65-year-old retiree finds new passion

65-year-old retiree finds new passion – designing stylish hospital gowns

Bob Beveridge, a retired army sergeant, had the idea for Hospital Glamour after his wife and co-founder Sharon broke her wrist in five places and landed herself in hospital. In pain and trapped in an old, frayed gown that she couldn’t fasten up herself, she found herself feeling depressed and embarrassed.

“My wife just wanted to feel more like herself in hospital which made me question why the outdated hospital gowns had never been updated over the years or designed better to ensure a bit of dignity,” Mr Beveridge says.

“Standard hospital gowns are so awkward and often your bottom is left exposed when you’re strolling down the hospital corridors unaware,” he adds.

With zero knowledge of fashion, what did he do next?

Back in fashion

Bob decided to enrol in a fashion production course to learn more about design.

“I was a bit of a fish out of water, I was the only male amongst young women who were working on things like bikinis and other young seasonal fashion,” he remembers. “Despite that, the course was priceless.  I walked away with a design ready to present to a manufacturer for samples and production.”

There were challenges along the way, especially when it came to sourcing fabrics. “I wanted 100% cotton which is hygienic, breathable and easy to clean, and it’s sustainable, but it had to be in fashionable prints,” Bob says. “That was really important, it’s about making people feel good, even though they’re in hospital.”  

Brightening up a patient’s day – literally

The gowns, which come in an array of sizes and retail for $95, offer “full rear coverage” with nylon snaps to avoid interference with medical imaging equipment be worn with IV drips and other medical equipment.

Unlike the regular one-size-fits-all gowns, the women’s gowns also have a stylish A-line design that is simple to do up. They also have two handy pockets to allow patients to keep their hands free.

In all, there are nine patterns for women and two for men, with the prints inspired by celebrities.

“Princess Katherine was inspiration for the young and sophisticated, while Katy Perry was the inspiration for young and fun. We used Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep for mature elegance, and Dawn French for mature and fun,” Bob says. “Men were the hardest, because I kept thinking about what I would wear.”
Giving people back their dignity

The gowns have hit the mark though, with the reaction from customers overwhelmingly positive. “Everyone says it’s a fantastic idea,” Bob says. “Most people have commented about the relief they feel, that they can wear their gowns without their undies on display, giving them some dignity in what can be a personally challenging environment.”

The fashion start-up also recognises hospital staff through their Outstanding Care Awards program, which asks customers to nominate anyone who’s gone the extra mile for them.

“When people go to hospital, most people think about the doctors and nurses that do an outstanding job,” Bob explains. “But there are many, many people that really go above and beyond to make you feel better and make your stay easier. These are the cleaners, the catering staff, the volunteers, the maintenance staff, as well as the doctors, the nurses, or people from any number of specialist services.”

Bob and Sharon are already planning to expand the range of prints and products, and say they hope the gowns make a real difference to people’s lives – “When you’re in hospital you’re so reliant on the nurses and doctors but one way to feel as though you’re still in control is to wear a hospital gown that makes you feel like you, whether it’s a loud and bright print or simple and classy.”

Currently Hospital Glamour only sells online, but they are also open to hospital gift shops to stock the range, which includes bathrobes, accessories and gift packs, and can provide private clinics with a signature gown.

Take a look at their website here

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A special thanks to our contributors

Caroline Egan

DCM Media, agedcare101

Caroline has a wealth of experience writing within the retirement and aged care sector and is a contributing journalist for the Villages.com.au and agedcare101 blog and accompanying newsletters.

Ian Horswill


Ian is a journalist, writer and sub-editor for the aged care sector, working at The DCM Group. He writes for The Weekly Source, agedcare101, villages.com.au and the DCM Institute fortnightly newsletter Friday. Ian is in daily contact with CEOs of retirement living, land lease and the aged care operations and makes a new contact every week. He investigates media releases, LinkedIn and Facebook for a good source for ideas for stories.

Lauren Broomham

Retirement and Aged Care Journalist

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

Jill Donaldson


Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.