0509MOTHERSDAYAUDListen as Evelyn Reynolds talks about the pranks she and her twin, Carolyn Walters, used to play on people.
Mothers and daughters have a special bond, but some of these duos take that connection a step further by matching their clothing.
It might just be the matching top, or it could be a dress they wear for church or for a family photo. But one of the ways these families show their love is through fashion.
"I think it’s just having that whole perfect little family look going on," said Erika Parker, owner of Addison Taylor Kids in Gainesville, which specializes in matching tops and dresses for children and moms. "That’s my observation, being from California, just the whole Southern presentation, everyone looking their best and I think the matching falls into that."
At first Parker thought the idea of matching outfits was off the wall, but today she and her daughters, Taylor, 4, and Addie, 1, wear matching dresses from time to time.
Parker created her pillowcase dress business after making matching outfits for her family for trips to Disneyland in California.
"I started out just doing the pillowcase dresses for the little girls, but since we started I’ve had moms ask for the matching shirts," said Parker, who added that much of her business now is for matching outfits for family portraits at the beach. "We do the white dresses — for the moms it’s the white tops and it’s got the brown bow, and we do their name or their monogram in the dark brown across the bottom."
Angela Ewers of Gainesville and daughter Lainie Ewers have had one to two matching outfits each year since Lainie was born.
"I grew up doing the same thing — my mom and I matched quite a bit growing up," said Ewers, who also does monogramming for Parker through her at-home business, In Stitches. "It’s just something I think is a Southern tradition, especially on special occasions like Mother’s Day, Christmas (or) when we go to the beach. We always wear matching outfits just to have those nice picture moments.
"I’ve done it with my daughter literally since she was born. Everyone always
comments on how adorable it is."
Ewers added that the matching clothes also can be a safety measure as well.
"It helps, too — when we goes on vacations, it definitely helps. Stone Mountain, Six Flags or Disney," she said. "In fact, I have a picture of our entire extended family in matching shirts just because it helps recognize us, if one of them gets lost or somebody is not with the group we can say this is what they have on."
For Evelyn Reynolds and sister Carolyn Walters, who are identical twins, their matching outfits have added a lifetime of fun. The twins have been dressing alike since birth, back when their mother made all of their clothes.
"I don’t know why mother dressed us alike," said Reynolds, a Gainesville resident. "She made our clothes and she always dressed (us) alike. We even dressed alike when we were in school. (Carolyn) lives in Raleigh, N.C., and when we are together we always dress alike."
When the sisters shop, even states away, they OK the matching outfits with each other before they purchase anything.
"She’ll be in Talbots, Belks or Dillards or somewhere and she sees something she likes she’ll call Belks or Talbots in Atlanta and ask them to hold that for me," Reynolds said. "I’ll go look at it and if I like it I’ll get it. And the same with me."
Reynolds said she loves the idea of families wearing matching clothing and thinks it would be great if other folks picked up on the tradition.
"I think it’s wonderful if they would do it," she said. "I have two grandsons — one is 8 and one is 10 — and especially when they were small I dressed them alike. I still buy them the same thing, but now they are older and they don’t often dress alike."
The memory of the similar outfits Tanya Glosson and her daughter, Monica, now 17, once shared is, in a word, delicious.
"It was Fresh Produce," said the Gainesville mother of the bright sundress-style beach cover-ups she and her daughter wore. Their matching outfits were purple and adorned with little fish.
Although that was when her daughter was about 4 or 5, Glosson said. She also remembers Monica digging through her jewelry box to try on her mother’s big earrings, and also played dress-up in Glosson’s old drill team uniforms.
That still makes Glosson smile, she said, because today her daughter graces the stage as a ballet dancer, and she can’t help but think all that play in the uniforms helped lay the groundwork for Monica’s love of dance.
Monica, though, shrugs at the memory; dressing up in the same outfit as your mother is cute when you’re in kindergarten. But in high school? Not so much.
Suwanee resident Jennifer Venable, 19, also had memories of matching mother-daughter outfits because her grandmother would make them.
Her favorite outfit? A Christmas-themed sweater set with a rocking horse on it. "I just thought it was really cute," she said.
Her grandmother made matching outfits for her and her mother even when she was a baby. Both would have matching T-shirts or sweaters, no matter the size difference.
Venable and Gainesville resident Madeline Maney, 15, both said they wore matching mother-daughter outfits until they were about 7 or 8. Maney had sundresses and Capri pants that matched her mother’s.
On Sundays, she said, they were the best looking duo in church.
"Most every Sunday growing up me and my mom would match," she said. "I felt like it was pretty cool. It made me feel more grown up."
Glosson said even though she and her daughter don’t share the same taste in clothes anymore, she still finds an occasional similarity. For example, for her daughter’s recent birthday, Glosson bought her 1980s-style Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses — the kind with the thick black rims.
"I had glasses like that in high school," Glosson said, adding that the clothing can be one more way to connect with your daughter.
"It makes me think she might be a little like me."
Times staff writer Kristen Morales contributed to this story.