Coordinating Outfits Revisited

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This is probably a bit off-topic, but I was fascinated by the response to my question about dressing children in coordinated outfits, and I wanted to share more about what I meant by coordinating (okay, and maybe I wanted to show off my cute girls too!).

Actually, I’m going to borrow from Angie’s comment, because she summed it up pretty well:

I usually make sure my boys coordinate rather than totally match. In fact I take my own advice on this one… for photography clients I urge them to think of the entire family (or siblings) as 1 complete outfit. So I ask them to pick one person’s clothing and work around that. For example, my oldest will wear some cute plaid shorts and a solid colored shirt that matches a color from the shorts. The younger one will wear shorts (color pulled from older brother’s shorts) and a coordinating shirt.

I hope that makes sense?! It makes for great pictures, and I take pictures… all. the. time.

I tend to think “in colors” anyway as I organize (which is funny because I’m not an especially creative person), so I just grab one outfit and then quickly grab two more that come from the same color family.  Here are three more examples of coordinating outfits I put together for the girls:


I know some people mentioned that putting their kids in coordinating outfits was way more stress or planning than they needed, and I absolutely think that is okay! Like I said, it comes naturally for me to think that way, so it doesn’t really cause me more stress or take more time than grabbing non-coordinating clothes,  but my first rule is to do what works for your family, and you know I’m all about simplicity.

There was also concern that my girls might be upset by being forced to match. I will admit that I choose their clothes for special occasions, and in those cases, what Momma says goes. But for the most part, they don’t really care what they wear (although my oldest only wears dresses). If they do request a certain outfit, I’m happy to oblige. I’m not sure at this point that they have any idea that their clothes coordinate because they are different brands, styles and materials. They simply come from the same color families.

If you haven’t yet shared your opinion about matching and/or coordinating outfits, feel free to add those here!

Do you dress your kids alike? Do you like – or hate – matching outfits? Do you try to coordinate the colors they wear?

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About the Author

Mandi Ehman

Hi. My name is Mandi and I’m an organizing junkie. I’m also a wife, and Momma to four little girls (5, 3.5, 2 and a new baby!). I've worked at home since our oldest was a baby, and like a lot of other moms, my life is a constant balancing act of caring for my family and my home, meeting my obligations and finding time for hobbies in there somewhere. Oh, yeah, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m somewhat of a kitchen dunce and I only like to pretend that I’m crafty. Read more here!

14 Responses to “ Coordinating Outfits Revisited ”

  1. When my boys were younger, I did dress them a lot. It was easier for me. I guess I never thought about it until now.

    Now that they are older, I still tend to pick out matching clothes while we are shopping (and yes they shop with me), but they come and tell me that the clothes look to much a like and will pick out something else.

    We are “matchy matchy” for all of our family pictures. They don’t fight me on this. We just sit down as a family and decide what color we want to wear.

    RisaJ’s last blog post…do you yoga?


  2. This coordinating outfits subject is fun. I have 2 little girls, and we often end up coordinating (myself included) without me thinking about it–I’m in the mood for purple so we all end up wearing it. My oldest daughter (4 and half) loves to wear the same thing as her little sister. I had no intention of buying them the exact same clothes, but she really likes it so they have a few matching dresses.

    I like the photographer viewpoint.

    Kristi’s last blog post…Immerse yourself in the scriptures


  3. So I’m normal? WOW! I’ve been thinking for a very long time that I was the only one obsessed over this type of thing. I got it from my Mom… and all the other women in that side of my family for that matter. Thanks SO much for posting this because I thought we were alone! =)

    I tend to drag my husband into it too. It’s been hard since my daughter is still wearing a lot of “gifts” since she’s just now 13mths but as we buy her clothes ourselves I find myself thinking if we have things in that color. There are times currently that me and my husband might match and then she’ll have something that doesn’t “match” but is still complimentary because we just don’t wear some colors she’s received clothes in. If that makes sense.

    It’s really not hard because I arrange our closets by color. So, I guess I just do it most times without thinking. My husband says something like “Honey, I want my green polo to wear.” and we just coordinate from there. =) It’s not something that causes me stress though. Some days we’re just having a ruff morning and we wear whatever is clean, haha, and that’s OK too.

    By the way, I love your blog!! =D

    Brandi’s last blog post…a weekend of recovery… sort of


  4. I’m glad my comment made sense! I’ve been thinking a lot about this since you wrote about it, and was even inspired to blog about something similar myself (someday lol).

