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4yr old DS seems constantly anxious about what he's wearing.

(19 Posts)
Boysclothes Thu 22-Oct-15 14:00:45

I'm not sure if this is a problem or not.

DS is almost 4. For quite a while he's been very interested in what clothes he wears. He is very particular about certain things like having all buttons done up, looking "smart", likes to wear shirts etc. Recently though he's becoming obsessed with only wearing short sleeve t shirts. He hates jumpers and coats, if we put one on he is asking the whole time when he can take it off again and repeating and repeating back what I say "so I can take it off when I get to the car? Yes? I'll take it off in the car Mummy? I can't wait to get to the car...." He literally cannot focus on anything else or be distracted until he's removed the coat or jumper. He really tearfully protests any jumper at all, as people "won't be able to see my short sleeves". Coat he will begrudgingly put on until a pre arranged time for removal.

I feel like this is dominating his waking life a lot of the time. The night before he wants to know what t shirt he's wearing and tearfully asking me if he'll need a jumper. He often declines going out/to park because he knows he'll have to wear a coat or jumper. If we talk about plans at all he'll ask what he'll be wearing and feel upset if he doesn't want to wear that. He has free rein over his clothes within limits for the weather and I've tried buying special jumpers etc but it just doesn't wash. This feels like it's making him unhappy.

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 22-Oct-15 14:03:24

Maybe he finds the coat and jumpers itchy/uncomfortable and restrictive. I hate them too. and sleeves.

although at 4 he's to little to really understand he has to dress fir the weather etc.

Boysclothes Thu 22-Oct-15 14:06:06

I'm just not sure whether it's sensory or about looks. He's very verbal and quick to tell me if something itches or is squashing him but that's not his usual complaint, it's that people won't be able to see the picture on the t shirt, or his short sleeves.

minimalistaspirati0ns Thu 22-Oct-15 14:10:43

Is he fussy with food? What's his speech like?

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 22-Oct-15 14:11:30

compromise? hey sone long sleeved tops to wear under his shirt sleeved ones?

if it's not an itching thing then I would be a bit concerned about the obsessivness but I'm not sure if it's normal or not really hopefully someone else can give you advice on that one

Boysclothes Thu 22-Oct-15 14:11:55

Great with food, eats anything. Fantastic speech, has always been way ahead with that. Should say he's not quite 4, he's 4 in December.

Boysclothes Thu 22-Oct-15 14:13:01

Giles that worked for a couple of days but then he stopped being happy with it.

minimalistaspirati0ns Thu 22-Oct-15 14:13:18

Thermals underneath? Jumpers with images and plain t shirts?

Boysclothes Thu 22-Oct-15 14:14:32

He will wear a best underneath but then starts getting obsessed with showing the vest off and starts mithering/whinging/crying about taking off the t shirt!

Boysclothes Thu 22-Oct-15 14:17:47

For instance, we've just been to center parcs and one night went to the kids disco. He was very excited about the disco and picked out a thin shirt to wear. It was chilly there so he agreed to wear a vest underneath. He then spent literally the entire dinner and disco removing and replacing the shirt, he couldn't decide whether to show off the shirt or the vest. It dominated his evening when the rest of his mates were having fun on soft play and dancing. He had a good time but you could see part of his brain was fixated the entire time on this shirt/vest combo.

Orangeanddemons Thu 22-Oct-15 14:18:06

My dd was like this.insisting on t shirts and stroppy tops in January. I fought and fought against it....to no avail.

She's 9 now, and hates long sleeves, long socks, coats etc, she just hates anything tight. Won't wear scarves or hats. I let her get on with it!

JaniceJoplin Thu 22-Oct-15 14:19:38

I'm not sure that its that different from girls wanting to wear pretty dresses all the time ? It's quite normal for girls to be a bit obsessed like that (well if the amount of princess costumes on a typical day at nursery says anything!). Or, the amount of kids who just won't wear a coat in the midst of winter. There are kids in the playground before school in shorts and a polo shirt in winter, with the parents haplessly carrying the extra stuff in their arms next to them. I wouldn't worry unless you have other concerns. He's just asserting his likes and dislikes.

JaniceJoplin Thu 22-Oct-15 14:25:27

I think a kids disco at age 3 could be a bit overwhelming. It was probably loud and lots of older, strange kids running around doing goodness knows what. Maybe he was just a bit thrown by this environment so focusing inwards on his clothes.

We did something similar on holiday except one night they had a Frozen themed disco, but of course, had failed to tell the parents in advance, so we didn't have an appropriate costume. That threw my daughter completely and she spent all night complaining and she is 5! I don't know maybe it's a bit like turning up to a party as an adult and being ridiculously over or under dressed, except the only person that really notices and gives a damn is yourself.

sleepyhead Thu 22-Oct-15 14:26:09

My nephew has mostly worn shorts, come rain, shine or snow since the age of about 3. He's not quite as inflexible as your ds and he doesn't really care about clothes beyond their utility, but he seems completely impervious to cold legs.

It sounds like your ds is really interested in clothes as objects with value in their appearance, hence wanting to show them off, despite them not really being things most other people are interested in. That's fine, it's an interest like any other - some children are the same about cars or dinosaurs or whatever - and if he's comfy then what's the harm in letting him just get on with it?

I guess the issue is if he's not comfy and puts wanting to have short sleeves before comfort confused.

Boysclothes Thu 22-Oct-15 15:00:19

Thanks for all your thoughts...Janice you could of course be right in that it's confidence but that just doesn't ring true for me. He's so so confident and had no problems marching into the disco and strutting his stuff in a serious way (and in fact he and his two mates were the oldest there and it wasn't busy), he just couldn't shake this preoccupation with what to wear. In fact preoccupation sums it up.... It seems to me that whatever he's doing there is part of him that's thinking about what he's wearing, what he's going to wear next, whether it's appropriate (he asked me a few weeks ago whether he was wearing the "right outfit for a pirate ship" - we were in a playground on a pirate ship), if he's going to be asked to put on a jumper any time soon etc etc.

There had been a lot of upheaval in his little life recently... We're having extensive building work, I'm pregnant and he's just started pre school. But the clothes thing predates all this, although it's getting steadily worse as it gets colder and I start insisting more on jumpers and coats. Although I've pretty much dumped the jumpers as they really are kryptonite to him.

minimalistaspirati0ns Thu 22-Oct-15 16:34:37

ASD did cross my mind just because I know one little boy who has a similar thing.

However it might be just his way of having a little control particularly now when things are hard for him.

Is there anything else that you are worried about? Does he have nice friends?

Nonnainglese Thu 22-Oct-15 16:41:31

Would he wear a gilet, or fleece?
Could you go shopping and 'let' hI'm choose some new clothes? DGS (2) is pretty adamant what he's going to wear most days, so has been known to go to nursery dressed in assorted tee shirts layered as he wants hmm, joggers but no coat.

Boysclothes Thu 22-Oct-15 16:43:35

I'm not worried about anything else... He's funny, bright, affectionate, sociable, tons of friends, plays nicely. Sleeps and eats fine. No concerns from nursery or CM. Although CM did say yesterday he's talking a lot and it seems like he's got a lot going on in his head at the mo.

Boysclothes Thu 22-Oct-15 19:55:24

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