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"I've worn the same outfit as my husband for 35 years."
June 12, 2013 11:16 PM   Subscribe

Donald Featherstone and his wife Nancy have been wearing matching outfits for the past 35 years. Each matching pair of outfits is handmade by Nancy, who began the practice early in the couple’s marriage. As Nancy’s tailoring skills improved over the years, the outfits became more elaborate and the couple’s coordinated clothes now fill four wardrobes. A special closet contains 40 outfits made of flamingo fabric—an appropriate pattern as Donald Featherstone is the inventor of the pink lawn flamingo.

"Someone once told me that if she and her husband came down wearing the same colour top, they'd change. What a shame to be so insecure. We both have very strong identities as individuals and wearing the same clothes doesn't affect this; clothes don't make your personality. Instead, dressing the same gives me a lovely feeling of closeness to Donald. I've never not felt like doing it; we've done it for so long now that it would feel unnatural not to." (via)

Google image search with lots of matching outfits
posted by Room 641-A (60 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Good for them.

Their story makes me happy.
posted by mazola at 11:22 PM on June 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


Donald proposed on our first date and we've been together almost all the time since. If you want to do things by yourself, why get married? Why have separate hobbies? We never argue – Donald says he learned long ago to say, "Yes, dear", but in fact it's because we have a strong foundation. Being with him is never an effort.

I was all thumbs up on their quirky but then this bit at the end...

Look, different strokes for different folks in what works for your relationship and all but actually yeah, no, this does sound more like a question about individual identity now, actually.
posted by desuetude at 11:30 PM on June 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Did you know that on Krypton, when two people fell in love, they became inseparable? They even had special clothes they wore together, and they learned to move together in unison. He said that on Earth these kinds of garments have names like Fundies and are sold only in the pages of pornographic magazines. He said Earth is a sick, sick place.”

(... from Man not Superman, by Jonathan Goldstein)
posted by Auden at 11:33 PM on June 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


It would all be more interesting if they didn't have such execrable taste in fabrics.
posted by fatbird at 11:36 PM on June 12, 2013 [10 favorites]


There appears to be a correlation between couples with matching outfits and a taste for loud patterns.
posted by vacapinta at 11:37 PM on June 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have that same space-themed fabric they are wearing in the photo! I used it in a Star Trek quilt... for my husband.
posted by Toothless Willy at 11:38 PM on June 12, 2013


I'm sorry. I'm trying my hardest to be touched, but I'm just looking at that abomination-planet-galaxy-eyepainswirl THING of a pattern and throwing up slightly in my mouth.

No.
posted by Conspire at 11:38 PM on June 12, 2013


They do the matching outfits on purpose? A group of us recently saw a whole family in matching clothes. Someone remarked "The yard goods must have been on sale cheap". OTOH, I have heard of vacationers doing this so that their kids are instantly identifiable in crowds like Disneyland. A bit too much togetherness for grownups..
posted by Cranberry at 11:49 PM on June 12, 2013


See also: on trend in China!
posted by Snarl Furillo at 11:50 PM on June 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Matching nighties!
posted by maggieb at 11:52 PM on June 12, 2013


my boyfriend and I pretty much always match. Of course that's because most of our clothes are black...
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:01 AM on June 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


I love it!!! My husband and I occasionally wear matching tops and its a blast. It feels like this fun positive connection between the two of us. I think it definitely requires a certain type of relationship to work though. Like the couple my husband and I decided to get married the first time we hung out together alone.
And the galaxy fabric is happy and they are adorable.
posted by HMSSM at 12:09 AM on June 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


I was all prepared to be like "this is creepy, why would you do that, codependency blah blah" but this was sort of cute. I mean, you've gotta have a hobby, right? I like that they pick out fabrics together.

Also, the space dress looks like something Ms. Frizzle would wear.
posted by NoraReed at 12:27 AM on June 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


OTOH, I have heard of vacationers doing this so that their kids are instantly identifiable in crowds like Disneyland.

Yea, my 3 siblings and I, aged 4-10, used to be dressed in identical garish tracksuits (blue with red-yellow-green patches) for international flights. Family anecdote has it we almost picked up an extra in a too-similar outfit once, but I don't know if I believe that.
posted by jacalata at 12:31 AM on June 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


I think the clothes thing is fun.
But between the wanting to be together all the time (to the point where your boss notices that your work suffers when you're apart!), the never arguing and the ordering the same food it just gets creepy.
posted by Omnomnom at 12:34 AM on June 13, 2013


I was going to say - wow - co dependence, then at the end of the article they checkmate me with not wanting to talk to dr.ruth.

