How to Decide What to Wear When You Have ADHD

How to Decide What to Wear When You Have ADHDDeciding what to wear in the morning can be hard. However, it can be extra painful when you have ADHD for these reasons.

  1. Decision making is challenging: big and small.
  2.  Mornings aren’t your best time; you might not feel awake for 3 or 4 hours after you get dressed.
  3.  Social rules are a bit of a mystery, so you aren’t sure if  there is a dress code you don’t know about.You aren’t confident about ‘what goes together’.
  4. Keeping on top of laundry is a challenge; you don’t always have the items that work together that are clean at the same time.
  5. Sensitive to texture which means some clothes make you itch or are very uncomfortable to wear.

If you went to a school that had a uniform, you know it was very easy to get ready each morning. No thought was required. All you had to do was put on the standard shirts and skirts / trousers.

Even though you might not have an official uniform to wear now, why not create your own? It takes the brain work out of getting dressed every day and it means you always look good, feel confident and comfortable

If you are male, it is slightly easier for 2 reasons: You have the option to wear a suit (which is like a uniform), and society doesn’t pay such close attention to what men wear.

Think of Will and Kate. The press pays very close attention to what Kate wears and whole blogs are dedicated to her wardrobe. Yet, we rarely hear a whisper about which designer made William’s suit.

news anchor proved that people weren’t paying attention to what he wore by wearing the same suit for a whole year.

It is possible to wear the same thing every day if you are female too.

In an article that went viral, Matilda Kahl explains her decision to wear the same thing every day. She has been doing it for 3 years.

Creating your own uniform doesn’t mean you have to wear the exact same thing every day. You can create a formula that works for you, then interchange clothes within that formula.

Let’s say you like ballet pumps and have a brand you get on well with. Buy a couple of pairs in different colours. If you like a certain style of trousers (and they fit nicely and don’t itch), buy them in black and linen. Next, pick out a few tops you love and there you go! You have created a stylish work uniform that looks great, takes all the brain work out of mornings.

What helps you decide what to wear in the mornings?

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  1. As a Professional Organizer (and veteran ADHD’r, I can attest to my personal goals of having the ‘one rack wardrobe’ with all of the classy and ‘classic’ Banana Republic looking closet I’ve longed for… my creative juices and colorful personality keep that from happening but I do somehow assist my Clients in getting this down, then coach and inspire them to maintain it 😃 Most of my Clients (in fact none that I know of ) have ADHD… after ten years of this. Huh??? I guess “we” wouldn’t hire someone for this, right? Hahaha Well, we should! That would be genius!!! An organized ADHD’r, with a uniform is a killer combo! 😉

  2. Colleen says:

    I always decide the night before what I’m going to wear. I put ever thing out on my chair. Occasionally I may change my top. I too have many pairs of skinny jeans. My Blundstone boots for fall, winter and spring and my Birkenstocks for supper. My tops vary. I say …Keep it Simple!

  3. GiGi says:

    I love, love, love nice clothing (not necessarily “fashion,” because I have a style that stays fairly constant), and I have a LOT of clothes. BUT pretty much all my clothes work together – all my basics are black, or a black-and-white print, and then I have jewel-tone tops and cardigans, mostly solids. And I wear mostly black shoes to keep it simple, too. I threw out all my brown shoes and never buy clothes that require a different color shoe. 😃

    I usually use a scarf of some kind to make me look pulled together, e.g. black dress pants (trousers! 😉)/skinny jeans/A-line skirt/pencil skirt plus emerald green top plus black cardigan, then add a purple-and-green scarf and purple earrings. Same scarf works with purple or green cardigan and green earrings. I wear about five bright colors on rotation and have four scarves that work with all of them.

    I know this sounds like a capsule wardrobe, but I also have a collection of dresses 😂 – carefully chosen to work with all my black and jewel-tone cardigans, of course.

