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The case for dressing to see your gynecologist

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A long Gül Hürgel dress with huge sleeves. High waisted fitted evening pants with Victorian style blouse. A silk shirt and culottes with fringes on the hems. A red jumpsuit, a handful of gold necklaces and multicolored Nike Air Maxes. A pleated skirt from Boden with a mohair cardigan. A Hillhouse Navy Tartan Nap dress and a black turtleneck with a pair of Gucci loafers.

Would you believe me if I told you these outfits weren’t worn for dinner, or for a party, or for work, but for doctor’s offices? Maybe not, if I had asked a year ago before new pandemic-induced definitions of normalcy were established and new rituals were born to make sense of them. Now, however, a decision that might once have seemed eccentric, if not unbalanced – like wearing a cowl neck sweater, camel trench coat, jeans, sneakers, a statement hat and gold earrings to go. seeing a new gynecologist, despite the inevitability of being asked to undress and change right away in one of those grim paper dresses – probably seems entirely believable.

For confirmation, just take a look at the comments below. Fashion company Recent Tweet from Chief Correspondent Lauren Sherman:

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Paper magazine Editorial Director Mickey Boardman responded, “I wore my new Marc Jacobs coat to the dentist. Twice. “Also, AgitationDeputy Fashion Director Jessica Andrews replied, “It’s me.” Fashion blogger Bryan Yambo rang out with an encouraging, “Right !!”

Stylist and brand consultant Amanda murray received a similar collective response when she began posting the outfits she wore to the doctor in the months leading up to surgery: “From August to January, I made weekly visits to my doctor, and every once i did it’s a point to really dress. When I started posting about this on Instagram, a lot of people started tagging me and like, ‘hey, I’m going to the doctor, and I’m doing it too. It created a mini-movement.

Amanda murray

Amanda Murray in one of her doctor’s appointment outfits

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The excitement of this movement was palpable when I asked a question on my own Instagram about dressing for the doctor and received hundreds of responses. “Last Saturday I went for a Pap test at 10 am and changed about 12 times before I left the house because it was literally the biggest event on my calendar,” one woman told me. . Another said: “I used to hate going to the doctor, but since the quarantine I have booked so many appointments to finally put on real clothes!” (For a recent appointment with her gastroenterologist, she wore thrifty red cowboy boots, silky white panties, and a furry red bucket hat.)

Lauren Sherman speculated that medical appointments provide a unique opportunity for outfit display compared to other mundane errands. She said to me, “You take off your coat. You don’t rush like you would when going to the grocery store and trying to avoid others. You will actually be interacting with someone.

Speaking of which, Miuccia Prada once described fashion as an “instant language,” referring to how what we choose to wear can communicate things about who we are even before we open our mouths. But fashion is also language in another sense, in that it provides a channel for one of the most endearing forms of human interaction: compliments.

A woman I spoke to, who recently wore “chunky JNCO-style jeans and a perfectly broken-in and buttery ’70s leather jacket” during a doctor’s appointment, said that when the two receptionists mentioned that they loved her jeans, she “almost cried” at the revelation of how much she missed having strangers compliment some of her outfits. Another described a similar reaction when her therapist complimented her beige turtleneck on her last in-person date: “It was such a nice feeling that I haven’t had in ages.

In addition to requiring new rituals, the past year has also clarified the absurdity of the old ones – that is, “life saving” outfits. Historically, I’ve been a notorious supporter of the habit myself, regularly waiting for the perfect opportunity to wear something for the first time. The few pieces that I bought last spring and never worn for this exact reason hang in my closet like art in a museum, a ghostly display of the person I could have been and things that I would have done. It seems ridiculous now, to have waited a whole year, especially a year in which the meaning of the word “opportunity” has collapsed and reformed. Many people I spoke to cited “regret over saving the outfit” as the main driver of their desire to dress for doctor’s appointments – an opportunity in its own right nowadays, it seems. he does.

It will be interesting to see if the broader definition of the term persists even after familiar iterations of “occasions” – like parties and weddings – become commonplace again, which seems increasingly likely with the rise of vaccines. . One person who answered my question on Instagram suspected that for them it would be, “It was fun to treat all aspects of my life with more intention, including what I’m wearing. I have always romanticized the era of the Pan Am jet set and the old photos of my grandmothers where you can see the effort and care that has gone into fashion even for the smallest events in life. .

While it’s not clear whether the current wave of sartorial desperation will stimulate a long-term trend to forgo the comfort of sweatpants in favor of buttons and zippers at airports, one thing is for sure: it doesn’t. There has never been a better time or better case to carp -ing your diem.

“Clothes bring me a lot of joy,” said Amanda Murray, “and sometimes I feel like we have this one life and no one really knows what’s around the corner, and if whatever. Either way, the pandemic has made that worse. So why would I keep any outfits? What am I saving for? A moment that I will never have? This, right now, is a time when I to do and I want to show myself.

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