There’s a distinct continuum of parenting philosophies regarding the matching of their offspring. All levels are equally valid, but the decision is intensely personal.

Level 5 Matchers: These parents believe that complete matching is synonymous with holiness.  They not only match ALL of their children, both male and female, all the way down to their socks and underwear, but also match their OWN outfits to their children’s.

(I’m pretty sure that Level 5 Matchers only exist in the 80’s and in Hanna Andersson catalogs.)

(Oh – and in families that are so massively large that the only way for them to efficiently know who all belongs to them is to pick a color scheme and go with it.)

Level 4 Matchers: These parents regularly match their children, both male and female.  Although they don’t typically also match their own clothing with their children’s, they feel compelled to do so for family portraits and holidays.

(My Mom made she and I an adorable set of red, plaid, pleated, taffeta Christmas skirts one year.  Although she didn’t qualify for this status my entire childhood, she was definitely a Level 4 Matcher that year.)

Level 3 Matchers: These parents tend to always match their children of the same gender (especially girls), but don’t subscribe to cross-gender matching or parental matching.

(Typically, the little boys and husbands belonging to these families are very thankful.)

Level 2 Matchers: These parents find occasional pleasure in matching their children, but don’t make it a requirement.

Level 1 Matchers: These parents are Easter-Only, same-gender-only matchers (and maybe just “coordinators”, a whole different continuum unto itself), and refuse to match their kids at any other time.

Level 0 Matchers: These parents scoff at (or secretly scoff at) any parents with a matching level above their own, and absolutely refuse to EVER match their children, sometimes even consciously choosing to make them clash – on principle.

Have you located yourself in the Matching Continuum?

I am a Level 2 matcher, but could have possibly moved up to 2.5 on the continuum had I birthed two children of the same gender.

My friend Ashley, however, is no more than a .5 on the continuum, and I only give her the .5 credit because I haven’t heard her scoff higher levels of matchers.  Although she has two girls (the ultimate temptation to increase one’s level of matchyness), I have never seen her girls match.

And for more proof of her low level of match, we went shopping the other day, and she tried to pick out a dress for AJ that I hadn’t bought for Ali (although she found out afterward that I had indeed bought that dress…and, unfortunately for her, AJ also found out.)

And so, although she’s WAY too kind to ever say so, she probably would have never done what I’ve done every time AJ has come to spend the night with Ali.



And this: IMG_4578

(Their eery look-alikeness is surely to blame for some of my matching temptations.)

And this:IMG_8485

Oh – and this.IMG_0172

And furthermore, I am obviously and solely to blame in the brainwashing of her child…which led to a phone call from Ashley Saturday afternoon.

“AJ asked me to call you and ask you to ask Ali if they could wear their matching dresses tomorrow at Church.”

(Although Chris took the call and said that Ashley sounded amused, I worried what matching angst I had caused her.)

Ali obviously agreed to the plan.






And everyone in our somewhat large church was made aware by two giddy little girls that they did, indeed, match.

One day, they’ll realize their supposed to be embarrassed to show up at the same place in the same dress, but for now, our girls definitely qualify for Level 3 Matchers.

And it’s all my fault.

35 thoughts on “The Continuum of Match.

  1. I think I’m a level 1 matcher…I never match my kids to each other except for trying to coordinate for family photos/Christmas. However, if I had 2 girls, I’d be much more tempted…I know this because I bought matching outfits for my girl and my friend’s 3 month old. I have noticed in a lot of blogs I read that it seems cooler these days to have your kids’ outfits not match…and that seems to be true in my area too…lots of Level 0 matchers in my neck of the woods. And they are as proud of not matching as they are of their bedhead hairdos.

    1. I agree. It seems like a lot of people give off the vibe that it’s kinda “uncool” to match these days, it seems like. Because we’re all ultimately still in Junior High and ruled by coolness.

  2. I think I’m a Level 1. It’s kinda weird for boys to match, isn’t it? I can think of one shirt that I bought for Sam & Grey b/c I thought it was too cute. Even then, I had a hard time with them wearing it at the same time.
    I am big into coordinating. If one has on plaid shorts, I like the other one too and so on and so on.

    Also, the matching dresses, crossing family lines?! Love it. Those girls are precious!

    1. I don’t know if boys matching is weird or not, but it’s definitely more “acceptable”, it seems, for girls to match. But I think matching boys can be pretty cute – as long as they’re not all matching in smock.

  3. I’m a level 2 matcher. I don’t dress the boys alike as a rule, but I do it now and then. I used to do it a little more often b/c they like to match each other, but I typically don’t think about it when making clothing purchases for them. I try to dress them similarly every now and then though just to make them happy :)

    Blake made sure to tell me that Ali and AJ matched on Sunday. They had announced it to him with grea joy when he dropped Ethan off. Did you buy them matching PJs each time Ali slept over? Hee hee!

    1. No – I always just happened to have two of the same print – or a couple of times I knew AJ had the same ones, so I’d request for Ashley to pack them for her. I’m not THAT far off the deep end!!

      1. Ha! I totally assumed you purchased double pj’s just for that purpose. I thought it was clever. Those pics are gonna be priceless when they are in each other’s weddings.

  4. I’m not sure what I am yet. Maybe level 1. I have a hard enough time getting Taylor’s own outfits to match (in the other sense of the word). But I do like coordination. And I like the way multiple children accentuate each other’s outfits in pics…not match completely. But I definitely love matching between different families. Adorable.

