Chronic Fatigue Wardrobe

Or, How to Build a Wardrobe on the Internet

I can do anything as long as I can figure out what to wear for it. That’s right, I said it! You might think that makes me a ridiculously shallow fashionista. But it’s merely an outward expression of inner, even spiritual, preparation.

Wardrobes don’t have to be just for conventionally noble projects such as a job search, pregnancy or going on holiday. They could also be for meeting a long cherished goal or adjusting to a new lifestyle … like a downsized lifestyle. Earning a fraction of what you used to make when Bill Clinton was President or needing to tone down your designer looks in solidarity with your battered community isn’t so bad if you can figure out the appropriate clothes!

I won’t bore you with the childhood events that contributed to my bedtime trauma. Suffice it to say that a few years ago, when I came up with yet another solution for solving my inability to go to bed, I turned to sleepwear. “Remember”, I thought to myself, “I can do anything as long as …” Well, you know.

So I began to ask myself, why not a CFS wardrobe? This was extremely important because it signified a transition from putting myself on hold until completely recovered, to celebrating now and enjoying my journey of recovery. That’s radical!

I used to think I could never buy clothing on the internet but that was before buying clothing on the internet became my only option. It seems the key is to choose a few websites that match my taste and budget. Then, whenever I feel like it, I just have a good time picking out one or more pieces for each wardrobe item on my list. This may go on and off for hours or days. The important thing is to have fun and to have a way of recording my favorites for later. Enter Evernote software and Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style.

Evernote is a great way of saving my potential wardrobe purchases. I surf the internet from my desktop or my mobile phone using Evernote to save a section of a web page, and my past electronic clippings are available to me from wherever I am. I can also take a picture of something in my closet and save it in Evernote. It was important to keep in mind the actual details of my life. For you it might be going to the office every day or taking care of your family. For me, it’s making it from my bed to the sofa, to my desk and to the end of the block.  Also my clothing must accommodate the symptoms that cause my size to fluctuate from one day to the next. So my “classic dress trousers” are actually a pair of yoga bootleg pants and my “blazer” is a lovely fleece jacket.

After creating a list of clothing items based on Tim Gunn’s “10 Wardrobe Essentials“, I put them in a spreadsheet. And now came the sweetest part: choosing the best clothes and accessories from my compiled database and dropping them into Numbers. The beauty of doing it this way was that I instantly knew from the spreadsheet total whether I was within my budget.

In my more active days, I shopped twice a year for spring/summer and fall/winter. Well, I can still do that! I just have to pay attention to the actual size measurements on Zappos.com or Old Navy, and make good use of my tape measure. I also need someone’s help with returning the inevitable mishaps at my local UPS Store.

The verdict?

  1. I don’t have to look like a troll just because I’ve got Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
  2. My past wardrobe may be on hold, but my CFS wardrobe is happening now!
  3. Make my sleepwear rock. Then put a jacket over it and walk to the end of the block for some sunshine.

I’m ready for recovery.

9 thoughts on “Chronic Fatigue Wardrobe

  1. Great post, having a wife and 17 year old daughter who love clothes shopping, I never even considered how CFS would impact on some ladies favourite past time.
    Even from a mans point of view, point 3 is important. If my pj tops can look like a t-shirt, I’m happy to wander about the garden at 4pm and not worry about the neighbours saying “lazy b#~¥%#d”. :-)

    • Ooooh, a man’s perspective. Thank you! And next time I feel a bit funny about walking on the street with my pyjama bottoms under my long jacket, I’ll simply imagine myself in solidarity with you.

      • Th#3ta&9;s truly sad that over one billion people don't even have access to fresh drinking water. I sit here writing this with a huge beer mug of ice cold water next to me, so I think most of us take this for granted. Also over 3 billion people make less than $2.00 per day. The next time you feel sorry for yourself, remember there are 3 billion people (or more) who would gladly trade places with you.Brian Garvin

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  3. heh that’s far more effort than I use for clothes; I have a selection of t-shirts with different necklines purchased in the M&S sale a while back, 2 pair of jeans, 2 pair of black trousers and my ‘nice’ stuff all comes from bravissimo via the website (their returns service is easy to use if stuff doesn’t fit or suit you)

    I keep a pair of jogging pants by the bed and sleep in a t-shirt; baby wipes work as an impromptu 30 second wash if i’m too tired for the real thing and a hair band takes care of disguising the lack of a brush ..and that’s probably more than anyone really wants to know about the realities of CFS for pasty long haired white lasses.

    Your spreadsheet sounds like more than my foggy brain could cope with – appearance is just too low on my priority list for caring that much *grin*

    • I had to take a couple of days to laugh before replying!

      This just goes to show that the moral of the story is about finding a way to indulge your true passions. But those passions are different for us …

      I miss Marks & Sparks you lucky bug.

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