Coordinated Clothes
Characters intentionally wear the same clothes to show that they belong together
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(permanent link) added: 2013-01-02 10:19:26 sponsor: XFllo (last reply: 2013-03-17 04:51:06)

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Aw, look, the characters, be they twins, a couple in love, loving family members or a group of friends, intentionally wear matching clothes to show that they belong together. The outfits might be exactly the same, or just similar and matching in style. It's usually seen as cute, cool, creepy or just lame.

Coordinated Clothes will be often employed with Twin Tropes, especially Always Identical Twins to emphasize the identical look. Sickeningly Sweethearts like to choose matching outfits for fancy occasions or costume parties to make it clear that they are together. It can be a trait of Those Two Guys or Heterosexual Life-Partners. Sometimes a group of friends and a posse might coordinate their clothes as well.

A variation occurs as a part of Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery when a character tries to imitate somebody they look up to. Copying their clothes is the easiest thing to do. The person whose appearance is copied might welcome it as proper attention, but individuality and uniqueness is a valued thing, so the role model might get annoyed very soon.

This trope originates in wearing uniforms. Uniforms and sports shirts are worn to show that all the people wearing them form a strong group, and they build morale and encourage unity. However, wearing uniforms is enforced. This trope happens only when characters willingly wear the same clothes to show that they belong together, or when somebody willingly tries to copy their role model.

Contrast with Dresses the Same, which is wearing the same clothes by accident and considered embarrassing, especially by ladies.

Compare with Whole Costume Reference, which is a Shout-Out given by wearing an identical outfit that was famously worn by another character or Real Life person.

Examples:

Film
  • Stanley Kubrick's The Shining: The creepy sisters wear the same light blue dresses with pink ribbons. The identical look multiplies the creep out factor.
  • The twins wear matching outfits several times in The Parent Trap remake, sometimes to confuse the others about which twin is which. When the mother sees both her daughters for the first time since their separation, each is dressed in yellow and white. She tells them not to do this to her because she's already seeing double and asks who is who.
  • The Andys of Hot Fuzz are two inseparable detectives who, though not very good at their job, certainly dress for it.
  • Inverted in Dirty Dancing where the two main characters wear clothes of contrasting colors throughout the movie, even for their dance number where couples very often wear matching outfits.
  • In Never Been Kissed, the group of mathematical enthusiasts go to a prom in matching outfits. It makes them feel secure.

Literature
  • Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey:
    • Isabella Thorpe, a reputed beauty, tries to invoke the trope by suggesting her newest, bestest friend Catherine that they should be dressed exactly like each other because men often do take notice of that. She probably wants to invoke the beautiful twins image and attract attention. The innocent Catherine doesn't follow.
    • Isabella's younger and less attractive sisters Maria and Anne try to imitate Isabella's style and they dress like her. According to the narrator, it kind of works, but their rude brother John thinks his younger sisters are laughable and quirky.
  • Lisa and Lottie (original German title Das doppelte Lottchen -- "The double Lottie", known to many as one of its many film adaptations, e.g. The Parent Trap) by Erich Kästner: Nine-year-old girls Lisa and Lottie are twins separated as babies who accidentally meet at summer camp. Lottie brought two dresses of the same kind, and each girl wears one, complete with matching braids, for dinner. They wanted to confuse and amuse other children and their camp supervisors.

