Being an Invisible Young Autistic Part 1: The Dress Code

It can’t be that bad can it?’ some random man in the breakfast shop says, as I wait for my bacon and egg muffin in a good mood but with my morbid, effortless face on. Just do one will you Alan.

When having a ‘normal’ face takes too much effort

You youngens on your phones. Back in my day we used to do fun things in the REAL WORLD. How times have changed’. My dear old Margaret. You sound like a lovely woman who has truly experienced life in the best possible way, but please shut up.

Social chit chat and small talk is pointless, irritating and hard work! I want to share what to do when you have had enough of humans, but when you still need to be out and about. This post will be about how to dress to suppress…

If you look really closely, you’ll notice that there is no one there

The best dress style to develop to avoid interaction is the Roadman style.

What is a Roadman, I hear you ask?

comedian-michael-dapaah-in-character-as-big-shaq (1)‘A Roadman, also known… (Yes known) as a simpleton. These inferior beings wear filthy Nike and Adidas clothing accompanied with a hat and a man bag. A hat to hide their dandruff and man bag to hide their mum’s stolen wallet. These “people” have no future ambitions and commit local crimes for a living’

By K/O (Source: Urban Dictionary)

The discovery of the Roadman look was the best thing that has ever happened to me. I can walk along the street in their style and people avoid eye contact and pretend they can’t see me. Sometimes people even cross the road because they’re so keen to avoid me! You need to get it right though. You don’t want to take it so far that you look like you’re about to murder someone. You just need to look like someone who doesn’t look like they have any dangerous affiliations, but people won’t know for sure.

Here are my tips:


Stick to Nike or Adidas. Find that group of kids who are wearing skin tight jeans and see what trainers they have on, trainers are pretty much the only thing that matter to these people so they know their stuff.  If you are sensitive to touch, the Adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged are perfect – sometimes I don’t even feel like I’m wearing shoes when I have these on.

Adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged

Other personal favourites include Nike Utility Huaraches and Nike Prestos:

If you’re on a budget, go for Adidas Superstars or Nike Cortez:

Trackies/ Joggers

A decent pair of trackies/ joggers is essential.

These days, your trackies need to be skinny/ slim fit if you want to look the part. Nike and Adidas again pretty much run the market for a decent pair of trackies:

But if you want plain joggers, there are a variety of skinny and slim fit options to choose from too:


For the full Roadman look, you need a bubble coat. North Face and Nike do the best ones:

If you are on a budget, Zara also has a great range at a low price, but Zara clothes tend to have a short lifespan:

The short term option

You don’t always need a bubble coat though, another ‘trendy’ one will do. My favourite is this:

Don’t ask me why I’m sat on a black leather sofa. I’m dangerous, remember? So be quiet

It has the perfect hood to block out sensory input (sight and sound) and makes me look super unsociable. It has great pockets that can easily fit my infinity cube and keys and allow me to fiddle with them unnoticed.

In the Summer, try and find a thin coat, or a ‘fashionable’ hoodie. Luckily since I’m in Manchester and its usually colder than Theresa May’s heart here, I can spend most days with a coat on.

Putting your hands in your pockets is a bonus. You may be playing with a fiddle toy, but other people don’t have to know that. Who knows what you could be hiding?


Any backpack or typical bag will do (but don’t lower yourself to a man bag). But if you want to turn it up a notch, invest in a gym bag. People don’t really mess with Roadmen, but they definitely don’t mess with stocky Roadmen. Obviously the coat is hiding all of the muscle you pretend you have and you’re ready for action if anyone dares defy you.

When your camera makes it look like you have no ears and a massive head rather than that you have headphones on…

Other important accessories

  • Headphones/ earphones

Headphones/ earphones are essential. Why would anyone try and talk to you if you can’t hear what they’re saying?

There is an art in this. You need to make sure people can see you have headphones on. I have a bulky pair which people can see sticking out of my hood. I also make sure part of the cable is dangling out under my jacket so that people know I definitely have headphones on.

Big Headphones

Earphones are more incognito, so it isn’t always obvious you have them on and people may still try and talk to you – so I advise sticking to headphones if you can – which are also great if you are sensitive to sound because they have a noise reduction effect.

If you are nervous about others around you, just turn your volume down. You can hear what they’re saying, but still don’t have to talk.

  • Sunglasses

If it’s too hot to wear a coat, wear sunglasses. People won’t know where you’re looking, and this combined with your earphones/ headphones is the perfect combination to be left in peace. If you aren’t left in peace, at least you don’t need to give any dreaded eye contact:

Life is so much more fun when you don’t need to worry about looking people in the eye
A few other bits

You need to have a confident walk. This may seem counterproductive, but it pays dividends once you have mastered it. Try and look like you are walking with intent.

If you see someone you know, just get your phone out and pretend you’re doing something important to avoid their gaze.

Don’t forget about appropriation – Recently I went to a strategy meeting in my Roadman clothes, and a security guard escorted me to the room to make sure I wasn’t there to cause trouble! I tend to just swap my pants with a pair of jeans for important events so I look at least slightly socially acceptable.

If the Roadman style isn’t for you. There are other ways to be ignored. The next best option is the ‘I think I’m better than you’ look:

Donald Trump doesn’t just have the ‘I think I’m better than you’ look, but he has the personality too. Luckily, we can all see through it and know he’s a numpty

I hope you have found this useful. I get left alone most of the time now. I still get funny looks when I remember something funny and give out a random burst of laughter, or sing a line of a song/ bust a dance move when I forget other people are around, but you can’t have it all.

Now go and enjoy some bloody peace and quiet!

10 thoughts on “Being an Invisible Young Autistic Part 1: The Dress Code”

  1. Great post! I had to laugh at the serious face part. I get that a lot. I get the ‘smile love it will never happen’. Infuriating!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I would like to propose an addendum: be careful of having your cell phone outside in areas populated by Pokémon Go stations. Only time when even headphones can’t prevent any interaction.

    Liked by 2 people

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