The rise of the mini me

The Breton Top is a great example of a mini me style (left and right)

It’s the latest fashion trend emerging in the retail world; adults and children dressing in identical garments aka mini me. High street retailers such as Matalan, Next and Marks & Spencer all have a line of clothing whereby mums and dads can dress identically. But just how does this translate into the printwear world?

“Once considered dated and old-fashioned, mini me dressing is big business again,” says Andrea Charteris, customer service manager at PenCarrie.

“Childrenswear is increasingly trend-orientated matching current ready-to-wear styles for men and women,” she continues.

Kirsty Macdonald, brand manager at Mantis World, agrees. She says: “While dedicated baby and kidswear customers take up the lion’s share of the sector, there is undeniably an ever-growing market for garments that offer continuity and consistency of style between baby, kids and adult styles. The gift market features heavily here; think complimentary  mum/dad and baby T shirts with a cute or funny slogan, family team T shirts and the potential to promote and celebrate markets, or events with a range of garments to fit all-comers.”

Kirsty highlights in Mantis World’s product range the Breton Top as an example of a mini me garment. This tee has been added across all age and size ranges. “The Breton’s a perfect choice for those seeking more than a standard-fare short sleeve T for their cross-the-ages requirements as it combines both traditional elements and fashionability,” she explains.

“After all, who doesn’t like a striped tee? And as it’s made in a supersoft 100% organic cotton interlock it’s got that premium look and feel that customers are increasingly recognising and seeking out when purchasing.”

Teri-Louise Deegan, marketing assistant at Prestige Leisure, says that in 2018, the calls for co-ordinating clothing were seen in T shirts, hoodies and sleepwear – designed to be one off gifts or token products.

She adds: “However, this year the demand is much wider. It’s an area of the market in which will only continue to grow and expand. It’s never been so cool to be matchy matchy and the trend is backed by a massive presence on social media. Every day there are celebrities like Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian ‘twinning’ with their kids; validating the trend and driving demand forcefully forward.”

Watch out

However, when deciding whether to add mini me outfits to your repertoire, be mindful of the fact that there is a fine line between what could be seen as a harmless way for children to bond with their parents and what others could perceive as harmful because of the subtle messages the trend underscores.

These messages include the infantilisation of women to look like little girls and the pressure for young girls to look older by wearing bikinis and crop tops. To keep the trend nothing more than a bit of harmless fun and to counter the critics that suggest mini me dressing is a gimmick Andrea suggests looking for styles that are timeless and can be worn for years to come.

“Brands such as Mantis World, Bella+Canvas, SOL’S, Just Hoods by AWDis and SF (Skinnifit) offer matching adults, kids and baby styles, as well as styles that are designed as a family range. The styles are similarly aligned, however there is a different sizing involved for kids. With more and more options available, finding co-ordinating, long-lasting outfits is easy,” she adds.

The mini me market looks set to grow in 2019 due to the trend being very much in vogue. Celebrities are also getting involved with the trend which has led to fashion designers such as Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and Burberry, creating their own highly anticipated childrenswear lines.

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