fashion

We unpack the mystery that is "twinning" with your workmates.

Popular belief would have it that when a bunch of women work together in a common space, three things inevitably happen: they bitch about each other constantly, they cry all the damn time, and they share a common menstrual cycle.

Sorry to break it to you, but period syncing is a myth (along with the rest of the examples above). But wardrobe syncing? Wardrobe syncing is all too real, my friends.

The latest victims of this mysterious workplace phenomenon are TV presenters Sarah Harris and Ita Buttrose.

The duo rocked up to work at Studio 10 in inverse yet complementary combinations of black and snakeskin print, proving no woman (or man) is safe from the forces of twinning.

Top to toe twinning with Ita… ????????

A photo posted by Sarah Harris ???? (@whatsarahsnapped) on May 1, 2016 at 5:17pm PDT

The syncing process starts innocently enough — you might come into work one morning and see your colleague wearing a leather bomber jacket or a pair of ankle boots just like the one you have on.

At first you laugh it off, assuming it was mere coincidence. “Bombers are really trendy right now, I guess,” you reason.

Yet as the days, weeks, months and years flash by, your collective sartorial psyches gradually fuse together, to the point where you end up dressing exactly like one another without even realising it.

It’s not just a matching shoe here and there — we’re talking detailed head-to-toe twinning that makes it looks as though your outfits were carefully strategised and coordinated that morning. Only they weren’t, because you are grown adults.

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Watch: Power dressing is one thing, but does power posing affect your work performance? (Post continues after video.)

And here you were thinking Single White Female was just a movie, huh?

Rocking up to work in the same outfit as your desk neighbour might be a little awkward — the first time, at least — but take comfort in the fact it’s not just happening in your office.

So prevalent is unintentional workplace twinning there’s a Tumblr called ‘I Like Looking Like Other People’ that’s dedicated to celebrating it in all its weird, wonderful glory.

Here at Mamamia HQ, the wardrobe syncing epidemic is getting seriously out of hand. I mean, just look at this:

All about the cream jumpers and the black pants.

This Minkpink print was clearly a popular one in our Melbourne office.

Right down to the glasses and top knot. Twinning at its finest.

This is just getting embarrassing.

I guess technically this would be considered "tripleting" rather than twinning. That's how advanced we've become.

Patterned, cropped navy jumpers for the win.

We clearly have a vested interest in this twinning business.

On a really good day, we'll have two sets of twins in the office. If not three.

There are plenty of viable explanations for subconscious wardrobe syncing.

Perhaps it's exposure; if you're constantly surrounded by people wearing rose gold jewellery/sneakers and jeans/chambray button-downs, those items naturally enter your consciousness and you might be more likely to pick them up the next time you go shopping.

It could also simply be a case of like minds being in close proximity, or genuinely admiring a colleague's style and allowing it to influence your own style choices (whether knowingly or not). Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? (Post continues after gallery.)

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Another possible cause is our deep, very human desire to fit in. Not just for fashion's sake but for social survival, as psychologist Emily Lovegrove explained to The Telegraph last year.

"It kicks in early on that the way to get accepted by other kids is to look the same, particularly around secondary school age. When you hit puberty, the approval of your peer group matters more than [that of] your family's," Lovegrove argued.

"Although we like to think of ourselves as very sophisticated, we're still working at cave men level whereby to be in a group is far safer than to be isolated. So people wear things that fit in with their group by and large."

Arguably, twinning was a smart move for The Devil Wears Prada's Andy Sachs. (Image: 20th Century Fox)

Or perhaps you're more career savvy than you realise; a 2013 study commissioned by Debenhams found a "cohesive sense of style" within an office was seen to create a better team spirit and result in higher productivity. That's reason enough to embrace the matchy-matchy weirdness.

Then again, perhaps you need to set your sights a little higher. In that particular study, more than two-thirds of managers said they had a "heightened awareness" of staff who had a similar sartorial style to their own.

Use this information as you will.

Do you ever find yourself dressing like your colleagues?

Featured image: Instagram/@whatsarahsnapped

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