Ask Amy: Imitation is more annoying than flattering
I would really like your thoughts on how to handle this hindrance!
Dear Copied: We all take our inspiration from sources that appeal to us and yes, unless your co-worker is Single White Female-ing you (look it up), her imitation is a form of flattery. Surely, you have put together your own look based on others who have influenced you.
Copying your style might also be a mark of your co-worker’s insecurity, and a subconscious way of elevating her own standing.
I suggest a subtle correction, along with a campaign of kindness, to encourage her to continue to evolve.
You can say, “Yikes, we’re twins today. I hope our patients don’t get confused!” This will let her know that you’ve noticed.
Also, make a point of praising anything she does or wears that is different from you. She is looking for some validation from you, and if she receives it, kindly, she should become more confident and develop her own style.
If your kindness doesn’t work, then you could be more direct: “This is awkward, but I have to be honest with you. I know I’m supposed to feel flattered, but sometimes it bothers me when you wear the same clothes as I do.”
Dear Amy: My younger daughter, 27, has a lovely boyfriend. They went to university together, started dating over three years ago, and moved in together a few months before our first London lockdown.
They have weathered the pandemic very well, I'm sure with a few tiffs, one I know of involved the haircut she gave him (haha).