Live Action TV
  • The X-Files, "Eve": Teena and Cindy, who are creepy murderous clone girls, wear matching red hellish outfits. It was probably a case of I Just Knew because they did not grow up together, making their identical look even more disturbing.
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • Lily and Marshall are a cute couple and very much in love. They like wearing corresponding Halloween costumes, for instance they went once as Sony and Cher (surprisingly, Marshall as Cher) or a pirate and his parrot.
    • Barney and Abby (guest starred by Britney Spears) wear matching outfits. Each wears a white T-shirt, a light blue jumper and jeans. It was Barney's idea to wear it and humiliate Ted. Its purpose was to mock Ted's quest for a perfect soul mate.
  • The Drew Carey Show:
    • A little person who works at Winfrid-Lauder looks up to Mimi and starts dressing like her to be a "Mini Mimi".
    • A man starts taking after Drew, down to dressing like him and decorating his house to look exactly like Drew's. It creeps Drew and his friends out.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • "The Holographic Excitation": The newly weds Howard and Bernadette are both little people (as in short and thin), so they dressed as a couple of cute smurfs for a Halloween party.
    • "The Holographic Excitation": Amy and Sheldon are going to a Halloween party and she tries to convince him to wear couple costumes. Amy wants something romantic that shows everyone that they together, while Sheldon doesn't understand the sentiment and would prefer Star Wars characters R2D2 and C3PO, or Hewlett and Packard, founders of the HP company. Their compromise is being dressed as Raggedy Ann and "Raggedy" C3PO.
    • One episode features the gang dressed up as superheroes from the Justice League of America for a New Year's Eve party in a comic book store. Too bad there were several gangs with the same idea, but Leonard and co's costumes were the coolest and they won the competition.
  • The 2012 ABC series Series The Neighbors:
    • The alien members of the gated community all dress identically. The main alien family may dress in a slight variation, but they still colour-coordinate with the community and with each other.
    • The father-and-son and mother-and-daughter have always worn matching theme Halloween costumes, but this year the son decides to go out with his new school friends as a zombie and the daughter "goes slutty" by declaring that she and a neighbor boy will go as "hot doctor and slutty nurse." Due to the fact that the neighbor boy is a Cloud Cuckoolander alien, he assumes that he is supposed to be the slutty nurse.
  • In Disney's Shake It Up, Gunther and Tinka are extravagant twins who often wear matching outfits, but not the same ones (e.g. Gunther's will sport a 'G' and Tinka's a 'T'). They are brother and sister rather than of the same gender, so Gunther's outfits are slightly creepy.
  • In the Gilmore Girls episode "Application Anxiety", Lorelai suggests to Rory that the siblings they just met are acting like they're together too much to just be brother and sister. Once they come back having changed their clothes, Lorelai notes to Rory that they're color-coordinated as further proof.
  • In Once Upon a Time, Regina and Rumplestiltskin both wore black and blue for an episode after they started a sort of Heel-Face Turn and tried to redeem themselves for their loved ones. They are still as antagonistic as ever, and end up disagreeing on the best way to carry this plan. [NEEDS CONTEXT - what is their relationship?]
  • The HBO comedy series Not Necessarily The News: There was a "sniglet" (= any word that doesn't appear in the dictionary, but should) that describes this trope; "fods" -- noun, couples at amusement parks who wear identical T-shirts.

Manga and Anime
  • In Sket Dance:
  • Detective Conan:
    • In her début scene, Kazuha is very jealous when Ran accidentally shows up in the same shirt as Heiji, and so Ran changes out of it. Kazuha and Heiji are childhood friends who claim to be Like Brother and Sister but they're really a couple who just haven't started dating yet. Kazuha thought that Ran was the person Heiji was secretly talking to over the phone and wanted to meet with in person, and she interprets the outfits as intentional.
    • Two identical necklaces are a subtle hint that another pair of characters are romantically inclined.
    • At the end of the mystery, Ran and Kazuha end up switching shirts for a Brick Joke. Ran's wearing a shirt that happens to be similar to Heiji's current outfit, so she has Kazuha wear it instead. Kazuha feels super embarrassed, but Heiji is oblivious as to the romantic implications. Conan snarks to himself that those two are more like a straight-man and funny-guy duo than a couple.

Web Original
  • The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: In episode 59 "Staff Spirit", Charlotte Lu wears a Ketchup costume for Halloween work event, while her direct supervisor Ricky Collins is dressed in a Mustard outfit.

Western Animation
  • The Simpsons:
    • Marge and Bart Simpsons and Agnes and Seymour Skinners wore matching outfits for singing in a competition where they performed as mother-son duos.
    • Twin sisters and Those Two Women Patty and Selma who are single and live together wear similar clothes and have similar hair styles.
    • Mr Burns bought matching green shirts for his bowling buddies. The guys were very moved by it, almost forgiving him that he was such a poor player.
  • In the Sponge Bob Square Pants episode "Big Pink Loser", Patrick starts dressing up like SpongeBob as part of an attempt to be a winner just like him. SpongeBob finds it a little creepy, but flattering.
  • In Total Drama Island, Sadie and Katie match their outfits to represent their incredibly strong friendship.
  • On South Park, the Goths are proud of their non-conformity.
    If you wanna be one of the non-conformists, all you have to do is dress just like us and listen to the same music we do.

Real Life
  • Some twins (or their mothers) indulge in having the same outfits. Many identical twins hate being forced to dress alike, at least beyond the age that they are old enough to have a say in the matter. Some, but not all, psychologists are also opposed, saying it robs each twin of their individuality.
  • Joey and Mel Schwanke wear matching outfits for 35 years. They take this trope Up to Eleven, having 146 custom-made matching outfits, typically matching Joey's dress and Mel's tie,
  • It's a common occurence in Asia for couples to wear matching clothes. According to the article, a pair of really committed lovers can be recognized by wearing the same outfit in countries like Korea, China or Japan. Public displays of affection remain a taboo there, and matching outfits are a kind of substitute.
  • In Japan, the phenomenon of couples wearing matching clothes is referred to as bacouple. It a portmanteau word formed from "baka" (Japanese for "fool") and English "couple".

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