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Patient Chic: Being Comfortable in an Uncomfortable Situation


The big day has arrived: Your doctor visit! You get to look forward to the glorious occasion of sitting in a dreary waiting room, reading old magazines,trying not to think about the new crop of germs you are being exposed to, and having yourself inspected and analyzed by a judgmental stranger. Of course the first thing on your mind is, “What do I wear to such an occasion?”  Is it possible to be over or under dressed for your doctor visit? What shoes will best compliment your hospital ensemble? The hospital gown: an office visit must or is it best to avoid this infamous little piece of drapery? I would like answer these questions for you and more. Allow me to take the mystery out of your fashion diagnosis.

I like to consider myself a bit of a doctor visit fashion expert. On my resume resides a diverse array of frequented doctors offices. Over the past year, I have visited everyone from the general practitioner to allergists, rheumatologists, and neurologists. I realize that not everyone is as fortunate as I am to gain this kind of experience. So, allow me to guide you through the mystifying world of patient fashion.

The Clothing:

Generally, a doctor visit isn’t the most pleasant of occasions. I realize that I seem to have made it my hobby, but seeing doctors is really not my idea of fun. So, when encountering these uncomfortable circumstances, I like to try to make myself as comfortable as possible. One of the first things you should consider before selecting your patient wardrobe is the nature of the visit. Will you be expected to remove your fabulous garments? Will you be expected to move around often?

If you find yourself in a situation where you are expected to doff your duds, make sure you can get in and out of your garments with ease. Don’t wear anything with oodles of buttons, buckles, or laces. I know it will be tempting to don your best corset, but I would strictly advise against it. Quick, easy pull over clothing is best. If you are going to need unrestricted movement, I would recommend wearing workout clothing. Yoga pants are wonderful. They are comfortable and allow lots of movement without looking sloppy. They are an essential in every patient’s wardrobe.

A note on the hospital gown and some tips to get out of wearing it:

Layering is an excellent idea for the doctor visit. I like to wear yoga pants and a cami with either a cardigan or zip-up hoodie. This way you can just strip down a little and still be comfortable. Also, wearing a loose, flowy skirt has gotten me out of the dreaded backside-bearing gown on a few occasions.

Undergarments: 

Just like your over clothing, you want to make sure your underclothing allows for movement and is easy to get yourself in and out of. No Spanx or girdles! I also like to stay fairly conservative in the undergarment department when I visit the doctor. I once made the mistake of assuming I wouldn’t need to strip down for a visit. I was seeing a neurologist and it didn’t occur to me that I would be required to wear the dreaded gown. I ended up prancing about in a matching hot pink lace bra and thong. I. Was. Mortified. The lesson: Always assume that you will be taking off your clothing.

At this point, I feel like I should address the following question: What if the doctor is attractive? Can I skip the conservative underwear rule?

I’m not suggesting that all patients wear granny panties, but I still think full coverage is the way to go. In my experience, the Dr. McDreamys and McSteamys of the world only live in TV Land. Most of the male doctors I’ve encountered have been roughly middle-aged, grumpy, and had bad hair. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news ladies. But honestly, would you really want to discuss all of your bodily imperfections with the golden Greek god of medicine? I don’t think so.

Shoes:

Ballett flats and flip-flops are great for a doctor visit. Easy on, easy off. Are you noticing a trend? Just make sure that said shoes aren’t too smelly. Nobody enjoys smelly feet.

Hair and Makeup:

Yes ladies, I have given some serious thought to appropriate and practical hair and makeup styling for the doctor’s office. Too much time on my hands? Too many doctor visits? I’ll let you be the judge. So, first, when planning you hair style, you need to consider two things: 1) You will probably be pulling clothing over your head. (Unless you wear a button-down. That could be a good idea.)  2) You will probably be laying on your back at some point.  Once you consider these things, you will know that your hair will likely get messed up and you don’t want to have to rest your head on the lump of a ponytail holder or a bun at the back of your head. Either wear your hair down and have a ponytail holder on hand for later, or wear a top-of-the-head ponytail a la Pebbles Flintstone. Remember, comfort is key.

This brings me to makeup. Some may ask, “why bother?” I’ll give you my reasons. I’m usually pretty tense before a doctor visit, the makeup ritual puts me in a zen state and keeps my mind busy. Instead of worrying about the impending tests and what they might find, I focus on my beauty ritual. I work in the familiar steps: conceal, contour, base, eyes, brows, cheeks, lips. Doing my makeup makes me feel like I’m donning my super suit. My scared, timid alter-ego is safely hidden away and the fearless hero emerges. It may seem silly, but it works for me.

I like to keep my makeup simple for these occasions. I’m not trying for glamour and I know things are likely to get smudged if I over do it. At times like these, natural is best. Soft tones, neutrals, light eye makeup, nude pink lips are my go-to look. It doesn’t hurt for a super hero to show a little vounerability in these situations.

So there you have it, Patient Chic. Even if you are not feeling fabulous, you can look fabulous and be comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. Sometimes that makes all the difference.

 

 

 

No Pants, No Cry


 

Whenever I wear a dress, people always ask me why I decided to dress up. They need to know the exact occasion that causes me to don something cute and flowy. While I would like to respond, “Darling, I’m going to the ball!” the real occasion is more like, “Darling, I’m going to the grocery store!” I don’t lead a glamorous life. I just enjoy wearing dresses almost exclusively when the weather permits. The main reason that I choose to wear a dress is that I just don’t feel like putting on pants that day.

Yeah, sad but true.

