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Why So Many Celebrity Couples Dress Alike

Photo: @kourtneykardash | Instagram
Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker twinning

Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany met in 2001 on the set of the film "A Beautiful Mind." They married and welcomed their first child in 2003, and 20 years later, the two are still very much together, as evidenced by their recent appearance in Paris on October 1, 2023.

Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany dressed so similarly, kind of like twins, yet they’re not the only couple to dress alike. 

In fact, celebrity couples dressing alike is a way more common phenomenon than we think.

Connelly and Bettany, both 52, were spotted together in Paris on October 1, 2023, dressed in almost identical outfits. Connelly wore a navy blue bomber jacket with a black shearling collar, and an all-black outfit. Bettany wore a black leather bomber jacket with a beige shearling collar, army green pants, and a white T-shirt. Both wore sunglasses, capping off their look as effortlessly cool.

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While the likelihood of their complementary outfits being entirely effortless is low, there are various reasons that so many couples dress alike, so often.

One couple that comes to mind when thinking about outfit-twinning is Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker, who dress alike enough that it seems more like a concerted effort. Their similar styles and consistent PDA scream to the rest of the world that they are definitively a couple, lest anyone forget.

Kanye West and his wife, Bianca Censori, also tend to go matchy-matchy, as do Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox. While these couples might not wear the exact same clothes, a la Connelly and Bettany, they wear clothes with similar color palettes and styles, to reinforce just how close they really are.

Of course, some couples dress like twins in order to make an outright statement — think of Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears at the 2001 American Music Awards in head-to-toe denim outfits. 

Some couples come by their twinning in a more subtle, natural way, coordinating outfits without actively meaning to. The more time a couple spends together, the more their mannerisms, expressions, and even clothes might become similar, as they begin to echo one another.

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Twinning can be explained as a social phenomenon, as we subconsciously mirror the people we’re closest to.

In couples, twinning usually starts around 6 months into the relationship.

According to a 2019 article published by Discovery.com, entire research studies have been conducted around the question of why people tend to act similarly to others in certain social situations. Scientists have termed the act of unconscious imitation “the chameleon effect,” taking a cue from the little color-changing lizard that blends into its surroundings. 

A mechanism that explains humans’ tendency toward the chameleon effect is what researchers call “the perception-behavior link,” which occurs when two people are in close social proximity. It occurs when one person mimics another person’s behavior, actions, or presentation, just by virtue of witnessing each other doing something. The perception-behavior link relates to small actions, like gestures, speech patterns, even moods.

In the case of couples who dress alike, it could be as simple as one partner noticing what the other is wearing, and on a subconscious level, wanting to mirror them — to show how close and connected they are to each other.

So the next time you and your sweetie dress up, take note of what clothes you decide to put on. Dressing alike in a complementary way sends a message that you’re attuned to each other and want to look your best together.

As Connelly and Bettany's twinning shows, long-lasting couples are always working to stay connected to each other. Yet pulling a look like Spears and Timberlake’s all-denim statement takes the concept of twinning a little too far.

After all, you and your partner aren’t one merged person, but separate individuals who work well together, as your well-coordinated outfits show. 

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.