Growing up with the Olsen Twins

Whatever our age, we all have that person we slightly obsess over and attempt to be more like. Right now I want to be Caitlin Moran for her witty foul-mouthed writing skills or Alexa Chung for being on the cover of three magazines at once wearing the clothes she wore the night before. When I was 10, it was Sleeping Beauty because I liked sleeping and plus, she had alright hair. At 13 it was Britney, envious of her being on the arm of Justin Timberlake and a few years later I ditched the pink scrunchies and instead tried to be an angry skater girl  a la Avril Lavigne, carrying the skateboard as an accessory, obviously.

These, of course, were the strange phases that no one likes to admit. But there was actually one duo who kind of stayed with me throughout the childhood naivety, awkward teenage years and then into the infancy of adulthood. This twosome responsible for influencing my fashion decisions through the years were, in fact, the Olsen Twins. I thought I’d take you on a little journey through their fashion history which proves that they made the same faux pas as your average girl struggling their way through growing up, making mistakes and learning how to be cool through painstaking trial and error.

In 1995, I saw my first Olsen film It Takes Two. It was drenched with denim dungarees, big socks, back to front baseball caps, jumpers tied round the waist and jumper arms so long they’d trip you up. They were my idols from day one because at this age, I was just wanted to wear massive clothes (I was blissfully unaware of the term ‘body image’) and enjoy rolling around in the mud and climbing trees.

Image via FanPop

Three years later, in 1998, I discover hair accessories in Billboard Dad. You know, the tiny little butterfly ones which allows you to explore different hair styles based on how many of the little things you can physically get in your hair. The hair trend of this year was bunches folded over with clips. You know the look I’m talking about. You’ll also notice the ‘choker necklace’ – the piece of jewellery our parents would look rather concerned about as we assured them that it looks cool and no, it’s not cutting into our necks.

Image via Listal

1999 is a very exciting time. The Olsen twins get a Passport to Paris, mingle with boys and discover shiny dresses. I am introduced to the concept of ‘dressing up’ in glittery ensembles and how awkward it looks to ‘dance’ with a boy that is taller than you. Not only this, but I also realise how amazing it would be to visit a city, or perhaps live in one. Like I do now. Sadly no riding around on boys motorbikes, though.

Image via Listal

Suddenly it’s 2002 and the Olsen Twins are all about the flower power. The bandana is on trend and I find myself buying hundreds of different types of headwear, much to my mother’s despair. ‘Do rags, head scarfs, head bands, you name it. I am obsessed. The film is set in Australia and by this I suddenly become slightly interested in beachwear, flowery bikinis and even dragging my parents away for the opportunity to balance awkwardly on a surfboard. In the rainy South of England, though, not Sydney.

In 2004, body image has crept in, the girls are noticeably thinner and considerably more groomed. They have discovered New York and the iconic NYC style of fashion. I might have gone out and bought a beret  because Mary Kate looked so chic running up Fifth Avenue in it. Unsurprisingly, my attempt didn’t really have the same effect. Hat hair.

Image via Flakmag

A mere 4 years later in 2008, our beloved Olsen twins are then offered a new role. And that’s to be on the cover of Playboy magazine. They didn’t agree to it, but still, their new look has enticed a slightly creepy, new audience. Coincidentally this was the same year I was shipped off to University to discover sex, drugs and rock and roll. (And the library.)

 Image via Bulvaros


  • Dana Boone

    I was obsessed with the Olsen twins and their journeys around the world, and also their crime solving skills (why can’t the police solve any crime by dinner time?).

    • Tali Stein

      That theme song is now stuck in my head! “Who stole the great hope diamond, what killed the dinosaurs…”

  • Philippa Claire MacDuff

    i am still obsessed with them!

  • Ashley Maffioli

    my olsen twin favorites include full house (well, duh!), brother for sale, and winning london.

  • Corina Ganton

    The Olsen Twins were about a week and a half younger than me. I love this recap of their career. I remember it all.

  • Cella Blunck Bowidowicz

    Does anyone remember the TV show they did when they were older? That show was hilarious, that and double trouble was my favorite movie.

    • Lorann Schindler

      Yess! They had two different ones! One lasted a few seasons on TGIF. I think it was called Two Of a Kind. Then there was one that was like a season long called So Little Time. I watched the reruns all the time on Fox Family! I also still remember the theme song!

    • Jessy Dolensky

      I just started singing the song. I have the “Two of a kind” books and also some of the crime solving ones. I loved them! I even think me and my third grade BF dressed tried dressing like them a lot. So yeah the were definately my role models

  • Courteney Georgina

    I was obsessed with Model UN and England because of Winning London, I always thought that they were fairly good role models as far as their movies went, but Winning London is just seriously THE MOST awesome…plus it has Jesse Spencer in it…so yeah, there’s that…

  • Caitlin Awalt

    I had so many butterfly hair clips because of them! Every color imaginable. I loved Double, Double, Toil and Trouble. But really I owned quite a few of their movies. They definitely were a huge part of my childhood. Also – classy choice of screenshot for Passport to Paris. They could have found much cuter guys for the twins’ love interest.

  • Laura Johnson

    I was pretty obsessed as well…I watched just about all of their stuff from full house onwards! I even had all their music records…definately grew up with them!

  • Hailey Case

    haha I couldn’t have said it better myself! I remember these phases-especially my Avril Lavigne skater look in fourth grade…:D I also remember vividly watching every Olsen twin movie that came out in the 90’s, and of course reruns of Full House! And those hair clips! I had ones with the butterflies with wings on springs and every other kind of butterfly themed clip I could get in my hair:)
    My favorite movie growing up was It Takes Two and I watched that VHS until I almost wore out the tape and wouldn’t let it get thrown out a couple years ago when Mom was cleaning out the movie closet!

  • Emma Jones

    Loved the Olsens and Passport to Paris! I think I even wrote a letter (a letter!!!) to Nickelodeon asking how I could get that on video (videoooo!!) and I think I just taped it so I could watch it whenever I wanted to! They had these little pink and blue over the shoulder bags in that film and I found a blue one almost the same haha

Need more Giggles?
Like us on Facebook!

Want more Giggles?
Sign up for our newsletter!