'I match clothes with my pug'

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Maitri Mody matching with her pugImage source, @honeyidressedthepug
Image caption,
Maitri Mody matching with her pug

When you think about the people who match their clothes with their partners, do you perhaps think of them in matching anoraks at a computer games party or in matching husky jumpers at a tourist attraction? Do you think it's uncool or even embarrassing?

Well, you're wrong. It's now apparently very cool to wear matching clothes with the people or the pets you love.

Unconvinced? Well, the Swedish clothing brand Polarn O. Pyret (PO.P) has seen a 185% rise in sales of its matching adult and child ranges over the past two years.

While founder of Swedish clothing brand Maxomorra, Johan Ström, says: "The trend is really picking up and parents want even more styles to match with their mini-me. It is crazy but we love it!"

And then this month, UK retailer Missguided launched a range of matching clothes for dog owners - the doggy jumpers sold out within 24 hours.

Image source, Polarn O. Pyret
Image caption,
Chip 'n' Dale are big Disney favourites in Sweden

PO.P say it has long sold organic matching loungewear and pyjamas for families.

It first started making clothing in 1976, including a cotton striped loungewear available from newborn to adult - a collection known as PO.P Originals.

Image source, Polarn O. Pyret
Image caption,
Christmas is the most popular time for matching nightwear

Karen Tyler, director of childrenswear at Mini Boden says: "We are noticing a real trend for family moments across all our baby, boys, girls, men and womenswear ranges, that's come from our neighbours across the pond.

"Our customers really love to dress up the whole family in the run-up to the Christmas period."

Image source, Boden
Image caption,
A Boden-style family Christmas - complete with compulsory dog

There are now over three million Instagram posts containing the hashtag #matching and almost seven million including #twinning.

Image source, Maxomorra
Image caption,
A matching style from the Maxomorra AW19 collection

Influencers Cecilia Leslie and Becky Dickerson have both recently sported matching clothes in their Instagram posts.

Cecilia, 33, says she has matched her four children for the past four years: "It's aesthetically pleasing, it also gives us a sense of belonging, like part of a tribe."

Becky, 32 , who also has four children, says: "We are a family that loves to travel. Being all dressed in the same bold print makes navigating airports and train stations much easier as we are clearly a family unit. I just need to get my husband joining in!"

Katie Webb got in touch with the BBC via the My Money Facebook group to say she currently owns seven matching outfits for her and her daughter. In her words "twinning is always winning".

Image source, Katie Webb
Image caption,
Katie Webb and her daughter in matching clothes

Dogs and owners

When clothing brand Missguided launched its matching range for dog owners, its tweet gained hundreds of "likes" and the news was shared on Facebook thousands of times, as well as by newspapers like The Sun and Metro.

"We saw a 9,700% increase in people searching for the jumpers, with over 20,000 visitors to the pages over a two-day period," says the firm.

Image source, Missguided
Image caption,
A dachshund in Missguided's matching adult and dog collection

Missguided's range comes in three different sizes, depending on the breed.

Though Sarah Iddles commented on Missguided's Facebook post to say she doesn't think anyone will ever make clothes big enough for her Bordeaux mastiff: "Somehow I don't think a large will fit our Roman!"

She could have a point.

Image source, Sarah Iddles
Image caption,
Sarah Iddles and her Dogue de Bordeaux, or Bordeaux mastiff

Maitri Mody in New York has a pet fashion line called Ari & M and says one of her most popular products is a matching dog bandana and hair tie.

She has a background in fashion design and styling, and had an idea four years ago, while she lived in London, to create matching street style looks with her pug - Ari.

"Over the past four years our twinning concept has been so well received that this idea has now turned into my full time job." Maitri says she has seen more and more "dog moms" matching their dogs in the last couple of years.

Image source, @shop_ariandm
Image caption,
Maitri Mody matching with her pug
Image source, Sherry Duncan
Image caption,
Sherry Duncan and her corgi puppy Rocket

Paz Castro lives in Hackney, London. She owns her own jewellery brand and has an Italian greyhound named Lloyd.

"There's an undeniable connection between every human and their dog. "I see Lloyd as an extension of myself, wearing high quality yet simple, practical and modern garments.

"It comes quite naturally and we are able to blend as one."

Image source, @allaboutlloyd
Image caption,
Paz Castro and her Italian greyhound: "I see Lloyd as an extension of myself"

Do you wear matching clothes with your pets? Let us know in the My Money Facebook group.

There is also evidence of people matching with their dogs in the Reddit subreddit called r/dadswhodidnotwantpets.

Image source, @piercedoff
Image caption,
Krista Kuppenbender and her dog wear a matching leggings and bandana combination

Russell Hund bought matching Christmas jumpers for his partner and his dog Spider: "We wanted to get some photos for our holiday card. We actually have a few matching outfits - I think it's hilarious when we're matching.

"Spider is a small guy and gets cold so he actually appreciates and enjoys his sweaters and jackets."

Image source, @rusty_hund
Image caption,
Russell Hund, his partner and their dog Spider Smalls
Image source, @guy_cusson
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Chelsea Thomas in Los Angeles likes to match with her dog Roscoe, a pit bull-Rhodesian ridgeback mix

'I match with my cat'

Sura Behzadi from Toronto in Canada says her cat is definitely the better dresser: "I find pets wearing clothes as something fun and perhaps a little comical, add that matching aspect and you can definitely get a reaction."

Image source, Sura Behzadi
Image caption,
Sura Behzadi and her cat in matching jumpers

Zahra Clark also tells us she likes to match with her sphynx cat, Cali Walli Woo: "We like to dress alike or even to compliment one another."

She says cats' clothing isn't as varied as dogs', which is surprising as sphynxs actually need clothing in the winter months due to their lack of fur.

Perhaps this market is one that brands haven't yet tapped into?

Image source, Zahra Clark
Image caption,
Zahra Clark's cat keeping warm in a pink jumper