I never thought of myself as someone who’d join the “mommy and me” dressing tribe. In fact, I figured I would be just the opposite: Growing up, I despised when my mom would dress my sister and me in the same outfits. I remember throwing my hands up, kicking and screaming, making up some excuse as to why I absolutely couldn’t wear whatever she had picked out. I think, in a way, I felt as though it erased our individual personalities, at a time when I valued standing out more than anything. Now I have my own kids. And while “mommy and me” dressing is bigger than it’s ever been, something about the trend gave me pause. Why would I, as a grown woman, want to dress like my children?
Thanks to celebrities like Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian West, “mommy and me” dressing has skyrocketed in recent years. And it’s not just the Guccis and Oscar de la Rentas of the world getting into it: Beloved indie labels like Marysia and Doen have released special capsules that let mothers buy clothes with complementary (if not exact) versions for their kids. They can even rent them.
It wasn’t until recently that I started reconsidering my stance on “mommy and me” dressing—and it was all due to my two-and-a-half-year-old. She’ll waltz into my room wearing a striped dress and immediately go to my drawer and pick out a similar pattern for me to wear. She’ll ask to match our pajamas when it’s bedtime. When I get home from work and change, she’ll try on whatever coat or shoes I’d been wearing that day.
And it’s not just my daughter who does this. Sylvana Ward Durrett, from the luxury children’s site Maisonette, says that “mommy and me” is a big part of its business, and interest comes from parents and children alike: “They want to wear your shoes, your purses, your dresses—giving them that ability, in a precious matching PJ set or a summer cover-up is a win for both.” The demand has been so high, she says, that Maisonette now has its own dedicated section, dubbed Maman & Míni. (She informs me that “daddy and me” swim sells well too.)
Rebeca Hessel Cohen, of LoveShackFancy, first dabbled in “mommy and me” when her daughter was one and a half, through a collaboration with Julia Restoin-Roitfeld’s Romy and the Bunnies. She kept making these miniaturized vintage-inspired dresses for her own kids, and it stuck. “It was very natural for me because my girls and I wanted to wear clothes that felt similar,” she says. “Now we’ve seen with our two stores that we have a lot of generational shoppers—little girls to grandmas, ages one to 85. Mothers and daughters love to shop together in our stores. It’s a beautiful experience for them to share together.”
The experiential aspect is what’s important to shoppers—and to me too. Of course I indulge my daughter when she insists we coordinate our stripes. I’m not going to lie: I love that my daughter does this. It’s incredibly sweet. (Plus, in our complementary outfits, we actually look…sort of chic?) Besides, it makes her so happy. I don’t want to deny her that joy.
“I think ‘mommy and me,’ and I remember shopping with my mom,” says Hessel Cohen. “Those were always the best days, something I looked forward to.”
I’ve found—and, frankly, started to love—“mommy and me” for this reason. You don’t necessarily have to wear the exact same babydoll dress as your toddler: You can have fun coordinating prints and different design elements, in silhouettes well-suited for your respective stages in live. Or you can skip the apparel altogether and go for mini-me accessories. Ahead, take a look at some of the “mommy and pieces” that I’m eyeing.
This article was syndicated from glamour.com