The nightmare that is….clothes shopping 🛍👀

Hi everyone, here is a new drawing I did explaining what a nightmare clothes shopping can be for autistic and sensory people! (aka meeeeee)

  • *Needs new clothes* – I have trusty go-to t-shirts, jeans, etc that I find comfy and wear until they quite literally are falling apart. I’ve been like this since I was a child, I could never let go of clothing and really would wear things to the bitter end.
  • Tries searching for exact replacements – this requires much searching online for exact replacements (this is a pain because clothing lines change so frequently and I never think to buy multiples in case I don’t like them…and then I do like them after a while and it’s too late!)
  • They arrive and get put away… so I cut every single conceivable tag, label, instruction booklet out of them and neatly fold or hang them up which is super satisfying and I genuinely feel quite happy that I’ve managed to come across clothing I might be able to bear.
  • 3 years later…still feel too new to wear. DAMN IT. They ALWAYS, alwaysssss still feel way too new to wear. Sometimes washing the clothes a few times helps with this feeling but I am an absolute nightmare when it comes to wearing new clothes (so much so that I prefer to shop second hand a lot as then clothes feel more worn in and after a few washes smell okay enough to wear).

Things I have found that help: I get this a lot with shoes. It can take me YEARS to get into new shoes. Again buying them secondhand from places like @depop help but if I do decide to get brand new shoes (a tip my mum came up with) is to take them out of the box and put them in my room so I get used to the look of them and them being part of my life.

It sounds ridiculous I know but it really is an autistic / sensory thing – I am awful with change and new things and I am much kinder to myself now knowing I am autistic and that this is just a part of who I am and how my mind operates.

Do you struggle with clothing? Any top tips you have feel free to share in the comments below!

8 thoughts on “The nightmare that is….clothes shopping 🛍👀

  1. I appreciate what you’ve shared. My son, now 18, is sensitive to clothing, but not overly (thankfully). He does live with SPD, but it’s not overwhelming. He doesn’t have to cut tags out, but his biggest issue is wearing long pants. He lives in comfy, stretchy basketball shorts all year long. And if we get snow he’ll wear sweat pants while he’s outside, but he prefers to be inside where he can wear shorts. When he was younger he was ok to wear pants to school (never jeans), but the moment he came home he took them off and lived in his underwear (when he was very young), or shorts. He also prefers to wear soft cotton t-shirts and hooded sweatshirts. Do compression garments help you at all? My son recently commented that he liked a particular brand of hooded sweatshirt because it gives him a nice hug (and they offer tall sizes that his long torso needs).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you that’s kind of you to say. It’s so interesting to hear about your son and how he manages daily life in terms of his sensory processing – I’ve heard so many people wear what are considered to be summer clothes through winter (or the opposite) as it avoids change and you can wear what you are truly comfortable in. Compression garments do help me but only on the bottom half of me (I can’t stand tight tops, but am fine with skinny jeans!). My weighted blanket though is truly the best thing I’ve ever bought – I couldn’t live without it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can only shop online and loathes have to be:
    The exact, correct leg and (overly long) sleeve length. Women’s clothes rarely specify these.
    Incredibly soft.
    Not too tight.
    Not too baggy.
    Not too hot/thick
    Not too thin as I need the weight around my shoulders.
    A neckline which isn’t too high at the front
    A neckline which isn’t low (or even a tiny bit scooped) at the back, otherwise I feel that the back of my neck is ‘missing’/‘blurry’!?

    So yeah lol

    Weirdly, (as long as they are wide enough across the toes) new shoes don’t bother me.

    Could you wear a vest, tee or PJ’s under the new clothes for a bit?


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the list you shared! I am SO with you on not too tight, hot/thick and I am also ridiculously fussy when it comes to neckline like if it’s too high or too low it’s a nightmare right?! That’s interesting that you don’t find new shoes too difficult to get into. That’s a good idea maybe I need to slowly integrate clothes by wearing layers underneath them – thanks for the tip!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My girl 13 years old is this way with shoes – it’s a total nightmare to buy shoes with her. Mostly I pick out pairs in grey/black in the right size, put them infront of her at makes her put them on and walk around. The first time her face doesn’t look like a lemon while she complaints about everything – That’s the pair I buy! “They’re ok” or “Not terrible” – That’s a sure winner! … Then the next month wearing them indoors 2 minuttes at the time, because “mom tells her to!” … Absolute nightmare…. I hope she has finally reached her grown-up-size – then it’s not every 6 months anymore 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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