Dressing up for spoonies: in the bed and outside of it

Being a spoonie requires some fashion accessories other people can live without. Poor them! Chosen with care, things like air pollution masks and gloves can be so terribly elegant. I am not joking. It’s a matter of attitude…and courage, of course!

When you want to welcome visitors in all your bedridden glamour, be it day or night, chose pyjamas that don’t look like pyjamas or find clothes which can be put on quickly over your underwear. Your advantage: you don’t have to worry about the weather outside. You are a woman or man of all seasons. Your bed is your castle and sick can be so chic. Don’t be intimidated, try things out! If you are creative, you have all the options: dressing in a romantic way, a classic way, a more practical one or even sexy. It’s up to you. I have some suggestions.


First of all – dare to leave your flannel in the wardrobe for once…it would almost certainly make you look like you have come right out of bed; out of sickbed. And if you go for this kind of look, you can as well go for something more appealing. Instead of choosing your grandpa’s pyjamas, chose a man’s shirt if you are a woman or a loose silk shirt if you are a man. The “out of bed” look is alright, but does it have to be the sickbed look? I don’t think so. Leggings in all colors, even made of jeans material, are great as well.

Second, go ethnic! There is such a lot of inspiration in other cultures clothing. An African boubou, made out of cotton and imprinted with a lovely pattern can make you feel comfortable and pretty inside and outside of your bedroom. A Japanese kimono can do wonders for you. Kimonos can be extremely expensive and of tremendous interest for collectors. You don’t need that. Just try to find a kimono kind of clothing with vibrant patterns. And remember: your pale spoonie skin will go so well with a kimono. Men can always wear Hawaii shirts. Nobody ever said spoonies have to be dressed in plain colored stuff only.

Third, sexy is the new sick: I have tried to chose examples that fit spoonies who are constantly cold as well as spoonies who are not freezing all the time. In case you don’t have to worry about temperature, get out of your normal jimmies and dare to wear maxi dresses which will make you look like a disco queen. On a day when you are feeling down, you might not chose something as daring as the dress on the right. You can still go for the romantic look on the left side. Don’t forget that many romantic interests in literature were spoonie women like the “Lady of the Camellias” by Alexandre Dumas or Clavdia Chauchat and Marusja in Thomas Mann’s “The Magic Mountain”. ( By the way: this novel is exceptional. It talks about philosophy, human nature and art, but also about chronic illness and healthcare institutions )

Fourth – color your life! I love to shop for beautiful bedwear. My best moments when suffering from a serious infection are right after having showered, when I dress in something that might not be a pyjama, but looks good and meets my physical needs. I feel clean and cute when I go to rest in a newly made bed. What a bliss – this is spoonie heaven! I honestly believe that color and patterns cheer people up. I also believe that cheerful patterns or patterns which are symbolic or dear to you help you to get well – or at least to endure pain, weakness and other health problems.

Fifth, accessorize: The ultimate spoonie luxury are matching items, a jimmie that goes with the bedwear. Shoes to be worn at home ( which of course don’t look like slippers) that match as well. If I wear gloves to protect my compromised immune system, I have plenty of colors and styles to chose from. I would never wear the plastic gloves they use in hospitals. Yuck! Face or mouth masks used to be a tricky accessory which would make everyone aware of your delicate health a few decades ago. In the meantime, urban pollution has lead many people to wearing them – especially in Asia. Air pollution masks can look so trendy! If you have the time and skills to make your own, you can have many matching masks at home for your outings – if you don’t – just buy them from my spoonie friend. Pashminas are wonderful to hide whatever you want to hide and to add color to whatever you are wearing – I have a whole range of them at home.

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