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, or people who perform together.
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.
Compare Model Couple
, Whole Costume Reference
(wearing an identical outfit that was famously worn by another character or Real Life
person), and You Are the New Trend
(when a character's signature look suddenly inspires widespread imitation).
Contrast with Dresses the Same
(wearing the same clothes by accident and considered embarrassing, especially by ladies).
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- 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.
- Chicago: At the end, Velma and Roxie perform their singing and dancing routine in matching outfits. They start in a long white fur and then strip it, each wearing a silver sexy dress. They have various props like hats or sticks, shaped like guns. Their hair styles contrast wonderfully - both have '20s Bob Haircut, but Velma has black and straight hair while Roxie has curly and blond hair. See the video at youtube.
- The twin girls in 3 Women always wear the same dress.
- 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.
- In Hemlock Grove, the Sworn girls don't wear the exact same outfits, they usually have the same theme with color variations.
- In Worm, the Travelers all dress in black and red, New Wave dresses in similar white and their preferred color costumes, and the Wards wear identical concealing body suits to help surprise the 9.
- In Bloodlines, Sydney and Adrian accidentally wear coordinating clothes on more than one occasion — usually Played For Comedy, but also used to show how in sync they are, even as Sydney vehemently denies her attraction.
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:
- "Slutty Pumpkin": Halloween episode of the first season had several examples, some of them Played With.
- 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 wants his best friend Ted to coordinate their Halloween costumes. He brought two costumes of ace pilots and wants Ted to go as his literal and metaphorical wing-man. Ted defies the trope as he insists on wearing his old costume as the infamous ballot vote "Hanging Chad" because that's how his possible soul mate Slutty Pumpkin remembers him.
- Robin and her boyfriend Mike joked over emails about dressing up as Hansel and Gretel. Mike thought she was serious, but Robin's part of the costume was missing.
- 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 gang is going to a Halloween party organized by Stuart and Raj. Two couples decide to have couples costume.
- 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.
- Amy's proud to be Sheldon's girlfriend, and she tries to convince him to wear something romantic that shows everyone that they belong together. 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 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.
- 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.
- Red Dwarf:
- "Parallel Universe":
- In the Cat's dream sequence, the Cat performs the "Tongue Tied" song while Rimmer and Lister are his backing vocals. The trio is dressed in matching red suits with frills.
- The guys travel to parallel universe. Their female alter-egos Deb Lister and Arlene Rimmer are dressed identically to regulars Dave Lister and Arnie Rimmer. It shows that they are the same personality, but it was hardly their choice as they couldn't have known in advance.
- In "Backwards", Rimmer and Kryten wear matching pink and sparkling outfits, starring in an act called "srehtorB esreveR lanoitasneS ehT" ("The Sensational Reverse Brothers") when they got to a parallel Earth.
- "Quarantine": At the end of the episode, Lister, Kryten and Cat all wear red-and-white checked gingham dresses which Rimmer wore when he was insane, being infected by the holo-virus. The guys probably want to psych him out the same as he psyched out them with his madness.
- Cranford: The Honourable Mrs Jamieson is a snobbish woman who dresses her dog to match her own clothes for social gatherings, e.g. for Lady Ludlow's garden party.
- The Sickening Sweethearts Happily Married Beta Couple Howard and Hilda Hughes in Ever Decreasing Circles always wore identical ghastly cardigans.
- Chuck and Blair on Gossip Girl were often wearing matching outfits. Half the time it wasn't supposed to be a conscious decision on the part of the characters but rather a subtle way of showing how connected they always will be.
- 'Allo 'Allo!:
- Those Two Guys British Flight Lieutenants Castairs and Fairfax always wore the same clothes. Mostly it was a more or less ridiculous disguise, for example as onion sellers or cleaning ladies.
- Captain Hans Geering and Colonel von Strohm usually wore uniforms, but sometimes they sport the same disguise as onion sellers.
- Herr Flick and his assistant Herr von Smallhausen are Gestapo officer who both wear black suits, leather coats and hats. They would sometimes wear the same disguise trying to catch some La Ressistance people or as part of their schemes, e.g. onion sellers, gypsy musicians or monks.
- When some girls from Hitler Youth and two serving girls perform Bavarian Dances in the café, they all wear the appropriate uniforms for the act.
