The heyday of Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen was pre-Twitter, Memes and Vines, and what a true shame that is. They may be high fashion queens now, but I feel like it’s necessary to remember them for who they used to be—the pinnacle of coordinated outfits and envy of all non-twins. The Olsen twins were the trendsetters of my generation and it’s about time we bow down to them for it. Here are the best of the worst coordinated outfits, complete with the top trends they made cool (in chronological order by movie, obviously).
It all began with the exact matching outfits with theme. This is easily my favorite. Two wittle sailors circa the 90’s. I respect this look because my mom also went through a phase of sewing my sisters and I matching outfits for Christmas cards with coordinated patterns. Isn’t that the cutest thing you’ve ever seeeeeen?
Once the girls got a little older they were like ENOUGH, mom. We want to be individuals! This is when they started the same outfit but opposite colors trend. This pretty much stuck for the next ten years. Because it’s not matching if it’s not the same color, DUUUHHH. These neon backwards hats were edgy and cool for their “You’re Invited” intros.
For their ever so classic Sleepover Party that I was obviously invited to, they decided to T it down with the matching so their friends didn’t think they were total losers. If we’re being candid I don’t think they needed to worry about a girl who brings a framed picture of her dog to a sleepover because she misses him so much judging them. Anyway, they rock these jean headbands and coordinated purple and florals as they teach us how to spell PIZZAAAA, P-I-Z-Z-A.
Is it bitchy of me to post this picture where they’re clearly going through a hairstyle identity crisis phase? Probably, but when you stumble upon gold like this it’s pretty much a crime not to share it with the world. The girls revert back to their old ways for a press appearance with exact matching outfits right down to the frizzy blowout and chunky black platform sandals. The pastels that complement each other were a nice touch though.
Billboard Dad was when the girls’ personalities really started to shine through in their fashion choices. Anyone whose anyone knows that MK has always been more tomboy and Ashley more feminine. Even though their styles started to part ways, they held it together with matching colored lenses and well-placed butterfly clips because they’re spunky AF. Also quick LOL to the baby boobs coming in during this era.
Ah we’ve arrived in the Passport to Paris era. The girls embark on a new country during Spring Break and set off the tradition of a new vacation movie every year…which I am forever grateful for. This movie showed how they handle international style and just how much they’ve grown up. We get to see travelwear like we’ve never seen it before, with the opposite color one-straps. Blue for MK (duh) and Pink for Ash. The moment this movie premiered I marched right over to JCP to buy my own one strap. Mine was also blue because I was going through a tomboy phase like MK and the sound of that velcro strap was like music to my ears. Also has anyone ever looked cooler in pleather?
Paris also treated us to THE HANKERCHIEF. Instead of matching exactly, they matched themes with their peasant tops paisley print for Ash, gingham for MK. Ever having a bad hair day with your perfectly blown dry bob? Slide a headband with a triangle hankerchief hanging off it right on and all your problems are solved.
After reviewing this outfit choice, I’m beginning to think that Paris started to think all Americans were trashy around this point in time. Wearing camis fit for a PJ set out for a day of sightseeing isn’t exactly approps for the City of Lights. The shell chokers, beaded hair and matching purses make up for it though, obviously.
Formal wear for the ladies consisted of a loose strand in the face (it’s elegant), a string of pearls and a spaghetti strap dress. It’s no wonder those french boys were all about slow dancing with these fine young American women. Bonjour, Bonjour, OH MY GAWD.
Right around the same time the Olsen’s started jet-setting, they also personally invited me to their Dance Party. I’m glad I could make it because there were some really cool rapping moments in the girls bathroom. What IS all the noise about boys? Since they’re at the age when they’re dancin it up with boys, MK&A got real edgy with the animal prints. Zebra bags, cheetah lined pockets, RAWR. Did they take the black choker/wrist cuff and slightly racist Japanese shirts a little too far? No, no they did not.
Shortly thereafter, the girls witnessed a diamond robbery in Our Lips Are Sealed. They had to be placed in the witness protection program, which gave us a live look at how they dress for their geographic location. In Cali they were all about the graphic tees and tinted shades:
In Seattle they were hipsters with chokers plus hers & hers hemp bucket hats/bandannas:
And Aussieland gave us the tropical vibes with hawaiian prints and bathing suit skirts:
I must’ve been really good that year because my reward was a yacht party in Australia that yielded the greatest matching 70’s outfits alive. Not only were those white Go-Go boots (that eventually were ditched on the boat to jetski with the cute guys) on point, but they danced with peace signs and told classic jokes to the camera. “Oh am I supposed to say something funny? SOMETHING FUNNY!” Ohh Ash, you should’ve just let your outfit do the talkin.
