We're all putting on our boyfriend's pants and taking pictures of it.
People say that once you fall in love with someone, you start to adopt their mannerisms. Even if your facial features and coloring are completely different, after a while of being in a happy relationship with someone, in some sense, you begin to become one another.
With this idea, the couple clothes swap meme was born. Take a stumble through Reddit anytime in the past few months and you'll see the curious trend: opposite gendered couples are swapping clothes with one another. Part art project and part thing-to-do-on-Thursday-night, the diptych portraits of couples dressed regularly next to photos of themselves dressed as their partners offer a unique visualization of love's synchronicity.
Switching outfits with your beau has become a trend, I would presume, mostly because it's just plain fun. It melds the same gratification of taking a selfie with that of couplie (yes, that word) in that it's both a photo of you with your love but also a photo of them as you. It's different than the Chinese trend of couples wearing matching outfits in that it's a step above wearing matching Levi's or borrowing your boyfriend's favorite sweatshirt. For a minute, you get to wear his identity.
Of course, it's artful too. "Switcheroo" is a popular dual portrait series by Canadian photographer Hannah Pesut. In much the same way Redditors do, she takes side-by-side shots of couples before and after they swap clothes. Pesut set out to explore the visual relationship between romantic couples. In an interview with Hyper Allergic, she said, “Some of the couples try on each other’s clothes before the shoot (I guess so they can make sure it fits) so they already have an idea of what they will look like but other people just go for it and usually seem pretty surprised at how they look in each other’s clothes.”
The result of the clothes switch trend is an interesting one. It raises questions about gender fluidity — in some photographs it takes a second for your eyes to mark the swap. It also asks us to consider that lofty question put to us by the Spice Girls some many years ago: when do two become one? When a handful of boyfriends are sliding into miniskirts, the difference between one and two becomes hard to discern.