I've spent an ample amount of time at the hospital recently and have come to the not so startling conclusion that hospital gowns are atrocious.
We've all worn one at some point in our lives, albeit on the day we were born (accessorized with an itty bitty scull cap), when our babies were born, pre and post op, during random medical examinations or as a last-minute, zero effort Halloween costume. But do we ever really enjoy putting one on? I'm thinking, no.
It isn't the fabric that bothers me. The 50% cotton/50% polyester blends are usually incredibly soft due to thousands of washes, but I'm not a fan of the demure prints or the convenient tie closures at the neck and mid-back. Sure, they're super convenient for doctors and nurses who are examining me, but is it really convenient for me to have my buttocks hanging out for medical interns to check out during rounds? I give props to the clever patients I saw prancing by who were double gowning it with a weak smile and their IV stands trailing behind them, knowing that they had beaten the system.
What makes me more sad than anything is imagining all of the patients who wore this gown before. What were they admitted for? What was wrong with them? Where are they now? Was this the last article of clothing they ever wore?
I understand that it would be far from cost effective for hospitals to offer patients a catalog of hospital gowns to choose from featuring attractive hospital dressing options like this 1 in the Oven Organic Hospital Gown for Mommies-to-be... but perhaps hospitals could offer a special rack in the gift shop in between the stuffed bears covered in band-aids and the get well cards featuring chic hospital gowns with faux fur collars for the older ladies and NFL-themed jersey gowns for the manly men displaying the numbers of their favorite players between their shoulder blades.
I believe that there is validity to the saying "clothes make the man/woman", and the right hospital attire could potentially have the power to improve a patient's morale. When we wear something that's pitiful, it makes us feel pitiful. So if anyone comes to visit me in the hospital in the near future, take note. Don't bring me a half a dozen oversized Get Well balloons, chocolates or flowers, bring me something decent to wear.