The real untold story here is that _that's_ the guy who invented lawn flamingos?
posted by yak sox at 12:57 AM on June 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


I think they are incredibly sweet, although I imagine they will be one of those couples that dies very close in time to one another.

Plus, the fact that he invented the pink flamingo gives him points in my books, but I love all things flamingo.
posted by SuzySmith at 1:00 AM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think they are incredibly sweet, although I imagine they will be one of those couples that dies very close in time to one another.

But first, there's the mourner wearing the same thing as the one in the box. And then refusing to change out of that outfit because the other one was buried in it.

My partner and I often go about town with matching grim faces of frustration, resignation, and despair.
posted by pracowity at 1:21 AM on June 13, 2013 [15 favorites]


Oh my gods, a real life Howard and Hilda.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:38 AM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Donald used to have to travel for business and when I packed his case, I'd tell him which outfit to wear on which day, so we coordinated even though we were apart. It helped us feel connected to each other. But his boss realised Donald was much more productive if I came along, too, so I'd help out at the conventions. It was good for business, because people would seek out our stall year after year to see what we were wearing.

Part weird cuteness, part clever marketing.

I imagine they will be one of those couples that dies very close in time to one another.

One peacefully in their sleep and the other screaming in the passenger seat.
posted by three blind mice at 2:04 AM on June 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


I would so wear the shit out of that spacedress.
posted by makonan at 3:04 AM on June 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


If the inventor of the pink lawn flamingo was quirkless, I'd be disappointed.
posted by R. Mutt at 3:12 AM on June 13, 2013 [20 favorites]


Here's the thing I hate about the internet (well, one of them). There's an article, right? And it's about a couple who has worn the same outfit for many years. Got it. And in that article, there is ONE MEASLY PICTURE of the couple, wearing one matching outfit! No additional photos, no slideshow, no illustrative photo of their wardrobe, nothing.

On the sidebar, an ad for ASOS displays for me, with a scrolling carousel of several hundred men's shirts (I suppose because I looked at a shirt once), so it's not a matter of space or willingness to clutter up the page with visuals, it's just that the web article is treated EXACTLY like a newspaper article within the article itself.

I read the full article, but why can't publishing houses like this get behind the idea that you can expand beyond the printed word when it's on the web? Sigh.
posted by xingcat at 3:22 AM on June 13, 2013 [20 favorites]


This reminds me of a touristy Hawaiian tropical clothing store I was in once - the name escapes me, but if you've been to Lahaina, you've seen it - where all the clothing was set up in displays for man, woman, boy, and girl. I imagined at first that it was that way so you could easily see the individual print, but no, every print - and there were dozens - had four mannequins.

The subliminal takeaway being: You need to match, tourists.
posted by OHSnap at 3:36 AM on June 13, 2013


I hope John Waters gets to do their biography.
posted by tservo at 3:43 AM on June 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


Yes, there totally should have been a slideshow.

A group of us recently saw a whole family in matching clothes.

I've heard this is very much a Mennonite thing. The Mennonite mom buys a whole bolt of fabric and just uses it until it's gone: dresses for the mother and daughters, shirts or vests for the father and sons. Apparently it matters not if the fabric is stretch glitter. My Mennonite friend tells me her mother used to make dresses for herself and her three girls from the same fabric and in the same cape style. My friend says there are many notable photos of these outfits, which I have told her I must see sometime. Among Mennonite teenagers, it is quite the thing for a girl to make her boyfriend and herself a matching shirt and dress from the same fabric. It signals that they are very serious.

Someone I know likes to make matching theme outfits for her family of four for special occasions. And she does it for all special occasions: Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Canada Day, Fourth of July (even though they're Canadian), as well as for other occasions such as a trip somewhere like Nashville or Tuscany. It used to be pretty funny looking at some of these pictures for the first few years after she had her first child, because the little girl always had such a stricken expression when photographed with her beaming mother in these mother daughter outfits.
posted by orange swan at 3:46 AM on June 13, 2013


I think I have proof that Nancy and I would be friends. Or at least that we shop for fabric in the same place.
posted by Alison at 4:18 AM on June 13, 2013 [11 favorites]


How cute! They seem so happy and quirky. Good for them. :)

I occasionally used to jokingly suggest to my husband that we buy matching outfits and he was adamantly against the idea. "No fucking way in hell" I believe were his exact words.

