Style

Here's what to wear to your vaccination appointment, according to experts

Dolly Parton set the standard for 'vaccine fashion.'

Vaccine fashion Credit: Athleta/Amazon

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Thousands of Americans are lining up to get the COVID-19 vaccine—including Dolly Parton. The country singer tweeted a photo of herself getting vaccinated earlier this week and, in true Dolly-style, she was sporting a flashy sequin top. But for as fashionable as her shirt may have been, it was just as functional. The cold-shoulder top made it easy for Dolly to get vaccinated without having to undress or remove any layers.

While what you wear to your vaccination appointment may not be your top priority, it is something to keep in mind, experts say. "The vaccine is administered in the deltoid muscle of the arm (upper arm) so clothing with easy access to the upper arm will make getting the vaccine much easier." Shawn Mueller, DNP, RN, CIC, FAPIC, Integrated Director of Infection Prevention & Control, MedStar Health in Baltimore.

To help you dress appropriately for your upcoming appointment, below are vaccination-friendly apparel ideas, from our favorite face mask to cold-shoulder tops inspired by Dolly.

1. A face mask

Athleta masks
Credit: Athleta

These masks came out on top in our tests.

Grabbing your face mask on the way out the door is likely second nature at this point. Per the CDC's recommendations, not only should you wear your mask to your vaccination appointment (most places will require it) but you should also continue to wear your mask after getting vaccinated to be safe. Of all the face masks we've tested at Reviewed, we found the Athleta masks to be the best. They're breathable and comfortable yet provide plenty of protection with their triple-layered construction.

Get the Everyday Non-Medical Face Mask (5-Pack) from Athleta for $30

2. A sleeveless top for easy access

Tank top
Credit: Amazon

A tank top will leave your upper arm bare.

The injection spot for the COVID-19 vaccine is just below your shoulder, so if you wear a long-sleeved shirt, you'll have to take it off completely to expose your upper arm. A good way to stay covered while providing an easy point of entry is with a tank top. For women, you can opt for something casual and basic like the Hanes tank or something a little more stylish, like this one from Miholl with thousands of rave reviews. For men, this Baleaf tank is highly-rated for its comfortable fit and sweat-wicking abilities, making it a great option for your vaccine appointment and a great addition to your workout wardrobe.

3. A short-sleeved shirt that you can push up

T-shirt
Credit: Amazon

Pop on a classic T-shirt for your vaccination appointment.

Not comfortable wearing a tank top? An equally-as-good option is a short-sleeved shirt, with sleeves you can easily scrunch up to expose your upper arm. Amazon's in-house brands have plenty of great tees for both men and women in a variety of styles and colors. You can snag a two-pack of Amazon Essentials women's crewneck tees, which have nearly 20,000 reviews, or this men's T-shirt from GoodThreads, with a convenient pocket and tag-free—i.e., itch-free—neckline.

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4. A cardigan for layering

Cardigan
Credit: Amazon

Stay cozy and covered for your appointment with a cardigan.

Tank tops and short-sleeved shirts are great in theory but not exactly ideal when it's 30 degrees outside as you head to your appointment. That's why doctors at UCHealth recommend wearing layers—like a cardigan or jacket—that can easily be removed when it's time to get vaccinated. Both of these chunky knit cardigans are praised by thousands of Amazon shoppers for being super soft and warm and for fitting comfortably over other layers.

5. A cold-shoulder top that exposes your upper arm

Cold-Shoulder
Credit: Amazon

Compromise between a tank and a tee with a cold-shoulder top.

Dolly was onto something when she showed up to her vaccination appointment in a trendy cold-shoulder top. The cutouts at the top of your arm make it easy for the healthcare worker to access the proper spot for the injection. This top from Amazon has thousands of five-star reviews and comes in both solid colors and pretty floral prints, while this best-selling cold-shoulder dress is loved for its flowy yet flattering fit.

6. A loose-fitting shirt that isn't restrictive

Loose clothing
Credit: Amazon

The roomier, the better when it comes to your T-shirt.

Not all short-sleeved shirts are created equal for your vaccination appointment. "Tight-fitting T-shirts sometimes won’t go high enough," Dr. Janet O'Mahony, a primary care physician at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, explains, adding, "The vaccination sites are too public to want to pull the whole shirt off." Enter the relaxed-fit tee. This women's one is very popular on Amazon for its roomy design and plethora of prints and colors to choose from, while this men's Carhartt tee has over 58,000 reviews thanks to its comfort and quality.

7. A fun piece to lighten the mood

Sequin
Credit: Amazon

Make your appointment more of an event by wearing something sparkly.

Actress Ashlie Atkinson told Refinery29 that to her, getting vaccinated was something to be celebrated—which is why she wore a floor-length sequin dress to her appointment. Even if you don't want to go to those lengths (pun intended), you can still wear something fun to help you feel less anxious about the event. Consider this sparkly mask, which has over 1,400 glowing reviews, or this sequin top, which is conveniently one-shouldered so it's vaccination-friendly.

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