Elderly couple’s secret to long-lasting marriage: matching outfits

The Schwankes reveal their secret to eternal love and happiness is in their closet.

Couples that dress together, stay together. At least that’s what has worked for Mel and Joey Schwanke, who have been wearing matching outfits every single day for the last three and a half decades.

The US couple attribute their quirky closet tradition as the key to their 64-year union.

“We don’t dare go out somewhere without having matching outfits,” Mel told KETV.

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Mel and Joey in their matching florals. © KETV


The pair’s vast wardrobe contains 146 custom matching outfits, which they’ve been rotating for over 35 years.

Mel’s wife Joey, 81, is in charge of their style choices and lays out the both outfits each morning.

The couple started matchiing outfits 35 years ago. © KETV



But they don’t always wear the exact same attire. Mel's tie, and often his jacket, is cut from the same cloth as Joey's dresses so she’s not confined to wearing unisex clothing. The outfits are usually floral in homage to their flower shop.


“Every day,” Mel said. “Every day, my tie matches her dress.”

The pair have built a warbrobe of 140 matching outfits. © KETV

Mel and Joey matching during the interview. © KETV
It was somewhere around the 30 year mark that the couple went on vacation and decided their clothes should match. But the pair can’t quite remember what inspired the first matching outfit.

“It was before we travelled in '76, so let's see …” Joey told KETV.

“Oh goodness sakes, no, I don't remember how that first outfit came about,” Mel added.

The other secret to their long-lasting marriage is their clear division of power, they explained to KETV.

“We kind of decided early in the game that he would be boss from 8 to 5,” Joey said. “And I would be boss from 5 to 8 in the morning.”

Would your match your sartorial choices to your partner?