Fashion trends herd us into homogeneous style choices, but Jodie and Justine Petersen have some tips on dressing to stand out
The irony of following fashion trends is that instead of standing out we tend to blend in, which is why true style isn't necessarily what's sent down the runway or presented in the fashion titles, but our interpretation of these – choosing what we decide to subscribe to, reinterpret or miss.
The danger of collectivist style is hiding who we really are, and a pair who know this better than most are Jodie and Justine Petersen, twins who have spent a large part of their 22 years learning how to express their individuality in order to be their authentic selves and not merely an extension of the other.
"When we were younger our mother would dress us the same, and I can distinctly remember how I couldn't wait until I was old enough to choose my own outfits," says Jodie, who at time of interview is styled as what she describes as "a disco queen".
The "more girly" sister Justine jumps in to say, "When we started developing our own style we found that while we have a similar aesthetic, we interpret it differently. Like, we'll share the same top but our vision for it and how we style it are completely different. That's what individual style is. How you interpret something. For example, some people will copy an outfit in a magazine and they'll look like a mannequin, but if you can take that same outfit and make it your own, that's style."
Having been born a pair has pushed the twins to be different, where both take great pride in looks that say something about them before they've even said a word. Jodie is very much into "a kind of 90s hip hop thing" and Justine enjoys exploring her femininity. The sisters agree that fashion and music has always aligned, and that they're drawn to the sound, style and culture orbiting the Soulection movement.
"Because more than just clothes, it's how you feel, the energy you give off and ultimately how people perceive you," says Justine. "Like, I'm comfortable in a lot of different styles and confident enough to pull them off, but maybe if you put me in something where that wasn't the case, like a punk look, it's not true to who I am, and you'd see that."
The twins are able to broadcast their individual identities through how they dress, often falling in love with the same item and then putting their own spin on it. Style-bloggers are consistently well-dressed because of how they're constantly chronicling their looks on the 'gram, which if this is the case, then perhaps it's being able to see your doppelgänger right there in front of you – how they move, interact and carry an outfit through the day – which keeps the Petersen twins' style evolving so that they're always able to look effortless, confident and uniquely themselves.