What To Wear To An Infusion Appointment

Infusion days are not fun, but the better prepared you are, the smoother they will go. And a little effort can have major mood-boosting impact.
Susan Kanoff

I know it may sound fluffy, but I like to look nice on infusion days. It lifts my spirits and helps me to feel stronger, empowered, and even normal in a way. Simply, I feel less like a cancer patient when I get dressed up a bit.

Now I'm not talking about sequins and stilettos, but I believe that what we wear can have a positive impact on how we feel. When we look good, we feel good. It's real.

I've been going to Dana Farber Cancer Institute for the past four months for infusions to treat my leukemia. Not all infusions are chemo. There are also vitamin drips and IVs, so you could say I've learned through trial and error how to dress for my "drip days.”

While I hope—most of all—that you, your parent, or your friend will never need this advice for medical reasons (I’m all for IVs that help boost the immune system and fight exhaustion!), I also hope my tips are helpful.

Comfort is KEY.

I can spend 5-10 hours sitting in the infusion chair, so I have to be comfortable. My clothes must be pajama-like...soft, stretchy, and movable. Cozy Earth is one of my favorites— love the softness and comfort, and while they aren't cheap, they wear like iron (no pilling!), help to keep the body temperature regulated (bamboo fabric), and are pretty darn stylish. I have black, navy, and cream...that's how much I love them! (Pro Tip: Use code “CEFASHIONISTA” for 40% off the site).

Cozy Earth Ultra-Soft Bamboo Pullover Crew
Cozy Earth Bamboo Jogger Pants

Layer me up.

Hospitals can run hot and cold, so I'm constantly shedding and adding extra layers. However, I learned the hard way not to wear jackets, vests, or cardigans, since getting my arms out of the sleeves with the IV hooked up is impossible. For this reason, I prefer to wear a thin sweater or top, with a wrap or poncho over it.

Nordstrom Colorblock Fringe Ruana
Rag & Bone Bomber Recycled Wool Poncho

The right pants.

I'll be blunt, going to the bathroom and trying to zip and button jeans is not easy when hooked up to an IV. So, I prefer pull-on pants such as leggings or joggers, that are not only comfortable for long-term sitting but also easy to pull down and up. In fact, I love to wear faux leather leggings for an edgy look. I know, I know...edgy at the hospital? YEP!

Banana Republic Tencel Cargo Jogger
Vuori Performance Jogger
Spanx Faux Leather Leggings
Vuori Lux Rib Split Bootcut

Wear your inspiration.

Throughout my cancer journey, friends have sent me jewelry and t-shirts with inspiring messages. I always wear at least one piece to make me feel hopeful and strong during chemo. Maybe it's mind over matter, but whatever the reason, it helps!

Mantraband Today Is A Gift
The Inspiration Co. Better Everyday

Roll up your sleeves.

You may not think of this, but your arms will need to be accessible for the IV. Button-down shirts or tops with super stretchy or loose arms make for easy access. Let's face it, sitting for hours with tight sleeves digging into your upper arm is not fun (been there, done that).

Everlane The Way Long Oxford Shirt
Everlane The Boxy Oxford
Something Navy Classic Button Up

Shoes off.

Every time I go for an infusion (or doctor's appointment) I have to take my shoes off to get an accurate weight. However, I don't want to hold up the nurses while I fiddle with ties, so I always wear slip-on shoes that are easy on/off. Sole Bliss is one of the most comfortable sneakers I own and they have a side zipper! Worth every penny! (Pro Tip: Use code “Fashionista15” for 15% off.)

Lisa Vicky Kicky Bootie
Vince Warren Platform Sneaker
Rothy’s The Original Slip On Sneaker

Less is more.

When it comes to jewelry, less is more on infusion days. Bracelets worn on the same hand as the IV can get in the way, long earrings can catch on masks, and super heavy necklaces can be plain uncomfortable. Having said this, I always wear my Apple Watch to monitor my heart rate. When I had my first infusion, I could feel my heart beating out of control and my Apple Watch confirmed it before I even spoke to the nurse. It's been incredibly helpful.

The bottom line is that infusion days are not fun, but the better prepared you are, the smoother they will go. And putting a little effort into your outfit can boost your mood and your outlook.

Believe it or not, I'm smiling under the mask! Cancer cells, take that!

Please pass this information on to someone you know who is going through cancer treatment. And don't forget to follow me at Kicking Cancer in Heels for inspiration, hope, and resources to support women impacted by cancer on Instagram and Facebook.  We now have a website too!

Susan Kanoff

Susan Kanoff is a fashion blogger, stylist, and social worker. Diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) in 2018, she openly shares her cancer journey to help others. She writes about her love for clothing on her blog, The Midlife Fashionista, where she gives women her styling tips on how to dress with confidence and feel beautiful.

All products featured on Six to Sunday are independently selected by our editors and contributors. We may get paid commissions on products purchased through our links to retailer sites. However, we recommend products based on our independent research and point of view, and the decisions we make regarding the products we feature on our site are always driven by what we believe our community will love, first and foremost.

This is some text inside of a div block.