Hallelujah: the best recovery dress ever

Behold, for I bring you tidings of great joy: the perfect summer surgery recovery clothes.

I have been searching high and low for comfortable non-ridiculous clothes to wear while recovering from my mastectomy. This is harder than you might think. I want items that are cheap (because I won’t be wearing them much beyond my initial recovery), logistically easy (easy to get on and off while in a painkiller haze when I can’t lift my arms), not ridiculous (in other words, that I can wear in public without fearing that people are pointing and laughing behind my back), and above all comfortable (no small feat in the sticky summer heat).

I’ve been scoping out fast fashion retailers–Forever 21, H&M, Old Navy, etc.–and have been coming up largely empty. It seems like everything comfortable-looking, like the recent t-shirt dress trend, requires that I be able to lift my arms, which I won’t be able to do after mastectomy. And a lot of cotton summer clothes seem to come in just acid orange or electric yellow. Seriously, when is this horrific neon trend going to die? All this has made me envious of women who have their risk reducing surgeries in winter when they can hide under zip up hoodies and button up flannel shirts.

I recently had exploratory surgery to look for ovarian cancer. Fortunately I have been given a clean bill of health. [pause for happy dance] Recovering from laparoscopic surgery has been much harder than most people made it out to be, and it’s given me a little taste of what I’m in for with the mastectomy surgery in a few months. The week before my surgery I bought this dress and stashed it away for the mastectomy: the Merona maxi tank dress at Target.


It’s kind of ridiculous how excited I am by this dress, but after searching for appropriate recovery gear for the last few months I am so happy to have found it. The neck is wide enough that I can step into the dress and pull it on. It’s nice and airy even on the sweatiest days. It’s long, so everything stays covered. It’s loose enough that it doesn’t bother my incisions. It’s forgiving and totally comfortable. It’s not utterly hideous and comes in several basic shades, so I can wear it on walks around the neighborhood or runs to the grocery story without being self conscious.

I know it doesn’t look all that special, but it is the perfect thing to wear when you want to feel half-way human even though you’re too doped up on pain pills to wash your hair. Go buy it: it is glorious.