10 Ways to Live Like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen

I’ll warn you right now, it’s extremely easy


To say I gobble up profiles about Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen would be to greatly underestimate the unattractive fervor with which I consume them. Like any 1989-born millennial female (copyright Taylor Swift), I simply can’t get enough. No detail is inconsequential.

Of course, I was not born an MKA monster. They created me. I may be an account-carrying member of the over-exposed, ultra-authentic-slash-fake social-media generation, but even I know the ultimate source of power is mystery. Mary-Kate and Ashley made fiends out of all of us the moment they stopped gallivanting around New York in baggy coats with XXXL Starbucks cups and left us to fill in the gaping blanks. Hunger for Olsen details is now pop-culture status quo. Luckily, they still have to do publicity for The Row and Elizabeth and James every once in a while, which means we’re offered restorative glimpses into their lives to get us through the imminent and proverbial MKA cold fronts.

Today’s said glimpse was procured by way of this profile, freshly published in Net-a-Porter’s The EDIT. I absorbed the piece with clear eyes and a full heart thanks to my body shutting down all other senses while reading it. As a result, I learned a lot, maybe The Secret. Should you find yourself power hungry today, I’ve done you the favor of using said MKA learnings to build you a to-do list of sorts.

1. Only be photographed twice a year

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 19: Mary Kate and Ashley are seen walking in Soho on October 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)

“[B]eing photographed is outside of their comfort zone these days,” writes The EDIT‘s Emma Sells, “something they do just once or twice a year.”

As a wise, fake young Pope played by a handsome Jude Law once said:  “Do you know what it is, the invisible red thread that connects the most important figures in their respective fields? None of them let themselves be seen. None of them let themselves be photographed.”

Do keep this in mind next time you’re in the presence of a photograph-capturing device.

2. Plan out literally every minute of your day

“We’re very organized; every minute is accounted for,” one of the twins told Sells, not sure which. If you’re an 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. kinda gal, that’s 900 minutes to individually plan. This means you should probably close Man Repeller and get back to work (“I think we’re lucky [working hard] comes quite naturally for us,” says Mary-Kate). Hop to it!

3. Never take a vacation

“I’ve always been a worker,” says Ashley. “It has taken me a lot to figure out how to take a vacation.” You know what that’s code for! Get back to work.

4. Marry an older man; acquire two step-children

This is going to be key: find an older man. Keep the relationship shrouded in secrecy save for a few sporting events during which awkward photos are taken that confound everyone. Marry. Adopt his children. Have a life. (Run successful businesses, make billions.) Go home. Cook dinner.

“…I have a husband, two step-kids and a life; I have to go home and cook dinner,” says Mary-Kate.

5. Never sit and ponder

Never, under any circumstances, lay around and ruminate. This will just slow you down! “We don’t need so much time to sit and think and ponder,” says Mary-Kate. They are too busy being busy! See Step #2.

6. Ride horses on the weekend

A post shared by clairethekid (@clairethekid) on

“I ride horses on the weekends,” says married stepmother Mary-Kate. “You find the thing that helps you relax and if you don’t have it, you have to look for it.” This one’s tricky. I happen to know an avid horseback rider named Amelia Diamond who’s almost constantly stressed, but maybe she needs to follow Step #4 to reap maximum horse benefits.

7. Delete all social media

“We don’t have Instagram or Facebook,” says Ashley. “So we’ve never been connected to our customers or our fans in that way. We’ve stayed quite sheltered.” The only thing cooler than having tons of followers is having no followers.

8. Go to two fittings a week for 15 years

“We’ve been in so many fittings,” says Ashley. “We used to do two a week for 15 years.” This is how they learned so much about cut, fit and proportion. Going to your tailor twice a week may seem unnecessary/ruin your reputation, but just imagine the fashion conglomerate on your horizon.

9. Wear pants that never wrinkle

“I’m wearing these pants today and all I keep thinking is: how haven’t they wrinkled yet?” ponders Mary-Kate. It’s a good question. Maybe buy her pants from Elizabeth and James just to be safe. Wrinkles mean failure.

10. Buy Dr. Martens

“They lean towards giving the prettier pieces in their collection a grungier slant with a belt and clompy boots (they’re both really into Dr. Martens right now),” writes Emma. Boots from The Row will set you back more than $1500, but Dr. Martens are under $200. Small price to pay for fame and virtue.

Bonus: Procure a twin.