- Michele and other members of the Resistance all wear a beige Conspicuous Trenchcoat.
- Women from the Communist Resistance all wear the same clothes. The most distinctive piece of clothing is a red scarf they have around their neck and light blue shirt.
- Sometimes the group from the café was forced to coordinate their outfits as part of some crazy plan. They dressed up as characters from horror stories, classical musicians, flamenco dancers or gypsies.
- In The Sing Off, the members of each group are given coordinated outfits each week, though they switch it up so as to prevent people from identifying the group with just one particular color.
- In The Amazing Race, the teams are assigned a color to be Color-Coded Characters, several teams a season will take it a step further.
- In "Studies in Modern Movement" of Community, Dean Pelton is dressed exactly the same as Jeff when they have their day at the mall. Down to matching watches.
- Ally McBeal: The dorky-looking dancing twins frequent the idealized bar where the whole office keep going after work. They always wear matching outfits and dance in synchronized movements.
- In the Doctor Who serial "The Enemy of the World", Victoria is wearing a jumper and kilt, just like Jamie always does. Some shippers have semi-seriously drawn the conclusion that they were an item and she was wearing his clothes.
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.
- During the mystery that pops up after all of this, two identical necklaces are a subtle hint that another pair of characters are romantically linked.
- At the end of the mystery, Ran and Kazuha end up switching shirts for a Brick Joke. Ran's once again 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.
- In another mystery, Ran's mention of buying a matched set of pajamas gives Conan the Eureka Moment necessary to solve the mystery. (The end of mystery stinger reveals said pajamas to be embarrassingly adorable.)
- A Victim of the Week is an Elegant Gothic Lolita who apparently showed up at a diner moments before her body was discovered in a nearby bathroom, but Conan figures out that the one who made the appearance was the murderer, who'd had the victim buy the identical outfits precisely for this moment.
- In Naruto, Rock Lee is a mini-me of Might Guy, his teacher. Right down to the Big Ol' Eyebrows.
- Barber Shops Quartets traditionally wear striped outfits with straw hats.
- Kalafina: The members normally help plan their own outfits, so the dresses are usually similar in color and style but with subtle differences.
- In the 2011 New York Philharmonic production of Company, all of the married couples are colour-coordinated, with the lighting in their scenes made to match.
- In the social game Pet Society, many featured outfits came in a version for boy pets and girl pets. Some players pretended to date other player's pet and they could happily match the outfits, be it the very same clothes or one could wear the boy version and the other girl version of the costume.
- Robert and Rosalind Lutece of Bioshock Infinite always wear matching suits. This is partly explained by the fact that they are both mad scientists. They also seem to get a kick out of trolling people with their Creepy Twins act.
- 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.
- Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse has Barbie invoke this with her rival Raquelle of all people: After Ryan stains Raquelle's new dress, Barbie dresses her in the sparkly pink dress that she wears almost all the time (including during the show's opening).
- The Autobiography of Jane Eyre: In episode 21 "Hijacked", Blanche and Mr Rochester wear matching colours. Both Balcnhe's top and Mr Rochester's jacket are dark purple.
- Gunnerkrigg Court: Tomboy and Girly Girl couple —-Kat and Paz—- go to a dance in subtly complementary outfits: Girly-girl wears a nautical-inspired dress while Tomboy is basically wearing a naval dress outfit minus the jacket.
- 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 SpongeBob SquarePants 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."
- An episode of Doug had the entire school constantly dressing up in the same outfit as a popular actor at one point. When the outfit he wore was Doug's, Doug gets incredibly fed up as he's always worn that look. When he's ready to just go with it, it turns out they've changed outfits again - this time, to Skeeter's.
- During the attack in episode one of City Hunters, every man is dark-haired, in a blue-and-white tee, wearing jeans and brown shoes. (This is to show the many aspects of the main character's personality, who is wearing the same outfit in reality)
- 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 occurrence 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 can be a substitute.
- In Japan, the phenomenon of couples wearing matching clothes is referred to as bacouple. It's a portmanteau word formed from "baka" (Japanese for "fool") and English "couple".
- Many couples will coordinate their clothing for formal occasions, such as proms and weddings. The most common variant is the man having his tie and cummerbund match his date's dress (or in the case of a white wedding gown, matching any kind of decorations, such as a sash, bow or even her shoes.)