  5. I have a friend at church that is level 8. She and her three daughters are always dressed exactly alike with a coordinated husband. I am sure had she been blessed with a boy he too would match. I like the matching kids but when the mom is also matched it is a little strange to me. I do love Ali and AJ matching.

  6. I totally don’t care about my children matching AT ALL! But, I’m not a scoffer either! I do find it amusing when my children match (in color scheme) b/c I don’t plan it. It must just be that I’m having a “green” day or am in an “orange” mood and so it happens to be what color I pick if they ask me to choose their clothes.

  7. Since I only have one child right now, I haven’t yet entered the world of matching, but Ithink I would probably be a level 1. The family who lived up the street from me when I was growing up would be about a level 15 at Easter each year. The mother would make matching outfits for her and her two daughters, and she would also make a matching suit for her husband. I felt sorry for him each year when he showed up at church in his baby pink, powder blue, or mint green suit. Ali and AJ look so cute in their matching pjs and dresses.

  8. Awwww! I am definitely a level 1 only. Hubby will coordinate for pics if I ask him too, but usually just for holidays. Oddly enough though, all 3 of the girls picked the same Easter dress this year! I however, will be wearing a brown stripey print dress to not match their pink/green/white dresses!

  9. I’m somewhere between a level three and a level four, and I’m quite certain that it’s our massive inheritance of hand-me-downs that keep them from being up near a five (since the multiple families who have given us clothing weren’t coordinated enough to only give us MATCHING clothing in the appropriate sizes). And yes, I do tend to coordinate my shirt to at least be unclashing with baby (I’m going to be holding her a lot, after all!!) on a semi-regular basis.

  10. I like to dress my girls in the same style but not necessarily the same colors. I don’t think they own any matching outfits… I don’t know where I fall. I do think Ali and AJ look awfully cute though. Also, my oldest, Hazel has most of the same pj set that they are wearing in those photos and has hair super similar to them. She could be their missing triplet!

  11. I am for sure a Level 3, on a regular basis. I jump up to a Level 5 on occasion. I mean I never match the boys, but I will trick my husband into wearing something I know will coordinate with the boys clothes, and we are typically to late for him to opt out. :) I cannot resist. It will look like the youngest has worn the same clothes for 4 years because he will only grow up into the same clothes he has now in a bigger size. (It does help to keep up with them, but that really isn’t the reason)

  12. I’m a 1.5 matcher. Our daughters often match for portraits with our son in something coordinating but not matching exactly. If we ever have another son I’ll probably do the same for the boys. :)

    I suspect my older daughter will grow out of liking this once she starts kindergarten this fall!

  13. Those pictures are beyond adorable. If I had two little cutie pies like those girls in my house, you’d better believe that I would dress them alike! I just have one boy but if I had another boy, they would probably match on certain occasions (mainly holidays). If I have a baby girl, I think they would color-coordinate.

  14. Can I create a new category? :) I would call myself an ‘accidental matcher’. I have walked out of the house several times only to realize later that both my son and I are wearing horizontal striped shirts or that I dressed my son as my husband’s mini-me (example — they both end up wearing khaki cargo shorts and plaid button down shirts). Not something I would do on purpose, but maybe it’s something I am doing subconsciously? :)

  15. What level am I if I match colors for whole family for Christmas cards, like to match the girls, but my satisfaction in matching really comes from the thrill of finding matching outfits at consignment sales..
    Oh and my oldest two might be wearing the same pairof pants at this moment….bt that its so they are easily spotted on the airport!!!

  16. I am definitely a level 2 matcher…pushing level 3. My mom started it all with all her buying of the matching outfits. And now I think it is really cute and my girls get way more compliments when they are matching so I’m guessing other people around here like matchy-matchy too. :) K wants to match her sister whenever possible. We’ll see how long that lasts. I never intentionally match my girls, but a lot of times I notice we are wearing similar colors. I pick out clothes by color. :)

    I love Ali and AJ in the matching jammies and dresses. Too cute. That last picture makes Ali look really tall!

  17. I think I am a level 2… If money were no object I would probably be higher! I was determined to get matching/coordinating Easter outfits this year and was successful! I can’t wait to see the three of them in their matching duds! Hopeful the two boys will manage to stay clean long enough for a picture. :)

  18. They really could be sisters! So cute.

    I don’t match my kids up, but I am easily a Level 5 Coordinator. For scrapbooking, I like to have their clothes coordinate in some way, even if it’s just all primary colors, all pastels, coordinating stripes or whatever. It makes my life easier when it comes to scrapbooking an event or trip. I even wrote about it briefly here:

    I did it for Disney World, too, and it was great! :)

  19. I would say I was a level 4 – 5 when I had the first two girls. It was easier to match them then to pick out more than one outfit. Now (with three girls) I have resorted to coordinating. (Mainly because I hated seeing the same outfits year after year.) Let me say Gymboree LOVES me and I them. They do the hard part of coordinating my children for me. (My husband might not love them that much!)

  20. I’d say that my mom was a level 5 matcher, my sisters & I were ALWAYS matching and on several occasions my mother matched us too…but there were no boys in the family & I’m pretty sure that if I did have a brother that she would not have had a matching outfit for him…that’s just wrong!

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