This is extra-curricular as I know it will be difficult, maybe impossible. But just imagine if one day, you and your business partner’s age could be formatted efficiently, as seen here: “Ashley and Mary-Kate, 30, are happier to be talking than posing…”

So powerful.

Collection blew me away too, women. Well done

A post shared by Leandra (Medine) Cohen (@leandramcohen) on

Photos by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic and Raymond Hall/GC Images via Getty Images.

Get more Pop Culture ?
  • hilary

    haley will you be my twin

    • Haley Nahman

      the answer is yes

  • Julissa

    They are so weird/seem so out of touch.

    • Lyla

      I would argue that they seem grounded and career driven. Their personal fame isn’t important to them because the strength of their brands is their entire reputation now. The Row is so cool you don’t need it to have an instagram.

  • Grace B

    I was SUCH a fan of them both back in the day, right up until So Little Time ended and they did that New York movie. Like Julissa said, after being so current and popular they are both so weird and reclusive. Do they ever see Elizabeth?? And I am still totally skeezed out by how old their husbands are! I’ve definitely seen their E! True Hollywood story more than once…

    • Haley Nahman

      Omg how did I forget about E! True Hollywood Story!!!!! very much same!!

  • ashley

    ‘the only thing cooler than having tons of followers is having no followers’ – sterling. also, clicked for the byline more than the headline, keep crushing haley

    • Haley Nahman

      “it was love at first sight” (me re: this comment)

  • Amelia Diamond

    i am very non stressed while/after riding haley! WHY DO YOU THINK I KEEP ASKING IF WE CAN HAVE A HORSE IN THE OFFICE HELLO

    • Haley Nahman

      You have a large horse figurine on your desk is that not enough

    • Meg S

      When the financial manager at work asked if I wanted anything (she was referring to an office depot order), I said I wanted an office pony. That was last year. Where’s my pony, Kim?

  • Caro A

    Sometimes I feel like I deeply deeply understand why they went through what the public calls their “homeless phase”. Like when they wore all that baggy paisley stuff? Were they saying, “fuck you fashion!” ?

  • i love them. one time i was getting a blowout from someone who worked with them, and she said they are like weird little aliens. i don’t think she meant it nicely, but i was like, yes, aliens sent from planet cool.

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  • Mariana

    11. Always look miserable even if you have no reason to.

  • Holly Laine Mascaro

    Haley your writing just cracks me up – ‘“I ride horses on the weekends,” says married stepmother Mary-Kate.’ Amazing.

    • Haley Nahman

      Maybe when I’m a married stepmother with a hyphenated first name I’ll ride horses too

  • Melissa

    married stepmother Mary-Kate is now how I will always refer to her lol

    • Haley Nahman

      I approve!

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  • Meg S

    Docs (aka Dr. Martens) have always been my favorite clompy boots. From my less refined cherry red phase to my more recent matte black leather chelsea phase, they’re easily the most comfortable boots I own and they’ve held up since middle school with lots of wear. Luckily my feet haven’t grown.

  • rachel

    I firmly believe that my life would be complete if they would start publishing “Our Funzine” again. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2619d35e7fdca4ab4b86e7c269b8fd96e1c4b0d63362f0800f8aee86e800e85f.jpg

    • 808kate

      Wait those boots tho ??!! Need

      • rachel

        I know! clearly their love of doc marten style boots goes back a ways haha

    • Hayley Clark

      I’m really into these outfits

  • Aydan

    oh god the MKA article just left me wanting more! I can never get enough of them!

  • That last picture and caption hahaha. Seriously though, the Olsen twins are always so captivating… it’s because they’re never photographed lol


  • Serena

    Hayley I love your writing! Keep making us laugh 💙

  • lol, very good article. These twins still remain a mystery to me even when surrounded by so much limelight.

  • Samantha Lee

    Mary-Kate and Ashley forever. <3

  • KK

    I always wondered if so much fame at such a young age made them constantly strive to prove how mature/old/grown they are. All the dark colors, the smoking, the significantly older men. Like cries to be taken v v seriously.

  • Marisa Rose Morrison

    LOLOL Amazing post, Haley. I’m right there with you on the inevitable MKA fascination of females born in 1989. Thanks for catching us up to speed!

  • Lauren

    As a fellow 1989er, i concur, and can’t believe i missed this till now. Highly suggest @marykateandashleyo insta account to keep in the loop on all of these bi-annual sightings.

  • Nikelle

    I love that photo from Leandra’s Instagram.