Any public appearance by the Duchess of Cambridge typically dominates the fashion headlines the next day.
But, for England’s Euro 2020 match against Germany this week, the duchess was overshadowed by her companions – Prince William and seven-year-old Prince George.
The father and son wore matching blazers, shirts and striped ties, giving royal endorsement to the rising mini-me trend – where parents and their children wear matching or similar outfits.
Other celebrities are onboard. Serena Williams’s three-year-old daughter, Olympia Ohanian, was photographed this week in a red and pink jumpsuit like the one her mother wore to the Australian Open in February.
It’s not limited to small children. Kate Moss and her 18-year-old daughter, Lila Grace, took a tour of the Vatican this week – both wearing black blazers with their hair in a slicked back style.
Kim Kardashian was early on this trend. She and her daughter North West wore matching silver chainmail-style dresses in 2016. And Courtney Adamo, a parent blogger, regularly posts pictures of herself and her children in matching outfits.
Brands are catering to this growing demand. Gap has a section on its site titled Everyone’s Matching and showcasing pieces with similar prints across menswear, womenswear and childrenswear.
In May, the retailer & Other Stories launched a small collection of matching dresses for mothers and daughters for their first foray into childrenswear. Independent brands including Seraphina London and Yolke have also embraced the trend.
Marks & Spencer’s second collection with the fashion house Ghost, launched in June, focused on mini-me dressing and proved popular, with 70% of the children’s dresses bought alongside their womenswear version. M&S says its mini-me styles for fathers and sons for Father’s Day in June also sold well.
Tara Ryan, the head of design for M&S Kidswear, says she first noticed the trend in nightwear, with customers buying matching pyjamas for them and their children at Christmas.
Ryan believes the demand has increased thanks to the relaxing of Covid restrictions. “It’s always a popular choice for special occasions or celebrations and, as we begin to make plans to see friends and loved ones once again, mini-me dressing offers fun, stylish outfitting solutions,” she said. The brand will continue to sell mini-me designs into the autumn.
Ella Ringner, the founder of Yolke, started by selling matching pyjamas and expanded into daywear this year.
The designs are inspired by the postwar “make do and mend” culture “when the women of the house would cut outfits for them and their children from the same cloth”.
Yolke’s coordinating adult and child-sized dresses have been popular, but Ringner says it is best to avoid being too matchy-matchy.
“The key is not to be identical. It’s about matching fabric and feel but pleasing both mother and daughter. A mother may look for wearability whereas a daughter would look for twirl.”