Getting Dressed with ADHD

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Way too many years ago the Bangles had a song called “Manic Monday”. One of my favorite lyrics was:

Got to be to work by nine
And if I had an air-o-plane
I still couldn’t make it on time

‘Cause it takes me so long
Just to figure out what I’m gonna wear

Boy, I could relate to that figuring out what I was going to wear part. I’ve been late to work, to class, to lots of places because I didn’t know what I was going to wear.

ADDers have trouble getting dressed in the morning for a lot of reasons.

First, many of us have a hard time making the transition from being asleep to being awake. We’re not at our best first thing in the morning and getting dressed might mean throwing on the first thing you find. Or relying on a uniform look every day.

When my son Andy was younger, he played travel hockey. One weekend we went away for a tournament and he packed his own clothes: 3 pairs of khakis and 3 gray t-shirts. No one thought he changed clothes all weekend.

I used to laugh about that until I did the same thing last summer on a camping trip.

Another reason that ADDers have trouble getting dressed is that we don’t own a decent selection of clothes, or at least not enough of them. Sure, we might own lots of clothes, but how many of them can you actually put together into presentable outfits?

You know what? Our ADHD is partly responsible for that too.

For many of us, going to the mall can be overwhelming. There are too many choices, too many stores, and too many people. I get dizzy just being there.

Even if we’re OK at the mall, we rarely go with a plan in mind. The closest we get is “I need a new shirt”, or if we’re lucky “I need new jeans”.

Or else we go to the opposite extreme and go looking for “a red top that buttons down and looks good on me and only costs $20”. Too specific and we’ll never find it.

Another thing is our lack of patience and our inability to stay focused. How long can you stay in the store before you are either bored or just grab the first thing and leave?

So are there solutions here?

Of course!

Get someone you trust to help you go through your closet and make outfits and toss things that don’t work. Take pictures to remind you.

Take a look at what you have that could use another piece. You have a great pair of pants or a shirt but nothing to wear with it? Make a note and get some suggestions. Keep track of this so you will have it with you when you shop.

Is there a sea of gray in your closet? Make two notes: don’t buy any more gray and look instead for colors that go with it. There are a lot.

Concentrate on basics to build your wardrobe and then use accessories to add interest. Don’t know what the basics are? Do a search online.

Just because you have ADHD is no reason why you can’t look fabulous. You just have to make an effort.

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Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle is the writer of and the Podcast host for An ADD Woman.

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