Refusing to wear coloured clothing

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DuckHairback
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04 Jun 2024, 12:28 pm

Another question. I wonder if anyone else has kids who do this or even experienced it themselves?

My daughter has always had issues around clothes. Some are sensory but others are based on colour.

She's always done this. She wears boys underwear (shorts) because she doesn't like the feel of girls underwear but we get these packs of 5 and each has a different colour waistband. Other than that they're identical. But she won't wear the ones with the green band. Flat out refuses. She says they feel different.

Increasingly, she won't wear clothes of any colour at all. She wears grey shorts (from her school uniform) and a grey or black t-shirt.

She says she doesn't want to wear clothes with designs or any sort of style because she doesn't want anyone to comment on them.

I don't care, really, except that it's a very visual marker of how she is different to her friends who wear normal kids clothes. And they're surely going to notice her grey clothes soon and that in itself might become something to comment on.

I do feel a bit bad for her because she sometimes gets vouchers to buy clothes from grandparents and she'll go to the shop and buy a really nice dress that clearly appeals to her in some way, and she'll try it on in the shop and like it, but then get home and refuse to ever wear it.

I don't know if this is a 'problem' that needs solving really, I'm just trying to understand.

I had a restricted wardrobe as a kid but it wasn't based on colour, i just hated jeans and anything that restricted movement. I wore tracksuits most of my childhood.


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babybird
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04 Jun 2024, 12:45 pm

Yes I won't wear clothes with things written on them when I'm out because I doesn't people reading me

I live with agoraphobia though so it just makes it easier to go out if I become invisible

Is she shy or anything like that

I was painfully shy as a child and I would go absolutely nuts if any of my clothes had anything that might attract attention

I also used to wear boxers as a girl as well until I went I a particularly strict children's home and that was that

I never encountered any negative feedback from other kids because of how I looked it was more the adults who seemed to have an issue with it

My daughter also has a particular style about her but to the absolute opposite end of the spectrum. She goes all out for colour and stuff and she loves the attention. She would be horrified if I gave her something grey or blue to wear


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DuckHairback
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04 Jun 2024, 5:05 pm

Thanks for the perspective bb, that's really useful.

I don't think of her as shy. If someone speaks to her she's really eloquent and forthcoming but she doesn't want anyone to comment on what she's wearing, like if someone said "That's a really nice dress" or something, she'd be mortified.

She has her hair short because she can't stand having it brushed, tied or clipped up (which is required at school) and people often mistake her for a boy. She hates that, but her clothing choices compound the problem.

It does make me a bit sad because she used to wear some really cool little outfits, particularly in summer. But that's my problem, not hers.

I'd not considered agoraphobia. Have you always had that or did it develop? It has always been a pain getting her to leave the house. She's usually fine once we're out, it's the transition that's the problem. Is that how agoraphobia works?

Quite often when we're out she talks non-stop about stuff, compulsive talking. Paticularly if we're out in the woods. It's like she finds it overwhelming and tries to block it out with gabber.

Anyway, I'm wall-of-texting again. Thanks again for the thoughts.


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IsabellaLinton
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04 Jun 2024, 5:41 pm

It sounds a lot like Scopophobia, which is the fear of being looked at, seen, or judged visually by others.

She seems to be trying to avoid anyone looking at her.

Then she has the typical sensory reaction to clothes and hair-brushing, too.





https://youtube.com/shorts/8wWHt1NzVK0? ... ohdsLDdg7f





https://youtube.com/shorts/DDKnBIMYWbY? ... F2e4fNW_If






https://youtube.com/shorts/n6v9k261YEM? ... _MiJSQ_S_C


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Last edited by IsabellaLinton on 04 Jun 2024, 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DuckHairback
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04 Jun 2024, 5:46 pm

Thanks Issy. That's a new one on me, I'm going to read up on that. It does sound about right.


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IsabellaLinton
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04 Jun 2024, 5:56 pm

https://www.healthline.com/health/scopophobia


I hope you don't get a paywall with this.

Hit me up for info if you want.

I have it very bad, to the extent it even causes my mutism.


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DuckHairback
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04 Jun 2024, 6:09 pm

^No paywall. Thanks.

This is blowing my mind a little bit, mainly because the article talks about blushing.

From the age of about 10 I blushed terribly. I was terrified of being asked a question in class because the minute the attention was on me my face would go scarlet and I hated that it would be so obvious to everyone how uncomfortable I was.

It persisted through my 20s and 30s. Unexpected interactions, being watched while I worked or was trying to learn something - instant red face. :oops:

I wonder...


