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!
Ah clothes… 👕 They’ve always been a problem for me (and I’m sure many of you out there too). The struggle to find clothes without super annoying tags/labels and be made of a non-itchy / bearable fabric is SUCH A PAIN.
I understand why tags and labels are inside clothes to give us size/washing/manufacturer information but what I don’t understand is why they aren’t easily removable. I either suffer with a tag in a t-shirt or the back of my jeans or I cut them out and suffer with the STILL scratchy bits of tag left behind. I think we’ve all accidentally made holes in t-shirt trying to remove annoying tags.
I have some good go-to brands when it comes to label-free clothing, recently I found clothes in Uniqlo such as t-shirts and jeans without a tag at the back. Yes it’s a miracle and yes I got excited. Does anyone else know of any reasonably priced clothing brands that come without tags? Please share in the comments below – I’ll be eternally grateful!
My mum was telling me about M&S (UK) who have an adaptive clothing range for children (up to age 16) with disabilities which is fab and has been expanded since launch. There are around 1.5 million children in the UK who have a sensory or physical disability and so it really is a great step in the right direction (teens and adults next? I hope!).
It’s hard to explain but if you are a sensory-being like me a simple tag can really overwhelm you. Imagine having something that irritates you and affects your mood throughout the day – it’s such a small thing but I have had tags cause me huge meltdowns because I just cannot function with it touching and hurting me.
This overwhelm also applies to uncomfy clothes, aka special occasion clothes. I do not feel naturally comfortable in a dress/skirt/tights/fancy top/etc but I am able to wear these when I have to and the occasion is fancy (ugh)…I will however immediately put on a jumper and jeans on arrival home 😀
Another little drawing by me – feel free to share but please credit @21andsensory – thanks!