Life is a Catwalk: Watch out for style-stealers

Doppelgangers can be a little jarring. Illustration by Lizzie Bailes, visit for more info
Doppelgangers can be a little jarring. Illustration by Lizzie Bailes, visit for more info

YOU think your style is unique, then your friend starts wearing the same clothes as you, a one-off is probably a coincidence, but if it keeps happening you may have encountered a style-stealer.

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and of course, it is, but it can also be a little jarring. I encountered my first style-stealer when I was still at school. My best friend was the quieter and less confident of the two of us, while I loved clothes and shopping she struggled to find clothes that suited her. Before I knew it she bought a top identical to mine but in a different colour and followed my lead by dying her hair blonde.

My next doppelganger came in the form of a copycat haircut, when another friend had complemented me on my new cropped haircut, shortly before turning up with a very similar cut.

I pride myself on looking different, so I tackled my copycats by going extreme. With my first friend I started wearing clothes I knew she couldn’t get away with – being much taller worked to my advantage. With my second friend I opted for an even more radical haircut and colour.

I also subtly offered both friends some fashion advice, and this is in fact the best way to tackle a style-stealer. Most copycats do so because they struggle with their own style and are using yours as guidance, so help them to find their unique look and they will be much less likely to copy yours. Explain why certain shapes, cuts and prints work really well on them, and they will listen, because the reason they are copying you is because they trust your judgement. Don’t forget to go gently – we are all style-stealers whether inspired by a friend, a celeb or the catwalk.