The Wardrobe War

We have frequent fashion fights in our household. Justin will generally insist on wearing whatever happens to be on top when he opens his dresser drawers. He will insist on wearing that outfit even if the pants are black and green, the shirt is orange and the socks are blue. When I suggest that he try to find clothes that match, he claims it doesn’t matter.

“You’re the only one who cares, Mom,” he’ll tell me.

Mismatched colors aren’t even the worst of it. My boys frequently end up with their shirt and/or pants on backwards and don’t even notice. (I can see getting a shirt turned around, but pants? Seriously?) After swimming lessons the other day, Justin came out of the change room with his track pants on inside out. Somehow he didn’t notice that the pockets were flapping around on the outside. Huh.

I realize that the total lack of fashion sense is a hallmark of Asperger’s. To Aspies, clothes are literally just fabric on a hanger. Their purpose is to keep us warm and keep our private parts covered. That’s it.

If he’s just hanging around the house all day, I let it go. But if he’s going out in public, I tell him he has to change. I try to explain that while he doesn’t care, other people will judge him based on how he looks. Even while I’m saying the words I know it’s ridiculous–why can’t he wear whatever he likes, fashion be damned?–but I also know I have a responsibility to help him adapt to societal norms. He won’t figure this out on his own; I have to show him how it works.

Which is hilarious, because I’m hardly one to follow fashion trends. I’ve been known to keep the same clothes for 20 consecutive years. I despise shoe shopping and never notice what people have on their feet. I own no makeup and wear no jewellery. I am the last person who should be giving fashion advice.

But even I have standards, and those standards include not wearing striped shirts with plaid pants. Or anything inside out. Or backwards.

Set the bar low…