Hospital gowns may be functional, but they aren’t exactly cute. After all, while easy access to important body parts may be crucial to medical care, padding around the ward with your backside hanging out doesn’t exactly boost anyone’s confidence. To address the shortcomings of the much-abused medical garb, the U.K.’s Department of Health recruited designer Ben de Lisi to give the hospital gown a design overhaul, the BBC reports. De Lisi, who has outfitted stars such as Kate Winslet, came up with a solution that offers more coverage while also including “entrance points” for the necessary medical access.
De Lisi said that he wanted the new gowns to feel “fabulous and aspirational.” He described them to the BBC as, “made from beautiful cotton shirting which is very smooth, cool and lux.” The new garb, which is scheduled to be available in National Health Service hospitals by early next year, was funded by a $39,000 (£25,000) grant from the U.K.’s Department of Health as part of a broader project to improve patient dignity. The de Lisi design will be priced comparably to existing hospital gowns.
In the U.S., there have been similar efforts to revamp the hospital gown, and one hospital in Hackensack, New Jersey even doled out Nicole Miller-designed pajamas to patients. Yet, for the most part, when it comes to in-patient attire in hospitals, the emphasis remains on function over fashion.