The other day I posted this as my status update on Facebook.
" I will say that clothes shopping with Princess is always an adventure. Since she doesn't like the way most
clothes feel, the fitting room is always an experience. Today Princess
made me so proud. She went into the dressing room stall by herself, came
out with a dress that we both agreed didn't flatter her, changed back
into her clothes and emerged with the dress she was putting back in her
hand. The best part was when she told the fitting room clerk, " Here's
the dress I don't care for and the card with the number of items I took
into the fitting room. Thank you. " Wow, I guess I'm doing something
right. This is a huge accomplishment for Princess."
Here's the back story on why this was so amazing.
Clothes shopping with Princess is no small feat. I cannot tell you the number of times we have walked out of stores empty handed. I have left Target in a huff more than you would believe. Princess loves the style of Justice clothing but hates the way that a lot of their clothes feel. For their part I know that clothing manufacturers make clothes for most people. They don't try to make clothes that feel like sandpaper. If that were the case, they would be out of business really fast.
Princess has a number of requests when it comes to clothing. First there must be no tags or lace. Then jeans and leggings are out of the question. Leggings just don't feel right. I am not sure why. For Princess jeans are the closest thing to sandpaper you can get. If Princess is going to try on a t-shirt, it cannot have a large graphic on it. For school she wears her red spirit shirt over her dress so that the graphics on it don't even come close to touching her skin. The only long sleeves that Princess will wear are those on jackets. I almost forgot. Don't even ask Princess to try on anything with elastic in the sleeves or you will have clothes thrown at you.
Speaking of clothes being thrown. I must admit this has happened at Target on more than one occasion. Fortunately with us this has only happened at stores when not a lot of people were in the dressing rooms.
I know you are probably wondering why I don't just buy the clothes and just try them on at home. Or I could order the clothes online. Both of these are easier said than done. As for trying on clothes at home, Princesswould have the same problems at home as at the store and I would have no exit plan. When it comes to ordering clothes online, the problem is that Princess will tell me she likes something. I will cut off the tag for her and then she will change her mind. Then I am stuck with clothes she will never wear. I do have another girl who is more than happy to take Princess's cast offs so at least I know the clothing goes to a good home.
There are other reasons besides Princess's Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) that
make clothes shopping a challenge. She also has ADHD which makes it
hard for her to focus. I have to have a lot of patience with her so that
she can stay focused and not get distracted by the mirror or other
people trying on clothes. Then there is the issue of Princess's mood disorder.
She can be doing just fine when all of a sudden she will change moods.
When that happens, we leave quickly. I know from past experience. This
will not turn around. Finally because of anxiety, Princess will not try on
something if she is afraid it will not feel right. This can be very
frustrating for her and I.
When we get home from clothes shopping, I usually need my
husband to be on duty so to speak so that I can decompress with a walk
or just some me time.
The pay off to finding Princess the perfect clothes is huge. She has been known to actually purr like a kitten when she finds the article of clothing that feels just right. If she really likes something, she will wear it a lot. So it is worth it to me to pay more for clothing knowing that they will get a lot of use.
Currently Princess has seven outfits in rotation. This is a big step in the right direction considering that she has worn the same dress for three to five months at a time. No matter how much I wash the favored dress, it will still look like something a homeless child would wear. Yes children have told Princess that she must be homeless because she wears the same thing over and over again.
Below is a picture of Princess in one of her favorite outfits. She wore this particular dress for 5 months straight! When she finally moved on to another outfit, I had her leave the dress at the clothing store.