One of the things that I most looked forward to when I had two little girls was dressing them in matching outfits. They were two and one half years apart, which was, to me, a perfect set up. I could buy a toddler girl outfit and a baby girl outfit, and they'd always look SUPER CUTE.
Yeah, well, that worked for about a year. And then my toddler girl became a very independent four year old, who wanted so badly to be as grown up as her older brother and half siblings, and wanted nothing to do with the baby - and most emphatically did not want to look like her.
Then I was lucky enough to have a second set of girls, who were only a year apart, and I was able to dress them in the pass me down matching outfits from their older sisters. I forgot to factor in that, after six or so years of those matching outfits, being passed form person to person, and one girl wearing the same pattern for an unbelievable five years - I grew heartily sick of matching sibling outfits.
These days, my kids are older, and I've learned a few things along the way - and my kids have developed a sense of their own style. To begin with, dressing sibling groups for fall most emphatically does not mean that everyone has to wear the same pattern, print, plaid or color. In fact, I'd venture to say that one might do well to stay far away from the matchy-matchy. I've had a lot of luck when I ask my kids to wear complimentary colors - maybe everyone in light pastel shirts and khakis, or jeans and white (or black) shirts.
Accessories help to pull an outfit together. My four girls wore yellow shirts last year for Thanksgiving, and each shirt was different, but each girl wore the same scarf and earrings. It was a cute photo and everyone could pick the style and shade of shirt that was the most comfortable for them.
Dressing my sons in the same shirt might be cute to me, but at 20 and 13, it's not cute to them. Polo shirts of similar shades, paired with a solid color sweater, means that they can coordinate and not match. I've also learned that it's better if I purchase the clothes that I want them to wear together in a little bit higher quality - that way, the colors don't fade, the seams stay crisp and sharp and I'm not afraid to pass the shirt down to the next.
Don't forget that your children, while siblings, are still individuals. One of my boys has developed a very preppy style, while the other has not. One of my girls is very fashion conscious, while her closest sister is content to wear her brother's hand me downs. Let your kids develop their own styles, and let them be individuals, even if it does mess with your desire to have them match.
What are your best hints, tips and tricks for dressing siblings?