The girls really matured when they started to grow their hair out and join the debate team. They had their first educational movie in Winning London and they really showed they were there to work hard with their trench coats and scarves, but their patterned flare pants revealed that they have a wild side too. Classic case of business on top, party on the bottom. The comeback of the tinted aviators kind of throws off that theory though because that could also be perceived as party on top. Let’s reiterate: Party(shades):Business(turtlenecks, scarves and smart coat):Party(plaid/tie-dye slacks):Business(a smart pair of leather mom boots). WHAT a balance.
SHIT. I forgot to factor in the puke colored plaid bucket hats. I don’t even know where these fall on the spectrum. WHY ARE TWO FIFTEEN YEAR OLDS WEARING SO MANY EARTH TONES? That’s so Brit of them.
Thank GOD they lose their overcoats and kick off their chunky heels to get TURNT at the club one night. Unfortunately that means they don these icelandic eskimo dresses, pink vs. blue of course. Although this time Ashley’s in the blue. Really throwing us for a loop there. The turtle necks, however, are apparently even necessary while partying. Let your necks FREE, Chloe and Riley! (For the record, their names in this movie were so good they re-used them for their show So Little Time. Chlo + Riles 4eva.)
Holiday in the Sun blessed us with some more Hawaiian patterns as the girls were whisked away for winter break on their dad’s private jet to Atlantis in the Bahamas. If you think I’m complaining about these tacky floral prints, it’s got nothin on the level of whining that came from the twins when they realized they were going on a family vacay instead of partying it up South Beach style with their trashy high school friends.
Instead of being thankful for their all expenses paid tropical vacation and a full box of Krispy Kremes, they amped up their “we’re basically legal in this country and we can do whatever we want” vibes and went balls to the wall. Falling in love with the local who cleans the shark tank and investigating smugglers occupy their time, and skintight tube tops and one-shoulders occupy their bodies. Even their beach wear consisted of tight wifebeaters, I’m assuming to show off their fully grown boobs. All to the tune of Weezer, obviously.
Other notable trends from the Bahamas: The comeback of the pigtail braids
Murica themes…(Seriously if this tube top were still around today I’d wear it to a 4th of July party because it’s cute AF).
And from day-wear to night-wear, the black one shouldered tank paired with opposite colors geometric skirts. Club READY. Now he’s what time it is. Ok you got me, I think I actually genuinely liked every outfit from this movie. The girls reached their fashion peak in Atlantis. Hair, accessories and clothing were on point. All the awards. The beach suits them.
Road trips on the other hand, didn’t suit them so well. It’s hard to imagine that these two globe-trotting beauties were only just turning 16 but after making out with so many cultured men it was time to get their licenses and celebrate with a classic cross-country road trip in Getting There. They discovered straighteners and how to look casj in addition to a bright red ‘stang. Nothing says road trip like aviators and converses.
If they wanted to look a little more mid-western casj, they threw on their sleeveless plaid shirts and earth tone corduroys. It seems as though they learned nothing from the barf tones from Winning London. 16 certainly didn’t start off with a bang for these two. It’s nice to see that they celebrated the big year with continuing the ultra matching theme right down to the jeweled choker.
Italy was much kinder to their fashion sense in When In Rome. They’re artsy and cool as they intern and immediately get fired from unpaid work. It doesn’t matter though because they have their hotel room directly IN the Colosseum and their cozy neutral wrap sweaters to fall back on.
The final installment in the straight to VHS collection of our two favorite gals is The Challenge, where all of their past lovahs come back to ask why the hell they only got a peck and nothin else. This movie was an overall DUD mostly because it played out much like an MTV Real World/Road Rules Challenge without the drinking or the sex. Booooo. However, it brought us the linen pants and beach waves. YAS. Lip gloss for an extreme challenge? Duh.
We’ve finally arrived at the end of the Olsen girls’ career as we know it. New York Minute, the full length feature film that people (me) actually paid to see. Boy was it a shit show. Apparently going mainstream made them cocky they could pull of anything, because they made the executive decision to wear these I ❤ NY t shirts with tacky red skirts and chunky heels for like 98% of the movie. No, thank you. In a sense, we came full circle because we started with exact matching outfits and ended the same. We end the saga not with a bang but with a whimper.
And because I never end the list with a whimper, please feast your eyes on a little then and now version of Rebellious Olsens. If this childhood doo-rag picture doesn’t make you laugh out loud then I pretty much don’t want to know you as a person. The second shot (obviously not present day because it’s not terrifying) was roughly 8 years later on their short-lived TV show So Little Time. Wildly underrated in my opinion, also fire theme song. From bandannas to clip-in color extensions, fake tattoos to fake tattoos. We’ve watched these two grow up before our very own eyes. A fashion evolution, if you will. They’re in their 20’s now and I can only hope they still call each other to plan coordinated outfits for outings, even if they are black cloaks, at least they keep the twin fashion sense alive for the rest of us.
Now excuse me while I check if their WalMart clothing line is still available online…