Why do Couples Like Kourtney Kardashian And Travis Barker Start To Dress Alike? It’s Called Mirroring

They're like us, so they must like us.

Travis and Kourtney

by Samuel Fishwick |
Updated on

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a couple in love and in possession of a wad of disposable dosh will begin to dress exactly alike.

And there's a reason why: it's called mirroring.

Case in point: Kourtney Kardashian, 43, and her heavily-illustrated pop-punk bae Travis Barker, 46, welded at the hip (see also: tonsils) and newly wedded, for a third time in two months, at their Dolce & Gabbana styled nuptials in Portofino, Italy. Marvel at what can only be described as a happy couple, perched on a yacht, draped from head to toe in a look we call 'Titanic: The Goths Take The Ship' (sure, we'd watch it). Or take any number of snaps of the two lovebirds from the last 18 months — like at the Met Gala, where they were both styled by Thom Browne. Spot the difference? Us neither.

As fashion expert and personal stylist Samantha Harman told The Daily Mail, our styles often change or evolve when we meet a new partner. Kourtney’s new look is a far cry from what it was before she began dating the Blink 182 rocker, switching it up from pink, frilly red carpet ensembles and clashing prints to gothic, grunge garms in dingy hues.

Kourtney Kardashian at a Nickelodeon event in 2011
Kourtney Kardashian at a Nickelodeon event in 2011 ©Getty

‘​​Only seven per cent of our communication is language – the rest is physiology, and when couples match and mirror one another, they gain rapport, which strengthens their bond and makes them feel closer,' Harman told The Daily Mail.

‘Our sense of style can change over time as we evolve as people – whether we have a partner or not.’

‘But in a healthy relationship, the person you're with brings out the best in you.’

This, too, is true of Selling Sunset star Chrissell Strausse, who has gone from Barbie doll glamour to ‘tomboy’ chic since she started dating non-binary rapper G Flip.

Travis Barker Kourtney Kardashian Met Gala
Travis Barker and Kourtney Kardashian at this year's Met Gala ©Getty

But what is mirroring? In her book on modern dating, Speaking In Thumbs, the former Facebook psychiatrist Dr Mimi Winsberg explains that: ‘We all mirror unconsciously. We mirror body language in business meetings and on first dates, for instance, and people who are naturally good conversationalists tend to mirror more. Mirroring serves to make people feel more confident, thus reducing defensiveness and uncovering feelings. Mirroring is also considered a sign of attraction. Our brains experience it as a dopamine high, activating the reward centre of our brain. They’re like us, our brain reasons, so they must like us.’

'Partners who are empathetic towards, and feel intune with one another tend to synchronise each other's behaviours', says Dr Madeleine Mason Roantree, a counselling psychologist at UCL who specialises in dating and relationships.

'We are drawn to people who are similar to us, and so mirroring behaviours can be an indication of this attunement and sense of affiliation. Over the years, couples who are emotionally in tune and synchronised will begin to look like each other as they use the same facial expressions and thus build the same facial muscles.'

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But you know what’s better than flattery? Your own personal wardrobe.

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