Couples need not wear matching balloon-silk jogging suits to be an eyesore, fashionistas warn. Identical pullovers or outdoor jackets are off-putting as well. Matching clothes make couples look too similar and interchangeable, which runs counter to style sense.
"Men and women have been wearing different clothes for centuries. Though women wear trousers nowadays, the desire to blur differences with matching outfits results in one of them no longer looking like a man, or no longer like a woman," explained Berlin fashion expert Bernhard Roetzel.
Identically dressed couples always seem "shapeless", said Roetzel, adding that the unisex look was perfectly acceptable only during sporting activities.
"Outside observers generally judge couples in matching clothes negatively and consider them to be silly and ridiculous," agreed Frankfurt style adviser Andreas Rose. The reason couples dress that way, he said, was to identify with each other, to present themselves as a unit and to reinforce their togetherness visually.
Though that may well be a sign of a harmonious relationship, a "serious couple" does not necessarily have to appear in matching shirts, trousers of the same colour, and with identical accessories, Rose said. He noted, however, that celebrities such as David and Victoria Beckham liked to wear coordinated outfits, which he said stood out well on a red carpet.