At one point, coincidentally, we both owned button-up shirts that were beige with a navy-blue plaid. Not identical, but pretty similar.

My husband is not very observant, so whenever I noticed he was wearing his blue plaid shirt, I'd wear mine too, and then wait until we were out and about to casually mention "hey look, we match!" And it would bug the shit out of him.

I love being married.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:20 AM on June 13, 2013 [24 favorites]


Oh, and I'd love to know what doctor Ruth was going to say to them. I'll bet she'd have been cool with it.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:23 AM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


One of my college physics professors and his wife appeared to do this, only the "outfit" appeared to be: black pants, Disney T-shirt, and a fisherman's cap.


(still have my peter skiff secret scouts decoder ring, yo!)
posted by ennui.bz at 5:05 AM on June 13, 2013


And if you check in the photos -- not in the article, really? -- you'll see lots of photos with the two of them and the dog in matching outfits. The dog.
posted by jeather at 5:25 AM on June 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sometime in the first year we were together, gingerbeer and I were driving through the Castro and stopped at a crosswalk to let pedestrians cross. Two of the pedestrians were a gay male couple wearing matching outfits - I don't remember the specifics anymore, but I believe t-shirts and caps with rainbows on them figured prominently. We looked at each other and agreed that we would do our best to never do that. We mostly succeed, although when we were on vacation in Utah there were days when we were both wearing hiking pants (different colors!), t-shirts (different colors!), long-sleeved shirts (again, different!) and hats. Sigh. But then, so were a lot of other tourists hiking around Bryce and Arches and so on.

To each their own. I'm glad this makes them happy, but I couldn't do it.
posted by rtha at 5:40 AM on June 13, 2013


For some reason this brings to mind the only Married News Team in the tri-county area, Jan and Wayne Skylar.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 5:43 AM on June 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think they're adorable. Rock on, you magnificent weirdos!

Then again, I spent a lot of my childhood dressed like my sister because Mom made most of our clothes. (She's a twin, so I guess it was just part of her programming.)
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:48 AM on June 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


"Rock on, you magnificent weirdos!"

This should be the guiding principle for how we all get along with each other. It's pretty much mine.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:56 AM on June 13, 2013 [21 favorites]


My first thought was that these two missed their calling as lesbians.
posted by Lieber Frau at 6:04 AM on June 13, 2013


Oh, and I'd love to know what doctor Ruth was going to say to them. I'll bet she'd have been cool with it.

Yeah, they assumed it was going to be something negative, but Dr. Ruth always was someone who was "if you're both into it, then it's good".
posted by inturnaround at 6:09 AM on June 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


While this is not common in modern euro-centric couples, it isn't that uncommon in other parts of the world. It is very common in parts of Africa for couples to dress in matching outfits for special occasions.

No one there did it every day as a habit, so there's that.
posted by clvrmnky at 6:15 AM on June 13, 2013


We once saw Dr Ruth, the TV psychiatrist, in a department store ... but we eluded her. What a shame that they feel so harassed. How perfect that they found one another and are happy together. In the image search pictures, they look a lot happier than in the picture in the article. I went to a group event the other evening and 4 of us were wearing olive drab shorts and black tshirts, so of course we took selfies, which I will not be sharing, but we were a lot less creative.

Metafilter: Rock on, you magnificent weirdos! This may be my all-time favorite.
posted by theora55 at 6:38 AM on June 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I saw this a while ago and though I really wanted to love it, I really didn't. I realize today it's because I think they have terrible taste in clothes. If they dressed in variations of this every day, I think I'd adore them.
posted by looli at 6:54 AM on June 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


The first time I met my future in-laws, they arrived at the house in matching baby seal sweatshirts.

After they left, I looked over at my future husband and said, "Do they ALWAYS dress the same?" He replied, "No! That's the first time I've ever seen them DO that!"

And they've never dressed the same since (at least when I've seen them).

(For the record, the sweatshirts were not MADE of baby seals. They were just the exact same mossy-blue sweatshirt with a white printed baby seal on the front. Still weird, though. If they had shown up in matching space print outfits, that would have been AWESOME.)
posted by jillithd at 7:21 AM on June 13, 2013


I WANT them to be my neighbors! NOW!
posted by QueerAngel28 at 7:36 AM on June 13, 2013


This seems like going a little too far though.
posted by aught at 7:38 AM on June 13, 2013


Yeah, I love that this makes them happy so they do it, but I really, really don't like the wife's attitude towards "other people".
posted by sparklemotion at 7:41 AM on June 13, 2013


I hope John Waters gets to do their biography.