    • Diane says:

      Hi. GIGI: I do almost EXACTLY the same thing!! Black shoes, pants, skirts, dresses and tights – paired with jewel toned tops, cardis, scarves and dresses! I keep a brown skirt and boots for an occassional change. And a navy skirt, slides and long cardi. I also have some burgundy for fall and a few pastels for winter/Spring. But very mainly, it’s mostly black and jewel tones for me, especially purple, teal, cobolt and magenta. As I age, I favor gold/beige tanks to white. Anyway, I love having mix/match clothes! Cheers!

  4. Amy says:

    I put out my clothes the night before. It works most of the time but some days I have to go through a few changes before getting the right feel. I need to feel comfortable- I don’t want to be thinking about my clothing at work so that is my number 1 priority. I like clothes and like having different outfits to wear depending on weather, my mood, and my schedule for that day. I do get tired of my clothes easily so switching things around helps. Most of my clothes are in similar color group And I mainly wear solids so it easy to put together.

  5. Steve says:

    Most of my clothes are versatile and interchangeable so I won’t ever have to worry about being mismatched. However I still have trouble deciding what to wear sometimes so my go to has always been a black v-neck tee, raw denim, and chukka boots. I don’t have many jackets so I just throw on what is weather appropriate and this formula has worked for me quite well.

  6. Batshua says:

    For work, I only wear black pants. Everything goes with black, so pick a work-appropriate top from the rack, and I’m done. I’m no fashion plate, but my clothes work-appropriate.

  7. This is a hard subject to master as I have many different roles during a day. Ultimately, I go for sports clothes that keep me warm and that I can get into after swim training daily. Merino wool all year is best and have a dedicated section for meets. Then there are my reception art clothes because I have respect for my fellow artists to look good and dry without wild hair lol. Most of the time I am happy with jeans, shirts and hoodies under heavier jackets and will wear the same thing all week cuz I spend more time in the water. I have many colurful swim suits from Funkita ( that express my personality with fluorescent cats whilst everyone wears the tech suits)..,and black for everything else. I express my adhd in my home pool and am friends with everyone. People always respond that I look cool although sometimes I don’t feel up to seeing people but; once I get it together with a few classy clothes that are timeless, I feel better.

    • Skinny jeans are a big part of my winter uniform Susan because its so cold here. They are very practical. When you have lots of roles like you, you can have subsets of your uniform for each activity. It sounds like you are already doing that, so great job!

  8. Hi Jacqui

    At school I hated the uniform because of the colour and the itchiness but as an adult I always like a uniform and like you suggest, make my own up 🙂

    x x x

    • Absolutely Val! we are creates of habit, so we usually wear similar items already. Its just a question of giving yourself permission and expanding it a little.

  9. Jen Draper says:

    Getting rid of almost all my clothes and switching to a capsule wardrobe has helped enormously. Everything works together, so decision-making is really simplified. I got rid of my dresser altogether, and all my clothes fit on one garment rack. This also meant no longer storing off-season clothing and so much less laundry. Win-win!

    • Capsule wardrobe is the perfect term Jen! Yours sounds so liberating!

    • What a great idea! Somehow, there always to be a lull between winter amd spring and summer to autumn to wonder what to wear….

    • Melissa B says:

      Yup!!! Capsule wardrobe is the way to go for me too! I have picked out two main colours and an accent colour that I always feel good in and black as my neutral. Everything goes together so I don’t have to think about it. The only thing I really need to worry about is if something doesn’t feel good(too tight, scratchy, too hot/cold) on that day and I need to find something that does or the inevitable boredom that comes from wearing the same thing over and over again. To combat that I have a few pieces that I keep for the warm months and a few for the cold ones so that I have something to look forward to. I also have a weakness for accessories and so as long as I don’t blow my budget then I allow myself to buy a few sparkly things from time to time.

  10. LOVE the Harper’s Bazaar article, Jacqui! I’ve always worn similar types of things, but never this narrow as the woman in the article. However, as soon as I get back from the trip I’m leaving on tomorrow, I’m reorganizing my closet and designing my uniform for real! Thanks a bunch for this idea.

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