to say the kind of things they're sometimes afraid to say when you are face-to-face. Here's what I learned:
1. Avoid anything expressly made for mommy and me. I made the mistake of typing this phrase into Google to start my project. Let's just say the actual outfits sold for moms and daughters make me want to go tell Ma and Pa that Nellie Olesen's being mean again.
2. Simple is better. You do not need to find the same exact dress in the same exact pattern. Jeans or shorts and a t-shirt of similar color fit the bill. That's the route we went both times, and guess what: no one even noticed that our actual outfits matched.
3. Go kitschy. It just so happened that about the time I was developing this plan, I heard from the folks at Vans that they were putting out another round of Hello Kitty shoes for adults and kids. They sent two pairs to complete our "look." As I mentioned before, no one noticed our clothes. But everyone commented on our shoes ... in a nice way. I think it was a mixture of the shoes being just a little off-the-wall and the fact that there was just one blatantly "same" item in our wardrobe.
4. Keep your kid close. You'd think you'd want to stay as far apart as possible so no one notices you're playing twinsies. But let's just say an adult wearing a pair of Heelys (they sent me a set of the Dreamer for kids and adults, so I figured what the hey ... and it was sooooo much fun!) or a rather random t-shirt with a cartoon character, people are a lot more understanding if there is a child involved. I got a lot of "aww, that's sweet" when they realized I was doing it "for" my kid and not because I hadn't yet grown up.
So would I do it again? As long as it means my kid still wants to hang out with me ... you bet.
Do you ever wear clothes that match your kids? What kind of comments do you get?
Image via Jeanne Sager