I feel like that is wrong for so many reasons. I keep thinking of the chicken scene in Pink Flamingos...
posted by QueerAngel28 at 7:45 AM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I also first read it as them having 40 different flamingo outfits, not outfits with flamingo-printed fabric, and I was very very disappointed.
posted by jeather at 8:15 AM on June 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is one of those things that if it was a couple in their twenties, I'd think it was twee and creepy. But since it's a much older couple who ignored assholes like me and just kept doing their thing, well, I am completely charmed.

Also: People who love the space pattern can get on this side of the line.

_________________________________


With respect, the rest of you can die without taste or class.
posted by Think_Long at 8:57 AM on June 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


My wife and I go around in matching gorilla suits but half the time no one even sees us.
posted by perhapses at 8:59 AM on June 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


That's nothing. Lady Jaye and Genesis Breyer P-Orridge wore the same faces.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:05 AM on June 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Here's the thing I hate about the internet (well, one of them). There's an article, right? And it's about a couple who has worn the same outfit for many years. Got it. And in that article, there is ONE MEASLY PICTURE of the couple, wearing one matching outfit! No additional photos, no slideshow, no illustrative photo of their wardrobe, nothing.

Here's one thing I like about the internet.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:08 AM on June 13, 2013


Mock that space fabric all you want but I love that she is a careful enough seamstress that she got Jupiter to hit right on the same spot on both of their chests.
posted by jamaro at 11:42 AM on June 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't think I could do this with a partner, but I love the idea of having a wardrobe of rad shirtwaist dresses in crazy fabrics.

/Ms. Frizzle
posted by Sara C. at 12:07 PM on June 13, 2013


And in that article, there is ONE MEASLY PICTURE of the couple, wearing one matching outfit! No additional photos, no slideshow, no illustrative photo of their wardrobe, nothing.

Agreed. This is like the ONE INSTANCE EVER where I wanted a Buzzfeed style slideshow.

Pageviews! Let me give you them!
posted by Sara C. at 12:10 PM on June 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


"To each their own. I'm glad this makes them happy, but I couldn't do it."

My Christ, when I was up there visiting, I went to a couple of hipster restaurants, and it seemed like for a lot of couples being gay was just an excuse to wear matching outfits out in public. Down to the haircuts! The table behind me at the upscale burrito place looked like an anorexic rockabilly band with their matching flame shirts and gelled pompadours, two couples on a double date. I mean, who knows, maybe that just happens when you're dating someone who's the same size as you, but it was too matchy-matchy cutesy for my tastes and I felt like an old, uncool crank.
posted by klangklangston at 1:13 PM on June 13, 2013


And in that article, there is ONE MEASLY PICTURE of the couple, wearing one matching outfit! No additional photos, no slideshow, no illustrative photo of their wardrobe, nothing.

It was really frustrating, because obviously the pictures are an important part of the story. I almost linked straight to laughingsquid.com but didn't want to add an extra step to the article for four photos. The google image search link

Agreed. This is like the ONE INSTANCE EVER where I wanted a Buzzfeed style slideshow.

Yes!

The google image link wasn't too bad since they were the majority of the pictures on the first page or two (and easy to spot!) but it felt kind of sloppy.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:19 PM on June 13, 2013


Once you start doing this, where does it end?
posted by CosmicRayCharles at 2:21 PM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


You want pictures? I hate to say it, but the Daily Mail is always your go-to place. It's the one thing you can count on them to provide.
posted by Transl3y at 4:44 PM on June 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm fine with it. Kinda cute even. Just what'd I'd expect from the creator of the pink flamingo.

But the exact same outfit on the dog?

That's just...strange.
Dogs should not wear clothes.
posted by BlueHorse at 8:59 PM on June 13, 2013


I'd like it better if it were better executed (I liked the matching tweed coats and the one picture I saw of them in red sweaters with snowflakes on the front), but it's mostly shirtwaist dresses and shirts rendered in hideous polycotton prints. Whenever I've been in a fabric store, I've wondered who's buying those ugly prints.
posted by orange swan at 4:11 AM on June 14, 2013


Once you start doing this, where does it end?

Dammit, I maintain that a purse is simply *not* the equivalent of a can of Diet Pepsi and an armful of papers.
posted by aught at 8:39 AM on June 14, 2013


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