Professional foot forward: Scrubs do’s and don’ts

By | 2022-02-18T14:46:57-05:00 October 6th, 2014|0 Comments

Maybe you’re looking for a few professional scrubs-wearing tips yourself. Or maybe you want to subtly pass them along to a coworker who unknowingly needs some pointers. This guide can help you sort out what works and what doesn’t.

Do remember: All sizes aren’t created equal

Scrubs that are too snug are unflattering and uncomfortable. Even if you’re fit and trim, wearing skin-tight scrubs is not the best way to communicate a message of professionalism. Scrubs that are too large and baggy are as unflattering as those that are too small. Find brands that design tops and bottoms to accommodate your body type, while still looking great and feeling comfortable. Fit varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. If you find that one size is too big, but the next size down puts you in the “scrubs-too-small” category, it might be time to give another brand a try to get you that perfect fit.

Do wear skin-toned undergarments underneath white scrubs

Some hospitals require white scrubs. Or you may just prefer them for their crisp look and nurse-y feel. Whatever the reason for wearing them, knowing what to wear underneath them is an important detail. Patterned or boldly colored underwear are a no-no. Matching your underwear to you skin color is your best bet. You can rest assured knowing that you won’t hear “I see London, I see France … ”

Do keep layers thin to avoid bulk

If you need a long-sleeved T to keep you from developing hypothermia in a cold workplace, go for it. Just make sure that under layer is thin enough to avoid feeling uncomfortable and bulked up.

Don’t cut pant leg bottoms to make them flare

If you prefer a wider leg to your pants, buy those that are designed that way. Cutting slits up the seam at the bottom looks like a home sewing project gone wrong.

Don’t roll scrub pants at the waist to create a “low-waist” look

Nursing requires moving and bending, transferring and lifting. No one wants to see you bare some skin. (Especially if it’s the kind of skin baring known to some plumbing professionals.)

Do try a comfy alternative

If allowed per dress code policy, try a long-sleeved T-shirt underneath a fleece vest with your hospital insignia. This is a nice variation on the traditional scrubs attire that looks casual but still professional.

Do keep perfume and cologne at a minimum

Every fiber of your scrubs attire need not be doused in perfume or cologne. If you do choose to wear a scent, use it conservatively. There’s nothing worse than being nauseas in the PACU after awakening from anesthesia and smelling a cloud of Chanel No. 5.

Your turn

What are your scrub dos and don’ts? How do you find the perfect fit?

Further reading on this topic

The color debate: What your scrubs say about you
You wear your scrubs WHERE?! The do’s and dont’s of wearing scrubs
Fit, flatter, function: Choosing the right scrubs for any body type
Voila! Get nasty stains out of your scrubs
3 easy ways to make a fashion statement with scrubs


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