When I was younger, in the late eighties, “matching” was where it was at. I matched my (roll down) socks to my top. And my earrings. And my eye shadow. I loved to match.
The seeds of matching were planted in me young.
Dresses courtesy Marks & Spencer – looks like around 1981/2
I’m the one on the right, with the haircut like a Mario Bros mushroom and the Hello Kitty bag. Please note how my sister and I are some 30 years plus fashion forward, rocking the sandal and sock look.
Somewhere along the way matching lost its credentials. “Too Matchy Matchy” is a scathing fashion insult. Black bag no longer means black shoes. You can clash prints, red & pink, black & navy – the list is endless. The less you match the better. I can no more imagine wearing pink eyeshadow (which is supposed to “wake-up” your eyes in incidentally) because I’m wearing a pink top, than I can imagine wearing 4 different colour roll down stocking socks, 2 on each foot. And yet once upon a time I wore it all. Together.
I tend not to dress my kids in matching clothes either. This is not because I have something against it. It’s more that when you have 4 kids of the same gender, and are passing down clothes, you get sick of them. The last thing you need is for your son to finally grow out of the green Seed t-shirt with the the map print dog, and low and behold, there is the next size up waiting for him. I never want to see those dog t-shirts again. Sorry Seed. They did look quite cute at the time.
But today I went against my grain and bought Master 6 and Baby N matching tracksuit pants. Both needed a pair, I really liked the print, I didn’t want to spend Baby N’s limited pram
patience hunting for another pair I liked…..and I knew Master N would get a kick out of it. I was right. He is thrilled. It will be 5 years before Baby N wears the size 6 pants – I think that’s
plenty of time for me to forget about them and like them again.
Jack and Milly tracksuit pants from Myer
Unlike my mother, whose motives I assume were intentional (I can’t imagine any other scenario where we could all wind up in the same dress), what I DO tend to do is unintentionally dress myself and my boys matching. I dress myself first; there is a mood that contributes to my choice, or a look i am trying to achieve. When I lay my kids’ clothes out, subconsciously that aesthetic is lodged in my brain. It is embarrassingly not uncommon for people to say to me “oh cute you match!” And I will look at myself and my offspring both dressed in Breton stripes and grey denim and realise, indeed we do.
It happened again this morning, again without me even thinking about it. I put on my long grey Maison Scotch dress, and, to break it up a bit, added my white furry gilet.
I had a few things to do at school (check lost property, uniform shop, visit beloved ex-pre-school teacher) and cogniscent of the apparent SUB ZERO morning temperatures in Dover Heights, I popped a Seed white fluffy bunny (it has ears) snow suit over Baby N’s pyjamas, to keep him cosy in the icy winds. Our school, I swear, is 5 degrees colder than the rest of Sydney. So there we were, both in white faux fur, without me even noticing. Until it was pointed out.
I bought a school jacket too today. For my son. I don’t have as much to say about that, though it is in keeping with the theme. Uniform is about as matchy-matchy as you can get.
XOXO Shopping Girl
You’ve opened my eyes: I always go to great pains to be matching, top to bottom, even when I’m not going to be seeing anyone. I’m now going to have to undergo a complete re-think.
I will guide you 🙂