A confirmed appointment for your first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is the 2021 equivalent of finding a golden ticket in your Wonka bar. (Actually, no—it’s better, because getting some level of immunity to a pandemic-causing virus is far superior to a factory tour where participants are encouraged to lick the wallpaper.)
Once you have secured your spot and are getting ready to head over to the vaccination site, you may be so excited to get your first dose (and get out of the house, in general) that you leave home without thinking about what you’re wearing. Or, perhaps you’ve spent hours picking out the perfect outfit that’ll really make your eyes pop in that vaccine selfie you’ve been waiting to post for months. (Roughly the equivalent of 500 “I Voted” sticker posts.) Or maybe you’re accompanying a parent, grandparent, or neighbor to their vaccine appointment and want to make sure things run as smoothly as possible.
Regardless of how much (or little) thought you’ve put into your Vax Day ensemble, here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re getting dressed before your long-awaited appointment.
Wear something with short/no sleeves (at least as a base)
If you do nothing else, plan to wear something that makes your upper arm easily accessible to the person giving you the vaccine—whether it’s something with short sleeves, no sleeves, or easy to slide off your shoulder (like the elegant lady in the photo above).
With so many people to vaccinate, you don’t want to waste any time fussing with some sort of awkward one-arm-in-one-arm-out configuration. When your turn comes, you want to be bare-armed and ready to go.
So if, for some reason, you had your heart set on taking a vaccine selfie while wearing a long-sleeved turtleneck, you may want to rethink your outfit. This may be the ideal time to break out that cold shoulder top that’s been taking up space in your dresser drawer since 2016.
This doesn’t mean having to wear a seasonally inappropriate summer shirt in the dead of winter—layer up and stay bundled for every part of the process. If nothing else, at least throw an undershirt on, because…
Assume the vaccination will take place out in the open
Unless you’ve been specifically told otherwise, it’s best to assume that you’ll be receiving your vaccine in some type of open, semi-public space—like a stadium, high school gymnasium, pharmacy, or clinic hallway. Sure, the site may have some sort of privacy/modesty barrier available—or you may luck out and get the shot alone in an examination room—but when planning your outfit and layers, figure that you’ll be at least partially disrobing with other people around. (Then if that’s not the case it’ll be a nice surprise.)
Or, if you’ve always wondered what it would have been like to model for Botticelli, there’s this option:
Be prepared to wait in line
There are countless setups for COVID vaccination sites, and some of them involve waiting outside. In the winter. Somewhere like, say, Massachusetts. Regardless of your geographic location and whether you’ll be waiting indoors or outdoors, do yourself a favor and wear comfortable shoes. (And pants—might as well go with something soft with some stretch.)
And if there’s even a chance of having to wait outside, come prepared with a warm coat, socks, hat, gloves, scarves—whatever will make the wait more bearable.
Don’t forget your face mask
At this point, you should be very used to wearing a face mask basically any time you leave home, and your vaccination appointment is no exception. Plus, if you’re waiting outside, a nice cloth mask will help keep your face warm.