Sick Chic: UK Hospital Gowns Get Designer Makeover

By Smriti Rao | February 9, 2010 5:24 pm

Ben-de-LisiYou would think this bit of news would be coming out of Paris, but Britain has moved a step ahead of the French sartorially by giving their hospital gowns a designer makeover.

No more shifty, drafty paper gowns with bits of anatomy barely covered (there’s another reason why it’s called the I.C.U.); the new gown design aims to retain patients’ modesty and make their hospital stays a little less revealing.

The Design Council of Britain is all set to unveil the new designer gowns made by Ben de Lisi, who has dressed the likes of Kate Winslet. The new gowns are part of a project to improve dignity across the National Health Service.

Ben de Lisi told the BBC comfort was top of his mind when he designed the outfits.

“The old hospital gown was hideous, embarrassing, ill-fitting and probably ill-making too. You are away from home, ill, and in hospital and you have to wear this horrific garment with your arse hanging out. Give me a break. I wanted the new gowns to feel fabulous and aspirational.” De Lisi’s NHS collection, in his signature printed fabric, also includes pajama bottoms, nightwear and slippers.

Unlike many designer clothes, these gowns are a clever mix of functional and practical, says de Lisi–they allow patients to retain their modesty, but also give doctors access to the patient’s body via convenient “entrance points” in the gown. De Lisi stresses that these gowns do not tie in the back, to avoid the aforementioned arse issue.

However, the hospital gowns won’t be introduced to NHS facilities till 2011, which means patients who want hospital haute couture will have to wait a bit.

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Image: Ben de Lisi

MORE ABOUT: hospital gowns
  • Margaret Wilde

    I hope the sleeves will be wider/looser on the new-design gowns so as to accommodate patients with splints on broken arms. And I hope the gowns themselves will be made in much bigger sizes, since more and more patients are becoming obese.

  • Elissa

    Can we get them in a snuggly mohair?

  • Michael McDonald

    The concept of refining a hospital gown is utterly absurd. There is absolutely nothing dignified about wearing a gown for anyone regardless of gender, age, or even religious preference. I for one would never want any of my co-workers to visit me at a hospital while wearing a gown. There is a new hospital clothing line that will definitely replace hospital gowns called “Dignitywear.” It is a two piece suit with either warm up or pajama design with complete accessibility for all nursing needs, and encourage patient mobility. It is primarily used during visiting hours so hospitals won’t need to eliminate gowns entirely, especially in ER or trauma centers. This makes perfect sense. Not only private parts are covered, but it motivates patients to want to get well and encourage a return to active lifestyle. The website is: I have no idea why every hospitals don’t carry this product now, instead of waiting for Ben de Lisi’s design next year.


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