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Image: Getty Images/Tina Tiller
Image: Getty Images/Tina Tiller

SocietyOctober 14, 2021

What to wear when getting your jab: The Spinoff style edition

Image: Getty Images/Tina Tiller
Image: Getty Images/Tina Tiller

From dressing sensibly to dressing up, Reweti Kohere has got you covered head to toe with all your vaccine fashion needs.

Super Saturday’s Vaxathon gives those of us who haven’t yet had our Covid-19 jab another chance to do so – and to look good, questionable or funny while doing it. For the not-so-fussy, clothes that do the job are no-brainers while those who like the limelight might want to put on a show, knowing the country may be watching the eight-hour live event. If you’re stuck for ideas on what to wear when getting vaccinated, we’ve got you sorted.

Singlet or t-shirt

Before he was protecting Whitney Houston’s life, Kevin Costner was modelling a vaccination-friendly T-shirt. (Photo: Getty Images)

The most sensible, practical suggestion you will read here. Vaccinators have easy access to your upper arm and you’re not faffing about with removing layers – things to consider if you fear needles and want the experience over and done with. A quick game’s a good game, I like to say.

Something warm

Learn to knit and you too can look great when you get your second Pfizer dose. (Photo: Getty Images)

The second most sensible, practical suggestion you will read here. Lots of vaccination places are pharmacies and medical centres, which are notoriously cold. Staying cosy is key while doing any of the 15 things we recommend you do with your 15-minute observation period. Great options for keeping warm include a chunky knit cardigan, that chequered Swanndri bushshirt you wear hunting and out on the town, or that one Kathmandu puffer jacket we all seemed to have worn as we endured freezing flats while studying at university.

Double denim

When 90s boy band members, such as Take Thats Gary Barlow, understood the assignment. (Photo: Getty Images)

I wore Canada’s tuxedo last weekend to go walking along Devonport’s Cheltenham Beach and its surrounding streets on a scorching spring day. And yes, I may have misjudged the weather and looked out of place among the t-shirts and togs but I did turn heads and I did feel myself. After eight weeks of wearing lockdown casual, dressing up felt like an act of defiance, so take it from me and serve a lewk while you’re serving your country. Your self-esteem, and your fellow citizens, will thank you.

Business shirt

Be like Mitt Romney for once. (Photo: Getty Images)

Nothing screams “I mean business” or “I can get my hands dirty” or “I care” than men in politics rolling up their shirt sleeves when confronted with manual labour, tree-planting or anyone not in their socio-economic group. So, take a leaf out of their books – don those work trousers gathering dust in your closet, lace up those black leather shoes and roll up the sleeves on your button-down Rodd & Gunn Oxford shirt. Others in the queue will instantly know you have political aspirations, that you’re on your work lunch break or that you take your civic duty seriously. A singlet or t-shirt underneath is recommended otherwise you might have to take your whole shirt off, which reminds me…


The picture (Image: Stuart Nash instagram)

Thanks to our own Mad Chapman, tourism minister Stuart Nash has revealed he has “gotten a lot of shit” for posting on Instagram last week a picture of him getting his second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, sans cloth. I say more power to the bros who lift and want people to know about it. Such vulnerability!

Eleganza extravaganza

Like AOC and Gemma Chan, you too can wear a high fashion lewk that vaccinators will thank you for. (Photo: Getty Images)

Getting vaccinated is an occasion so treat it like the Met Gala, the Oscars or the final runway category on RuPaul’s Drag Race. An off the shoulder gown or mini dress are great vaccine-friendly fits and keep warm as per above. A win-win!


I wonder what Anna Wintour is thinking. (Photo: Getty Images)

They give off an air of mystique so why not leave people with questions?

Halloween costume

Ghosts are great at keeping their distance. (Photo: Getty Images)

Forget about the kids and the lolly-induced dentist bills – the evening before All Hallows’ Day is important to anyone starting their drag career or reminiscing about how bad their mug looked 10 Halloweens ago. With that said, the typical trick-or-treating might not happen on October 31 for some parts of the country, given Covid restrictions. So, take the chance now to scare and amuse. I suggest gathering a spare white bed sheet, cutting some holes out for eyes, wearing it over a T-shirt or singlet and frightening the nurse after you’ve been jabbed. Boo!

Your latest designer fashion splurge

Beside wanting to feel confident, we also dress up because we want others to know we have good (and expensive) taste or that money can’t buy taste, period. So leave the waiting room guessing while you protect yourself, your whānau and those around you. Show off this $770 long sleeve shirt that Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten whipped up in homage to New Zealand artist Len Lye, this very vaccine-friendly $3,500 “Umma” dress from the Olsen twins’ luxe label The Row or this $950 contoured and cinched hybrid blazer I have had my eyes on from Melbourne-based NZ designer Blair Archibald. Why? Because we’re all stuck in a seemingly neverending pandemic and, as former American Vogue editor-at-large André Leon Talley once bemoaned, “It is a famine of beauty, honey. My eyes are starving for beauty!”

Keep going!