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My mom had major surgery on her spine a couple of years ago, and during the weeks she was in the hospital I remember what felt like ever-fluctuating temperatures (frequently more on the chilly end). My best advice for dressing for an environment like that is to be all about the (cozy) layers. My favorite dressing in layers piece is a long, open cardigan that can be worn over tees and jeans/leggings (or a dress). My sister bought me this ridiculous, blanket-like one a couple Christmases ago, and it’s been perfect for days when I would prefer to be under the covers. It’s also ideal because it can be shrugged off in an instant if I’m no longer shivering.

It’s not prime sweater-buying season, but a few that look like they’d fit the bill are below. I tend to splurge on one nicer, incredibly cozy sweater a year (JCrew Factory and Gap are two of my favorite sources), and I’ve never regretted it; the cost-per-wear tends to be incredibly low. I swear, I actually do love color, but—as with sandals—I like getting cardigans in neutral colors I can wear over and over (perhaps without anyone noticing!). That said…oh, how I lust after unique pieces like this one or this one from Anthropologie.

Other ways to stay warm (and be able to easily remove a layer): soft scarves, leggings under tunics/dresses.


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Dressing in layers is the easiest way to ensure that you’ll always be a comfortable temperature, whether at the hospital or at home!