The hospital gown gets iconic makeover

Many women cherish their figure-flattering iconic print DVF wrap dress, and now those stuck in hospital beds can feel a bit better about themselves with a new mooning-free hospital gown designed by renowned fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg (DVF).

Fashion has been involved with health initiatives for years with various benefit events and products including Fashion's Night Out on September 10 that funds AIDS charities, the RED clothing campaign, and Diane von Furstenberg, who also donates $1 (€0.78) for every wrap dress sold to the St. Jude's Children Research Hospital.

DVF tweeted on August 12, "We are very proud of our hospital gowns for the Cleveland Clinic. we worked hard at it and we hope it will make patients happier ! DVF"

According to the wellness blogger Kaye Spector for Ohio newspaper The Plain Dealer on September 7, the gown originally under redesign by the Cleveland Clinic took over three years to get right and only after DVF and team stepped in.

The new hospital gown is complete with a new DVF-patterned fabric design, lightweight washable material, side slits instead of the back-end gape and the versatility to wrap the gown in the front or the back.

The gowns are being tested at the Cleveland Clinic first and the "Initial feedback has been good. Some men have said they find the print a bit feminine, so the team is considering changing the color scheme. And the fabric has shrunk in the wash, so the gowns might be made longer to compensate."

The hospital gown has undergone other redesigns in the past.

In 2004 at the Maine Medical Center changed "its patient gown after learning that many Muslim women, whose religion and culture require them to be covered, were canceling doctor visits because they were embarrassed to wear the gown."

And, in 1999 the Sex and the City stylist and designer Cynthia Rowley "created a gown for Hackensack University Medical Center" with "a mock turtleneck, three-quarter sleeves and drawstring pants with matching robes for men; V-necked and scoop-necked gowns for women; and three-quarter length pants for children."

If you are headed for a hospital stay and there are no DVF gowns available, you might want to pick up a "designer" gown: a Dearjohnnies "designer" gown for women and children ($39-69/€31-54) or  Gownie, a maternity hospital gown in a variety of cheery pastel prints that promises complete coverage ($29.99-49.99/€24-39).