When choosing scrubs, what is important to a medical professional may be as varied as the types of medical careers they are wearing them for. In some cases, choices have to be made based on the employer’s dress code. Others have the freedom to wear the styles, colors and prints they select. Every situation is different.
Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting your medical scrubs:
STYLE: Of course you want to look good! After all, you’ll be wearing your scrubs 8-12 hours a day. You want to look stylish and professional. What you wear can lift your spirits, as well as those of your patients and co-workers. So you want to pick styles that will be flattering to your body. Scrub top styles vary from the basic v-neck, boxy ones to the more tailored and fitted. Pants can be a very simple drawstring style or one that has lots of top stitching details and an abundance of pockets. There are also many varied styles in skirts and dresses if that’s your preference. Check out Uniform Advantage’s Body Shape Infographic.
DURABILITY AND EASE OF CARE: Since your scrubs will be washed so frequently, look for fabric with soil release to make laundering much easier and add length to the life of your scrubs. You may need a stain resistant finish if you’re exposed to a lot of stains and spills. Be sure to read the care labels on your garments.
FABRIC: Fabric is also about personal preference. 100% cotton scrubs are going to need ironing but breathe well. Poly/cotton blends will look pretty good right from the dryer if you hang them up immediately. There are fabrics with brushed finishes that feel so soft against the skin. Fabrics with stretch have crossed over to the medical scrubs world. It’s amazing what a little spandex can add when you have to do a lot of bending and stretching.
FIT: Your day off/weekend attire may be skinny tight jeans, leggings and low cut tops and these are all fine away from work. But the way your scrub uniforms fit should be a whole different story. Pants shouldn’t be too tight. I remember thinking once when I was getting blood drawn “how did she get in those pants and what happens if they split up the back?” Pants shouldn’t be so low cut that your undies or whale tail show if you bend over. And guys, if you’re going to wear drawstring pants, tie the drawstrings to hold them up; no “pants on the ground!” Gals, if you wear loose fitting scrub tops, considering wearing a camisole, tank top or t-shirt under them. You don’t want to show off the “girls” when you lean over. If you like the more fitted styles, they, too, need to fit properly –not so tight, you have to yank them down every time you reach up. If you like the button/snap front styles, you don’t want them popping open or skin sticking out between them.
COLOR: If the colors you wear are designated at your work place, be sure to choose your tops and bottoms from the same brand and line within the brand. What is called royal blue in one brand may be a totally different shade in another brand. And if you do have to wear an assigned color and think its a little blah, there are subtle ways to make your own statement. Add a fun watch, wear your ID tag or a lanyard with some bling, have embroidery added to your top or slip a cute clip or barrette in your hair. A little can go a long way to give you a more original look while still following guidelines. If you’re able to choose the colors you wear, pick ones that are flattering to your skin tone or eyes. Uniform Advantage also designed a color psychology infographic that can help you determine the best colors for you.
What’s the most important thing you look for when shopping for your scrubs?