All authors declare no conflict of interest. About 41% of participants experienced ‘double gowning’ that is being offered a second gown to wear the other way around to protect their dignity; 58% reported it had or maybe had limited their activity; 75% felt it either did or maybe did influence how others saw them; and 70% felt it either did or maybe did influence how they saw themselves. Its design was considered to be not fit for purpose and lacking in dignity. Perceived problems with gown sizing and fit created further issues in terms of participants feeling ‘self‐conscious’ (Billy) and ‘embarrassed’ (Helen). Significant results were found for gender (female participants reported feeling more vulnerable, exposed, and self‐conscious) and long‐term physical health condition (participants having a long‐term physical condition reported feeling uncomfortable, vulnerable, annoyed, exposed, cold, self‐conscious, and disempowered). Wash your hands often. The interview schedule consisted of 14 open‐ended questions, which were developed by the research team in order to address the specific aims of the current study. This point was captured in Stephanie’s account: Wearing the gown represented a shift in participants’ psychological state, a transition from a ‘healthy’ to ‘sick’ identity, which had implications for how participants felt within themselves. All participants’ ethnic origin was within the United Kingdom. Despite this, few studies have considered the impact of hospital clothing on psychological health and well‐being. Arguably, there are advantages to hospital gowns. I didn't think it was going to be as low as 10% or 11%, which is what we found. The notion that there was little personal agency or control relative to that of the medical practitioners permeated descriptions of their lived experiences, as Camilla recounted: Emotional and physical vulnerability, associated with wearing the hospital gown, was a pervasive issue raised by all of the participants. I was given a paper gown. The issue of hospital gowns may have implications beyond the dignity of the patients, the researchers said. The scale was posted online via the Qualtrics platform, and participants were recruited via social media and posters distributed around the university and online. The first study consisted of conducting in‐depth, semi‐structured interviews (n = 10) with adults living with a lifelong chronic health condition (congenital heart disease). ACTIVE WEAR. I’ve often wondered why on earth we routinely put so many patients into hospital gowns within minutes of their arrival at hospital. Whilst clothing can empower the wearer (Guy & Banim, 2000), it can also induce psychological distress, feelings of disempowerment, and lowered self‐esteem (Martins et al., 2007). The role of facemasks is for patient source control, to prevent contamination of the surrounding area when a person coughs or sneezes. Getting dressed is a form of self‐expression, which contributes to the construction of social identity, yet few studies have explored the impact of wearing hospital clothing on patient well‐being. Their sense of having a ‘healthy’ identity was perceived to be lost and replaced with that of ‘becoming this hospital patient’ (Camilla). Learn more. Findings from an online survey (Study 2) sought to enhance this understanding by including broader views from a much larger sample of people from the general population, although interestingly nearly half of these respondents self‐identified as having a long‐term condition. 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