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Olsen Twin Fashion From Munchkin to Modern

The fashion story of the Olsen twins up until now could be easily told in three chapters.

002171_18Chapter One

No Identities Allowed
The twins' lives each revolved around being one half of Michelle Tanner; accordingly, their fashion choices showed little room for personal embellishment.  I imagine a basic trip to the store with Mom Olsen went like this: walk in, grab the cheesiest Osh Kosh jumper available, walk up to the register and say, "I need two copies of this in size Munchkin.  And step on it, we've got a straight-to-video movie promo shoot in two hours."

Olsentwinsthephototheolsentwins6203619 Chapter Two

The Yin and Yang Years
As pre-teens, the Olsens expanded their brand and their respective tastes in clothes. Mary-Kate became known as the comfy-casual one; Ashley, the 'sophisticate.'  The girls experimented with wearing their same-color, same-length hair in (gasp!) different styles.

Olsentwinsthephotoxxlashleyolsen6234376Marykate_olsen_1150833285 Chapter Three

Even Yinner, Even Yanger
Their personal lives became more complex (college!  movies!  bulimia!), and their fashion choices went in polar directions.  Mary-Kate's cute comfy-casual became "scary, wanton, homeless, boho dumpster diver" with darkened hair to match, and Ashley perfected a sort-of Jackie O.-meets-recovering-child-star aesthetic.  She kept the blond hair.

However, past Chapter Three it starts to get very confusing. Lately, both twins have been dressing in outfits that seem very much like a marriage of their two styles.  It's high fashion with homeless accents one day, and boho crap pile with stilettos and a Chanel bag the next, and it's very hard to read.  On the one hand, I think I learned at one point that extreme ideologies going in separate directions eventually end up converging, but a) I think it had to do with politics, and b) I might be making it up.  So maybe that's what's going on here, but maybe it's not.  The other option, then, is that times of tumult have taken their toll on the twinbots and they are slowly, awkwardly collapsing back into the same person again like they were circa Full House, but--as we know--it's always easier to get something out of the box than it is to put it back in, so the gals are going through some awkward stages on the way. The photo below showcases the malfunction:


To be sure, Ashley (left) is still showcasing more of the glam touches--leather jacket, aviators, skinny jeans tucked into boots, expensive bag, hipster belt, all in black black black--but what's with the decidely homeless beret, hair, baggy heathered tee, and weird stringy bolero thing?  Those are distinctly Mary-Kate.  (Also, don't you love how Ash's outfit and the fact that she seems to be about to snap her fingers make her look like a West Side Story extra?  Like right after this photo was snapped, she started singing, "When you're a jet, you're a jet all the way?")

M-K, for her part, is upholding many of her trademark accents--disheveled hair, sour expression, weird, amorphous crocheted blanket thing, ratty long-sleeved undershirt--but has grouped them with expensive bracelets, bag, and oh-so-now ankle boots.

Ashley_olsenSo what gives, girls?  Is this a rough-around-the-edges transitional phase as you devolve into onsie-ness again?  Did you realize that being easily pegged as "the elegant one" and "the boho one" didn't really give you any more of an identity than just being known as 1/2 of Michelle Tanner?  And, while I've got you here, would it kill you to smile every now and then?  I know you've got your issues, but how bad can being worth 60 bajillion dollars really be?  I can't imagine things are so bad that you have to walk around in a perpetual daze, like provincial women who are shocked by the flash of a National Geographic cameraman and mystified as to what it all means.


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I AM SO GLAD that you have that picture of them looking so stupid in their sunglasses. they are so WAN.


I hate to say it because she is my idol, but I feel like in the last picture they both look like Sarah Jessica Parker.

Bill Webb

Sarah J. on the worst day of her life, with no cheekbones, maybe.

Muffy Wong

It's not that their sunglasses are huge per se - their faces are so damned small!

Roger Hammerstein

"...like provincial women who are shocked by the flash of a National Geographic cameraman and mystified as to what it all means."

hahaha, that was funny...


These 2 have fantastic style. They're different & they don't stick to one look - which is great, because only Barbie in her box looks the same day in and day out. The "homeless" accents on Ash's outfit look awesome! Their outfits are unique, attention-grabbing & they're not worried about what critics think! Thumbs up from me.


I'm a TURKÝSH and ý love you MARY KATE and ASHLEY OLSEN


This is one of the funniest things I have ever read while randomly googling the Olsen twins. I don't even particularly *like* the Olsen twins. I don't remember how or why I ended up here...but it's been sublime. Thank you.

they look like they just left the thrift store.


This is truly a great piece. My favorite part is the "amorphous crocheted blanket thing" description. The West Side character is quite a clever observation! lol

ice yarn

something perfect fashion :)

Ice yarns

Very nice post full with inspiration. Thank you very much writer! :)



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