You love being a nurse. I love shopping for nurses. Let’s do this! Let me tell you a thing or two about color, care, and what matters when you’re shopping for medical scrubs.
I'm going to say it like it is. You’re a professional, and ought to look the part. Your appearance will affect others’ impression of you before you’ve even opened your mouth! My point? Make sure those scrubs fit right! It doesn't hurt that well-fitting scrubs work wonders on your self-confidence as well, and who can’t use a little ego boost every now and then? I certainly can. Now for the lesson. Your neckline should not gap in the front when you bend over, (awkward!) nor should your top ride up when you bend. Scrub pants should be snug enough that they don’t slip down, (yikes!) and loose enough to be comfortable. Don’t pick up any dust mites with your pant legs, but cut them too short and they’ll look outgrown. My advice? Try on scrub pants with the shoes you wear to work. For more sizing tips check out our size guide.
I love blue. A very specific family of blue. Go too far to the grey side and then I’m thinking storm clouds. Too far purple, and I'm tasting eggplants as I look at you. Color is a tricky thing, and while it’s important to choose a color that complements your skin tone and hair, there’s also a little thing called hospital dress code that you may have to deal with. Many hospitals, colleges, and large establishments have very specific color codes for medical uniforms. To the extent that some are even particular that the scrubs shouldn’t have contrast color stitching or even labels in the wrong color. So do yourself a favor and find out now, before you go shopping, whether there are any regulations you have to follow. You wouldn't want to wait until it’s too late.
While it may not be as exciting as all the bells and whistles on the newest scrubs, the fabric makeup of your medical uniforms is arguably the most important characteristic. The ratio of cotton to polyester, or the addition of another material may be the difference between cool and comfy, and saturated with sweat. In-store or online, no matter. Knowledge is power! Check out our nifty fabric guide for the lowdown on all the fabrics that are used in scrubs, and then use your newfound knowledge to choose the scrubs that best suit your needs.
You work hard and you need stuff. If you're anything like me, you tend to lose that stuff. Which is why I'd like you to meet my good friend, Pocket. Pocket and his family would like to be your new best friends. They promise to be well-made, strategically placed, and serve as personal organizers that will never ever get lost. So when you’re looking at medical scrubs make a mental list of your daily must-haves and consider where they’ll go. Lip balm, pens, iPad, phone, make sure they all have a designated place. Think optimal convenience with zipper pockets, Velcro closures, and extra-large iPad pockets. Pen pockets, patch pockets, side vents, cargo… Go pocket crazy!
Scrubs are scrubs any which way you slice them, so when manufacturers feel the urge to go all upscale and become the Prada of scrubs, they add details and conveniences you never knew you needed. Think a hidden headphone cord system, where you can listen to your iPod without the cord hanging out, a la Cherokee’s HeartSoul scrubs! Or how about metal-free scrubs for radiology, bungee loops for your id, and fold-back waists which give a slimming effect. When I say you can find every convenience in today’s scrubs, I mean it. Read the fine print, you’ll be surprised at all the amenities hidden in your medical scrub set. Now all you need is a little robot to chart for you and you’ll be all set!
I deplore dirt. Can’t stand stains. Yes, life is difficult for me as a nurse. I am constantly engaged in a losing battle with the stains and smells that are the bane of my existence. Unfortunately, a nurse’s salary does not cover the cost of dry cleaning so it’s vital for me to have easy care scrubs. Cotton is easy to clean in any temperature water, but be forewarned that the colors will fade. Blended fabrics such as poly/rayon preserve the brightness of the colors better, but they may not stand up well to hot water. Check your scrub’s washing instructions, and follow it carefully! If your place of work sends your scrubs out for commercial washing or you can’t be bothered with an iron, stay away from delicate scrubs! Nothing is worse than a nurse in wrinkled scrubs.
Great fashion sense (ahem!) is all about mixing and matching and artful layering. Tees and warm-up jackets are the perfect way to stay warm while also staying true to your fashion sense. Stock up on some basic colors that will go well with different colors and prints; you can thank me later. For more of a statement, check out the newest tees that feature burnout designs and foil detailing. Warm-up jackets with knit cuffs are HIPAA compliant for those in the dental field, as well as a great way to obtain more pockets! Some of my personal faves are the cardigans and jackets that double as street wear, with RTW styling that doesn’t brand you as a nerdy nurse. My, my, my...the chic factor appears to have hit an all time high!
Scrubs by nature identify you as a part of a large group, and to patients you just become ‘one of them doctors’. Flaunt your individuality by adding a personal touch to your scrubs! A decorative ID badge reel or stethoscope sock can liven up a difficult day, and the right hairstyle (think my signature, fashion forward ponytail) will work wonders! Shop around for those perfect button earrings that will satisfy your dress code, as well as the little girl inside of you who craves some sparkle. Check out my Bling Things for more fabulous accessory ideas.