Unique Hospital Gowns Lighten the Lives of Sick Teens [VIDEO]

Ward + Robes gives teens robes they'd actually want to wear

Jan 9, 2017

If you had to remember one thing about being a teenager, one thing that springs to mind is that those years are a trying time. Just being a teen in itself is challenging enough and being a teenager with a severe illness, confined to a hospital room, could be beyond disheartening. A new partnership founded by the Starlight Children's Foundation in Canada is setting out to change that - one hospital gown at a time.

The Ward + Robes initiative works with designers to re-imagine traditional hospital gowns into ones that teens would actually want to wear - reflecting their personal styles with colors and designs that are modern and fun. It may seem like a small, unsubstantial tweak, but clothing is a huge representation of one's character, personality, and perspective. Nice clothes are known to affect one's attitude and with this visual shift, the teens are showing tremendous signs of encouragement. The gowns enable them to look outside their circumstances and offer them a fresh and positive reminder of their true identities, which speaks to the fact that they are more than their sickness and surroundings.

Offering a range of fabrics and silkscreens from cargo sleeves with skulls to floral prints with leather trim, the gowns have even been re-worked with pockets and zippers. This small dose of personal expression has translated to a huge win at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, Canada, and the Starlight foundation is now looking to expand the program to hospitals throughout the region and, hopefully, across borders and worldwide.

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Elianna has a background in English literature and psychology and works as an editor and freelance wardrobe stylist. She writes on travel, fashion, food and inspiring people.