'Mummy and me dressing is a quirky thing, but don't knock it until you've tried it.'

It’s Saturday afternoon and I’ve instructed my five-year-old to go and pick something nice to wear for the BBQ. In the mean time I’ve laid out some black ripped jeans, a floaty top and pair of ankle boots on my bed for the casual affair, ready to have a shower and quickly change.

Next minute into my bedroom walks a fully dressed and very proud little girl wearing a floral purple party dress complete with a matching bow in her hair. “Mummy” she says with a twirl “can I wear this and can you wear your dress that matches?” I’m delighted she got ready so damn fast and without the usual struggle of me begging her to get dressed, and her refusing to wear anything other than something that makes her look like nobody owns her. Think ripped leggings a size to small, with a tutu over the top, and a Frozen jumper probably with Weetbix stuck to the front.

Best Dressed Emily Jade O'Keeffe with her daughter Millie at their Ashmore home. Photo: Kit Wise

The Homeless Princess Meme sums up my avant guard daughter perfectly. However this time, instead of a homeless princess, this little Princess Charlotte wannabe is smiling in front of me and I have to break it to her that I had plans to wear something else, but I’m so proud of her for choosing something so lovely to wear.

In an instant she morphs from a happy demeanor to looking like I have sucked her soul out of her ear hole and she is broken. “Please Mummy, I love it when we match, then everyone knows I belong to you” she pleads. With that one little heartfelt sentence she gets me right in the feels and I know I have to wear my matching purple floral Maiocchi dress.

I mean can you even? She looks EXACTLY like me and yet to her a matching dress is more than me getting my kicks out of Mummy and Me styling - something I dreamt about when I was pregnant- and more about feeling safe, belonging and having a family identity. I had no idea that my passion for matching outfits - which I get delivered yearly - for all our special occasions meant as much to her as it does to me.

Mummy and me dressing is a quirky thing, I get that, and definitely understand that it is not for everyone. But I’m obsessed with it, not that obsessed that I’m about to put on a horrid nylon Cinderella frock and match her mini one and go to the shops, but I have to say don't knock it unless you’ve tried it.


While they are little they love it. Remember the joy you first witnessed in them when they discovered their best little friend had the same t-shirt and were thrilled like it’s an early Christmas, then insist they both wear it every time they are together to be twins? It’s the same when you unwrap matching big and little dresses in the same pretty print. Plus there is the added bonus that they will get ready in 2.5 seconds flat on the promise they get to wear the dress just like Mummy.

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They probably think they look so adultish and people may actually mistake them for an adult, just like Mum is, but whatever it takes to get them out the door on time and happy about it.

Plus it won’t last long, so you need to enjoy it while you can because the teens will hit and not only won’t they want to look like you, they won’t want to look AT YOU. It’s then I’ll wickedly show the photos of our matching Maiocchi’s to every new boyfriend she brings in the door, and if I don’t like the new suitor, when she goes to the loo, I’ll let him know we still dress the same for special occasions and that she loves it.

So there is nothing not to love about Mummy and Me dressing, it’s the gift that keeps giving.

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