Couple outfits have long been a fashion staple, and millennials are carrying on the tradition by making it cool to wear matching outfits with one’s partner as part of #CoupleGoals.
In this article, we will look at the matching couple outfit or twinning trend that has been popular over the years. We will analyze the global apparel market in general, looking at current market size, segment distribution, and projected growth, then focus on top-trending couple outfit ideas that retailers should consider for their 2022 product catalogs.
Why are couple outfits so popular?
The twinning trend and matching couple outfits have been fashion mainstays since celebrity duos such as Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake donned matching denim outfits on the red carpet in the early 2000s.
Most recently, popular celebrities such as Justin and Hailey Bieber have taken coordinated approaches to their looks, opting for matching or complementary colors and prints that have been widely celebrated and copied.
Social media has fueled the continued relevance and popularity of this trend. Coupled with the #CoupleGoals or #Twinning hashtags, more and more couples are being encouraged and emboldened to showcase their matching fashion in well-curated Instagram pictures.
Lockdowns and the growing work-from-home phenomenon have also had the effect of driving up the popularity of twinning fashion. People are spending more time with and in close proximity to their significant others. The result is couples consciously wanting to showcase their close connection or accidentally morphing their fashion tastes in the form of similar looks.
Overview of the global apparel market
Statista reports that the revenue generated by the global apparel market was an estimated US $1.5 trillion in 2021, encompassing clothing that ranges from sportswear and businesswear value clothing and luxury pieces. It is projected that the revenue will increase to nearly US $2 trillion by 2026.
The largest segment within the market is women’s apparel that holds a market volume of approximately US $0.89 trillion in 2022, growing at a 5.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). In terms of geographic distribution, the countries driving the greatest demand are the United States and China.
In general, the global apparel market is projected to witness growth at a CAGR of 4.1% between the 2012–2026 forecast period. Key drivers behind this steady growth include the growing popularity of online shopping as well as the continued expansion of top textile chains. Trends within the apparel market such as the couple outfit trend are likely to continue to see an upswing along with the rest of the market.
Top-trending couple outfit ideas in 2022
1. Cotton hoodies and sweatpants
Lockdown measures and increased uptake of remote work has caused a rise in athleisure and loungewear as more and more consumers prioritize comfort and utility over fashionability. Hoodies and sweatpants are roomy and comfy so they offer easily matchable ensembles that are cozy.
To switch things up couples can opt for unique styles such as hoodies that are embroidered or printed with the couple’s anniversary date. This is a cool and fun way of commemorating the couple’s special day. Another option is for hoodies and sweatpants sets that are embroidered with the initials of the partner alongside a heart. This style is very lowkey but has a special meaning for the couples as they wear each other’s initials on their sleeves.
2. ‘I Love My Partner’ t-shirts
This is a classic couple outfit idea that has been a favorite for years. The words: ‘I ❤️ My Girlfriend/Boyfriend’ are printed on the front of a t-shirt, boldly professing the wearer’s love to the world.
Tees are perfect across all seasons as they can be worn as standalones during summer or as lower layers during chillier times. Retailers can stock different options from slim fits to regular fits and oversized fits for a looser look. These t-shirts also make for great gifting pieces so you can offer gift wrapping at checkout.
3. Boyfriend jeans
Boyfriend jeans take couple outfits a step further by offering a cool and contemporary gender-neutral look. This means that both partners can wear the exact style of jeans and be full-on “twins.”
Denim has universal appeal making it the perfect fabric option for gender-fluid fashion. The boyfriend jeans silhouette can easily work on almost everyone, and can be switched up by offering contrasting stitching, paint splash textures, or wide-leg styles.
4. Business casual outfits
Couple outfits do not just belong to casual wear, they can also be adopted for business casual styles that blend traditional business wear with a style that is more relaxed.
Couples can wear matching or coordinated suits for business events, with pieces like skirts, dresses, blouses, and twinsets for women, and slacks, khakis, and dress shirts or open-collar shirts for men.
The twinning can take place by using different colors with same styles or having different pieces with the same color combinations. Couples can also choose corresponding patterns, matching the tie and the dress or using matching fabrics for his and hers suits.
5. Theme or novelty outfits
Couple theme or novelty costumes are popular manifestations of couple outfits that have recurring popularity every year. They are perfect for cosplay events or fancy dress parties throughout the year and more famously worn for the Halloween season. It is very common for couples to seek out matching or twinning costumes that are based on shared vintage themes, pop-culture references, or novelties.
The coordinated ensembles can be highly creative in the form of partner-in-crime outfits of anything from Bonnie and Clyde, Batman and Catwoman to Fred and Wilma Flinstone. Or they can be quirky, featuring salt and pepper, a matching deck of cards, or inspired by popular franchises such as Harry Potter and Star Wars.
6. Sports luxe outfits
Rising participation in sports such as basketball, hockey, and football in the North American region has been a major driver for sports apparel consumption. This has also been coupled with increases in disposable income along with changing lifestyles that prioritize physical health.
In line with this, people are looking for creative ways to match with their partners in the sportswear they wear for the gym, outdoors sports, or just as casual sports dressing enthusiasts in matching sports jerseys. Boyfriend styles and sporty shapes dominate in this trend, including joggers and sweatshirts, as well as luxury athleisure items such as polo shirts.
7. Beach sets
Another popular way that couples are riding the twinning wave is through matching swimwear designated for beach days or pool parties. Couples can opt for the same patterns or mix and match the same bright and vibrant color shades.
8. Matching outerwear
Chillier seasons do not mean that fashion choices have to be drab. Couples can also go for coordinated winter ensembles with matching outerwear in the form of trench coats, bomber, puffer or leather jackets, and embroidered jerseys.
The matching can be in the same color shades, with dark or neutral shades like brown, camel, and navy blue being great options.
Targeting the twinning trend
The twinning trend or couple outfits are here to stay. Each era brings in a new incarnation of twinning styles that match the popular styles of the time.
With celebrities continuing to fuel this trend, and with an apparel market that is projected to boom over the next few years, fashion retailers who stock clothing items that work within this trend will be able to capitalize on the expected upswing.
Adding the following couple outfit ideas will ensure that your product catalog remains fresh and on-trend:
- Cotton hoodies and sweatpants
- I Heart My Partner t-shirts
- Boyfriend jeans
- Business casual outfits
- Themed and novelty outfits
- Sports luxe outfits
- Beach sets
- Matching outerwear
Discover more popular twinning trends for shoppers looking for matching family outfits here.