I find pants uncomfortable and extremely bothersome. Unless they are pajama pants. Most pants tend to chafe and waistbands and buttons dig into the belly. The biggest offender, jeans, seem to get some sort of wicked glee out of making me self-consious. They squash any spare flesh that one may have up and out until one’s once-cute top now looks like you are using it to conceal the kiddie floatation device you may have gotten stuck around your middle. At least, this is the effect jeans have on me. I’m over six feet tall and have a curvy frame. If you want to ruin my day, take me shopping for pants. In most stores, the only options seem to be skinny, extra skinny, low waist, extra low waist, and the mom jean. Forget tall sizes. So our only options become: Do I expose my barely covered posterior to the world or do I button my pants over my rib cage and make said posterior look even larger? Hmmm, decisions, decisions…

Utilikilt Man!!!

That is why I love the dress. From a fancier style of the structured bodice with an A-line skirt to a graphic T paired with a long, comfy maxi skirt, dresses are by far more comfortable and flattering than jeans. It’s true. Just try it. Men, I must say that I’m a bit surprised that kilts have never caught on. Just imagine a nice breeze and a lack of zippers. Where do you store your keys and billfold? In the utili-kilt, of course. After all, skirts with pockets are the best. Just try to avoid the “Marilyn moment” please and pay attention to how you sit. A little mystery is a good thing.

There are really only two occasions I can think of where choosing pants would be the better option: Very windy days and winter days when there is a foot of snow on the ground. Even then, I hesitate. I may need to leave Nebraska for somewhere more temperate so I can finally have my ideal wardrobe. C’mon Hubby, let’s go!

 

Bigger is Better for Bikini Season?


I just stumbled onto this clip via the Cats Like Us Facebook page. It’s really interesting to think that advertisers promoted weight gain to women in order to be at their best for swimsuit season in the 30’s and 40’s. What a radical turn around in beauty ideals. I’m currently doing a lot of reading on the history of beauty culture and it’s incredibly interesting to see how beauty, advertising, and women’s rights are so tightly entwined. The history of lingerie is equally interesting and influential to women’s history in the same way. Look it up! I plan to write about both subjects in the future, but in the mean time, check out this clip.

TODAY: How the perfect beach body has changed.

Marilyn: Glamour Girl Beauty


I don’t think that I’ve yet professed my deep love of vintage style to the public, so here goes. I don’t really know what happened to the women of America. Today’s fashions are pretty terrible. It seems as though somewhere along the way, society got the the definitions of sexy and slutty confused. Women’s clothing has become tinier and more revealing over the past decade or so. It’s getting to the point that even our little girls’ clothing is becoming overly sexualized and moms are pressuring their daughters about looks and weight before they’ve even begun to develop into womanhood. What is the point in this?

Designers seem to be creating clothing and expecting women to mold themselves to the fashion rather than the fashion being created for the natural curves of a woman’s body. It’s a shame. Everywhere you look, media seems to bombard women into feeling guilty about their bodies and shaming them into either covering up or throwing themselves into the latest diet trend or falling into the far more dangerous and tragic realm of eating disorders. It seems as though this is the first time in history that the scantily clad skeleton is the ideal of beauty. The sad thing is, many modern women see this mode of modifying themselves and dressing in this way as empowering.

I am very interested in the history of fashion and beauty. I am in love with women’s fashion from about the 20’s to the 60’s. Many of these fashions were all about the celebration of women’s bodies without completely exposing them. I take a lot of inspiration for my personal wardrobe from the styles of the 40’s and 50’s. These were fairly conservative eras, however the women of this time exuded glamour and confidence. Look at Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Rita Hayworth, and even Bettie Page. All of these women were gorgeous, unique and extremely sexy. Marilyn Monroe, to this day, is still considered the epitome of female beauty and sexuality. Why is this? Well, look at her. She knew what she was doing. Let’s start with her iconic makeup. It was actually fairly minimalist by a lot of today’s standards. It really worked to play up her gorgeous skin, and two of the most sexy features on the female body, the eyes and  lips. Remember that, ladies. Honestly, nothing makes me feel sexier than a great, bold red lipstick. Next, let’s look at Marilyn’s body. It was soft and curvy. Her arms were not rock hard and sculpted. She had no bones jutting out of her skin. Her dress size was 10. Today’s paparazzi would have a heyday. Now, let’s examine Marilyn’s personality. Personality also carries a lot of sex appeal. She was coquettish and knew how to tease. Also, the girl was quirky and funny. I think that was also a major part of her appeal. Be yourself. Be a little goofy sometimes. It will go a long way.

Ladies, all I’m really trying to say is that you are beautiful. You should acknowledge this. You are not fat, you have curves and they are glorious. If you

Go-go Amy, Contemporary Pin up girl.

are trying to lose weight, do it for yourself. Do it to be healthier. Don’t do it because you don’t fit some unrealistic standard and don’t let it consume you. You need to make yourself happy, nobody else. Start by looking in the mirror. Don’t start picking apart your flaws. Don’t think, “I’m fat.” Think, “I’m beautiful.” Pick out your good qualities. Emphasize those qualities. It’s all about perception, and the thing about perception is that it can be changed. Start doing some research. Ignore the Cosmos of the world and start to look at the women of days gone by. Look at pinup girls from then and now. They’re cute, sexy, and ooze personality. Start to internalize the way they dress, the way they do their makeup, the way they smile and hold themselves. Learn the value of a well cut dress, the miracles that a swing dress or a sexy wiggle dress can do for your curves. Rock some ruby red lipstick. Maybe as more women learn to accept themselves, we can overthrow the current beauty standard and modify more than our own perceptions. Why would you want to strive to be just another skinny chick when you could be a glamour girl?

Looking for some cute and sexy styles for a curvy figure? Check out some of these links for inspiration:

Shabby Apple Clothing

Mod Cloth

Pinup Girl Clothing

Bettie Page Clothing

Cats Like Us

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