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Seeing Double

Identical twin rockers Tegan and Sara are two individuals with a unified sound.

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Sara wears Edun's cotton jacket and Corpus' cotton and Lycra spandex jeans. Puma shoes. Tegan wears K Karl Lagerfeld's leather vest, Cassette's cotton top, Cheap Monday's cotton and Lycra jeans. Adidas shoes.

Raquel Olivo

Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD Music issue 08/30/2007

You wouldn’t know it to look at them, but Canadian twins Tegan and Sara Quin, whose fifth album, “The Con,” dropped last month, have thick, curly hair that is given to ringlets without proper taming. But the sisters, 26, haven’t had long locks since their mid-teens. Instead, they’ve cultivated the razor-sharp rocker look that has become their trademark.

“We’ve been crafting these haircuts for a long time,” says Tegan. “We’ve had crazy mullets, shaved heads…our mom was probably cringing the whole time.”

Though her ever-morphing hairdo owes much to Joan Jett and Chrissie Hynde, these days it’s all about convenience. “I want to be able to wake up 25 minutes before lobby call, get in the shower, blow-dry my hair, flat iron it, get dressed and pack my bag all in 25 minutes. And I can. I don’t think that there is any reason to take hours to get ready,” she says.

Their clothes are as low-maintenance as their hairstyles. “Our appeal has come from being super connected to our audience to the point where they feel like they’re our friends, and getting on stage and projecting some amazing outfit and running off and changing alienates us from them, so we pretty much just stick to jeans and T-shirts or jeans and, like, a nice shirt,” she says.

Both have appropriately rock ‘n’ roll wardrobes of skinny jeans, cords, T-shirts and sneakers. Sara calls herself “a shoes and jacket kind of person” and “a total sneaker freak,” naming PF Flyers as her favorite. Tegan, meanwhile is devoted to denim: Her closet and suitcase are filled with Levi’s (her favorite), Nudie and Gsus jeans.

“We dress it up or down depending on what we are doing, but I feel like I have been dressing the same way since I was like, five. We were never, like, girly. We hated when our mom would make us wear dresses and would do our hair and stuff. We absolutely hated it,” says Sara.

But mom rarely asserted such stylistic control, Sara continues. “She was very diplomatic about it, even though she made very clear that she hated the way we dressed and did our hair, we were still allowed to choose whatever we wanted.”

The low-maintenance style extends to the road. Says Tegan, “I always wear, like, the same three outfits the whole time I am on tour; I don’t even know why I bring clothes. I don’t know if it’s a girl thing or really is just us, but I like to go on tour with basically an empty suitcase and come home with a full one, that’s the way I shop.”

Adds Sara, “We have been touring now for nine years so we know a lot of these cities almost like we live there. A lot of the clubs [where we play] are in parts of the city where there are super-cool sneaker stores and jean stores.” But Sara is also an accomplished Internet shopper. “I just spent a lot of money at the Built By Wendy online store,” she says.

Being identical twins would seem to have its perks, but the sisters don’t swap clothes very often, because Tegan says that Sara prefers colorful garb, while she lives in black. “Definitely, if I’m late, and I go, ‘Oh, can I borrow that?’ there’s always something in my size.”

The sisters even keep separate homes — Sara in Montreal and Tegan across the country in Vancouver — and write their songs, which meld pop, punk, folk and rock, separately from their respective abodes. “There’s no arguing about what we want that way,” Sara says.

“The record is really reflective and takes stock of who you are, where you are going, what your purpose is,” Tegan says. “I wrote a lot about the responsibilities of being a grown-up. Even though it’s kind of down, I think there is something hopeful,” says Sara.

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