Dressing

Being ‘picky’ with clothes is a sign of being a naturally sensitive to certain textures, materials, colours or designs, e.g. formal gear and clothes that are tight around the neck, wool, synthetic or scratchy materials against the skin, irritating clothes tags (one of the most common complaints from Aspies and other sensitive people).

“My skin is also fairly sensitive. I nearly constantly feel itchy and always have. In fact, when I was about five years old, I realized feeling itchy all the time can’t possibly be normal; and I asked my mom about it. Neither of us had any idea about Asperger’s syndrome or autism at the time. When I was in first grade and had to start wearing a school uniform for the first time, I didn’t like the fabric my shirt was made out of because it felt too rough. Because of this, I didn’t like to tuck it in; so I looked like a slob. I guess that’s a factor in why I was teased and bullied so much in elementary school.”

– ‘NeantHumain’, male Aspie from USA

“Can’t stand to wear neckties because they make me feel as if something is trying to strangle me.”

– ‘Bongolian’, Aspie from Germany

“I am a man. I wear pants all day long, I do not own any jeans because they are so uncomfortable, stiff and restricting. When I get home from work the first thing I do is get out of work clothes and into a skirt or dress. I is so freeing. It is ten times more comfortable than pants. I can not understand why anyone would voluntarily wear pants except for things like climbing or working on ladders or crawling on your hands and knees.”

– ‘Ace’, Aspie from Canada

“Another thing I hate are those tags clothing manufactures sew in the neck area of T-shirts. They itch like crazy against the back of my neck. So I take a pair of scissors and cut those tags off. Nearly every shirt I own has had the tags removed. I personally believe that clothing companies are sadistic to do this their customers.”

– Heather, Aspie

Shoe designers often seem to be either totally ignorant of female foot anatomy, or they just don’t care if shoes are comfortable or not. Combined with extra sensitive feet, this is not a good match.

How anyone can stand wearing shoes that hurt the feet is a mystery to me. I love shoes that look pretty, but they have to be comfortable as well. It is possible to create shoes that are both.

– Ing, site-author

“As an Aspie who has NEVER (and I do mean *never*) liked wearing socks and/or shoes and/or sandals, I can attest to the fact that being forced to wear socks and shoes or sandals is enough to make me want to scream.  Part of the problem is that I just can’t stand to have anything on my foot that makes me feel ‘imprisoned’ (for lack of a better word).  The other part is that I find socks and shoes/sandals terribly hot and uncomfortable. Yes, even at my advanced age (LOL) I will find any excuse to *not* wear socks or pantyhose (oh my!) and I will defer to the skimpiest of excuses for a sandal whenever possible (as long as the situation permits this).  I love thongs (shoes, not the underwear).  I can wiggle my toes out of the part that goes between the toes and stand on the ball of my foot in the middle of the shoe when I’m standing still.  While walking, the breeziness and freedom and coolness far outweigh the annoying part between my toes.”

– ‘Raven’, female aboriginal Aspie from Canada

Some are hypo-sensitive and may not mind, or even prefer, tight clothes.

“I feel nothing, absolutely nothing. I have a pair of straight jeans which are tight as heck, but I don’t care. I could never live without a tight shirt on. When I wear soft pants it feels all wrong. Come to think of it, I don’t own any soft pants.”

– ‘Le Manuel Da Riot’, male Aspie from Sweden

Some ASD & ADHD women have a more pragmatic view on fashion than most women.

“I’ve never understood how women could have so many different kinds of shoes. Why bother? The most I’ve ever had at one time is 3 pair, two of which were dress shoes that I hated wearing and avoided doing so. Another thing is women’s underwear. You go into Dillards or JCPenny’s and they have tons of floor space dedicated to women’s underwear. How many different kinds and colors of underwear can there be in the world? Why would you want to pay that much for them? Underwear doesn’t wear out that fast, how do they make a profit on these?”

– Linda, adult Aspie from USA

Many Aspies like wearing the same clothes or style all the time.

When I’ve found or designed a garment that both looks and feels exactly right, I naturally want to wear it all the time (until I wear it out or get tired of it) and really enjoy the continuity of having my favourite style, colour and texture every day. Only when I go out do to meet others do I alternate between different outfits and take extra pleasure in making sure everything matches.

– Ing, site-author

In my opinion, no person should ever be forced to wear something they are not comfortable with. Things like uncomfortable, impractical or unflattering fashion items, formal wear and uniforms seem designed mainly to enforce herd mentality and to keep over-consumption going at an ever more insane rate. That is not logical or ecologically sustainable behaviour. The idea of school uniforms, complete with ties even for girls, seems especially bizarre since children are individuals and not little solders or clones.

As long as one is not unkempt to a point of looking repulsive to others, why should anyone have to be uncomfortable just to fulfill other people’s expectations of what one should look like in a particular situation? Having a style of one’s own means being practical and mentally independent of fashion & expected dress codes.

4 Comments »

  1. Leakins said,

    I was looking to see if itching was normal for a 6year year old w aspergers. I am beginning to wonder if I would have been placed on the spectrum. I dont like shoes, I hate tight clothes especially around the neck, I can’t wear fingernail polish because I feel smothered, buttons irritate me, food textures and fruit pulp bother me too. I have been diagnosed w fibromyalgia and I wonder if there is a connection between the two??

  2. flagwag said,

    As a child, I felt terribly uncomfortable in “plastic fabrics” of the day. Cotton is the only fabric I can tolerate on my skin. The thought alone of wool jumpers or clingy material on my skin causes me great discomfort.

  3. jose said,

    i like to wear plaid shorts and a t shirt that has the same colors as the shorts. but not in the same pattern. so all week long i wear different color plaid shorts and matching t shirts. and thats all i wear. plus socks and t-shoes. and my counselor still does not think i have Asp.

  4. Roel said,

    Rough Clothing tags sometime is really irritating, so maybe change the tags they used to make the customer satisfied.


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