    I agree with you 100%, when a special occasion arises (Easter, Christmas, etc) Mama gets to choose. And choose I do… this is usually a MAJOR coordinated time. Example?
    These were from Easter this year, thanks to Children’s Place. My oldest had a black & white plaid shirt, which matched little brother’s shorts. Little brother had a white linen shirt, which match brother’s white linen pants. The baby even had a white linen hat ;)

    Okay so this is a really “exact” example, usually I won’t coordinate THIS much – but holidays are big for us, so I like to go all out.

    I love that you wrote on this again, looking forward to reading the responses :) (And yes, your girls are ADORABLE!)

    Angie @ The Creative Mama’s last blog post…What I Found Wednesdays!


  5. Unsure if that link worked… I’ll try again:

    Angie @ The Creative Mama’s last blog post…What I Found Wednesdays!


  6. As I write this, my three girls are NOT coordinated at all, lol!

    I do tend to coordinate their clothing, mostly without thinking about it. The only problem I run into with not always matching the older two up is that they both prefer blue, and usually love what the other is wearing. So, I end up buying two of the same shirts most of the time… so they end up matching without my help.

    As for holidays, they usually match because I say so. What is really overwhelming is when my 4 nieces also match my 3 girls. It is color-overload!

    Amy’s last blog post…New Coupons from Simple and Delicious!


  7. And, your girls are sooo adorable! I cannot wait to meet #4 :)

    @Angie – those are FAB pictures!

    Amy’s last blog post…New Coupons from Simple and Delicious!


  8. Holidays are probably the only time when we coordinate the girls’ outfits because on special occasions there is usually much picture taking!!

    I like to pick outfits that are the same pattern but different colors like these dresses you can find at Lands End

    On any off day, however, I let them dress themselves (except for the 1 yr. old twins) Easier on the nerves that way. ;)

    Olivia’s last blog post…A Perfect Sentiment


  9. Those are really cute outfits you’ve got for your girls. You know, I might think about it if I had cute girly outfits. But, as it is, I’m lucky if I can find something that fits my 11-month-old, let alone get his pants to match his shirt. Hah! You should have seen the horrendous outfit I put on the poor guy the other day. REALLY did not go. Or match. I was so embarrassed, but I hadn’t done the laundry!


  10. Okay…if my girls are even dressed, that’s a good thing (and lately, #2 seems to want to go commando around the house). But coordinating??? Perhaps 1-2% out of the year…on special occasions. For me, it’s just one more thing “to do.”

    Britt’s last blog post…Bath Time Color Soap


  11. Actually, I only have one child (a 4-month-old daughter), and I find myself coordinating OUR outfits – unconsciously! I imagine I’ll end up coordinating my daughter with her siblings, when she has siblings. Great post – love the detailed pics!

    Krys’s last blog post…My New Friend, Alice


  12. I often dress my boys in the exact same outfit. I am getting away from this because the oldest is now 12 but on Sunday morning, they all have the same color polo on. I don’t do this for the cuteness factor but because it’s easier for me to spot them on the playground or on a field trip (we homeschool) — just one “outfit” to look for when scanning the crowd. I also do it when we are traveling. In fact, we just got back from a vacation and they all had green soccer shirts on at breakfast in the hotel one morning and another guest asked me who they played for. I had no idea what she was talking about until I looked more closely at their shirts. I would never be able to pull this off if it weren’t for my mother in law. She buys almost all of their clothes. I don’t have the time to shop much less find shirts that match in all of their sizes.


  13. matching outfits has become an obsession! i have always loved dressing my daughter, now 4, then i had another one, now 2. now my FAVE thing is for them to be dressed in the same exact things, down to matching shoes!

    the upside: it is SO easy to dress them! i don’t have to put thought into two different outfits and shoes. it makes it especially easy to pack for trips. it is easier to shop for them, and i don’t overbuy random pieces here and there that don’t get worn. they love dresses best so i bought like 5 matching sundresses, doesn’t get simpler than that!
    and it is ADORABLE.

    the downside: i have tons of adorable outgrown clothes from my oldest that are going unworn due to my matching obsession. also, by the time my youngest is ready to wear the older size, i will either want them to match again or will be sick to death of seeing the dang clothes again so i’ll have to rebuy anyway. after size 5 i will be limited to matching them in gymboree, since old navy and baby gap really only size identically up to age 5.

    so it’s wasteful and more expensive for me, but i am so obsessed with it, i just can’t STOP!!


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