Shelley William's Guide to Hospital Fashion

What to wear in the hospital:

  • Everyone else may be wearing scrubs, but that doesn't mean you should too. You will be required to interact with dozens if not hundreds of people, from surgeons, nurses, secretaries and even cafeteria ladies. If you are kind and look lovely, they will all treat you better. Its worth putting effort into looking good at the hospital.
  • But obviously, don't overdo it. I have found that solid, dark colors, or stripes work best, because you never know what might land on you - blood, vomit, medications, you name it. Along those lines, don't wear anything with sentimental value. "Oh this? I found this at a flea market in Dijon. Oh, uh, yuck, and my baby just threw up black blood all over me." Believe me, the stain will never come out.
  • Don't wear anything that catches. Your legs will pass by operating machines, hospital beds, hard plastic chairs with rough edges underneath. Leggings, tights and jeans are fine, but never wear long skirts or anything lacy. 
  • Go very light with make-up. Lights in the OR can be very hot, and the last thing you want to worry about is your mascara is melting. You also don't know what to expect - you may cry, or even sob, so don't wear anything that runs. Go lightly. 
  • Hair? Its impossible to have great hair in a hospital, I am convinced. The air is dry, and you are moving around a lot. So I suggest simple styles that are easily maintained - like buns, or just curls on the ends. And at some level, you have to accept the entropic landscape of a hospital.
  • Layers. Make sure your undergarments are comfortable and easily covered, you don't want to worry about revealing too much. This is a problem most moms in the NICU have. Your first layer needs to be comfortable, and not too hot. Bring a pretty sweater (that can handle blood stains).
  • Hospitals are rife with stinky odors...*shiver.* I always wear perfume in discrete places so whenever I lean over, or pick up my child, or even hug someone, I smell Jo Malone's fragrance Wild Bluebells, and it reminds me that I am a woman, that this experience doesn't define me, and I don't belong here.  Jo Malone's Wild Bluebells belongs at a cafe, a bookstore, an art gallery, it is not at home among the antiseptic smells of a hospital. 
  • Just don't wear jewelry. Don't.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, but don't go so far as old lady sneakers or clogs. 
Packing for a week at the hospital is tricky, and unfortunately this fashion advice comes from waaay too much experience!

1 comment:

  1. Peace be with you this week.

    I love you.