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Fenn
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04 Jun 2024, 7:46 pm

Different schools of thought on this. My take is to try and observe and instruct on the nonverbal “communication” of choices. If it is “I understand but this is what I want” that is one thing. If it is “I don’t understand so I am surprised by the reaction” that is something else.

Once my son insisted on wearing a long sleeved soccer uniform shirt, when all the other kids (or nearly all) were wearing short sleeves. We discussed it several times wirh me telling him what I was seeing and telling him how I thought others might react. I finally gave him an assignment to count the number of people at soccer in short sleeved shirts and the number in long. Once I was sure he was aware, then I dropped it.
Turned out he really wasn’t aware. He then decided to ware the short sleeved shirt.

Nonverbal communication is a language. It can be read or understood, it can also be spoken or written. If my son is in a public place shouting something others find off putting, and totally un-aware that it means what it does, I feel it is my responsibility to tell him. Like if someone mispronounced a foreign word and accidentally was saying an offensive swear word and was totally unaware. You’d tell him.

Making clothing choices based on preference or sensory issues without knowing the non-verbal message the choice communicates, I think is similar.

I once read an article about a young lady who craved deep pressure. So she chose clothing that was tight. Was confused by the reaction of the boys. Once she understood what was happening, her solution was to wear something like a wet suit with other clothes outside. She found a way to make her sensory choices AND nonverbal communication come out ok.


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IsabellaLinton
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05 Jun 2024, 12:11 am

I think that's really interesting Fenn, and a good point.
In my own case though, if someone told me my clothing wasn't appropriate I'd tell them to sod off.
Maybe I earned that luxury by my age but a lot of it is just personal choice.
Even when I didn't understand it was "wrong", it was my personal choice.


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babybird
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05 Jun 2024, 12:55 am

I've never spoke about the agoraphobia to anyone and I've not been diagnosed I just live with it

I've had it for years. It used to take me hours and about 4 changes of clothes to get out of the door

My clothes are very uniform and once I find something that I'm absolutely happy in then just buy two or three of the same thing and just wear it over and over

I also blush terribly and I panic about blushing as well which only makes matters worse


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IsabellaLinton
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05 Jun 2024, 1:17 am

I wear "same clothes".
I have a uniform of sorts for summer and one for winter.
They don't actually differ much.

I wear the same thing for days if I'm going different places.
I've worn the same thing to the hospital for a month.

The winter clothes make me look underdressed bc I don't wear coats, mittens, etc.
The summer clothes make me look overdressed bc I don't wear ... summer clothes.

I have a couple of sundresses but mostly dress like a 15 year old boy.


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babybird
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05 Jun 2024, 6:44 am

Hi DHB

I just had a thought but you probably have already thought it anyway

Anyway I was thinking that this might be your daughters way of managing and learning how she is comfortable in the world and as she gets more confident in herself she might branch out with other colours and styles

Like she already understands that she is somehow different so she's just trying to balance it out and I think she could find a better acceptance this way as well because it does actually make her seem more interesting but also she's learning (through her fashion choice) to protect herself in a none threatening way...I dunno I'm struggling to write what I'm thinking and now I'm waffling

But anyway I'm feeling optimistic about her


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Fenn
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05 Jun 2024, 6:49 am

Thing is…
I remember being in middle school.


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babybird
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05 Jun 2024, 6:52 am

What age is middle school


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Fenn
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05 Jun 2024, 7:30 am

Yeah - international forum.
In USA middle school is loosely defined as 7th and 8th grade or 6th, 7th and 8th after elementary school (or “lower school”) and before high school. Kid are usually 5 in kindergarten so grade to age is “add 5”. Works out to 11 to 13 or 14. Basically “middle school” is “puberty plus social shark tank”.


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FleaOfTheChill
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05 Jun 2024, 7:58 am

Historically, I have pretty much always the same few colors and generally solid color clothes. For me, I just like black (my favorite color without a doubt and always has been), grey, maybe some olive. It also keeps things simple. All of my clothes always match, and it requires zero thought on my end to get dressed every day. I just grab some crap and put it on and there you go. I have tried to add in some brighter colors to my wardrobe, some interesting patterns or whatever, but they end up handing in my closet not getting much (if any) use, even if I like the thing. *shrugs*

Point being, it might be a simplicity thing. Kids that age really care about things like coordination in outfits, looking 'right' and so on. If that's not her thing and she struggles with knowing what will go together, black and grey is a combo that will always work and look good together. No one will ever be correct in saying her outfit clashes or looks tacky or whatever. It really is an uncomplicated approach to clothes that works.