"Every day is a fashion show and the world is your runway."
You work in your scrubs, you run errands in your scrubs, you attend after-work events in your scrubs. Let’s be honest, you pretty much LIVE in your scrubs. Scrubs are all kinds of awesome: comfortable, washable, and easy to throw on before starting your shift. If you are required to wear a certain color, then bonus easy points for you! However, scrubs sometimes get a bad rap for being boring and unflattering. Here’s how to rev up your scrub style game in 5 simple steps:
Choose the right size. These seems like a no-brainer, but a quick stroll around any healthcare facility will prove otherwise. Scrubs are supposed to allow for ease of movement and appropriate coverage, but that doesn’t mean you need to choose an XL for your Medium frame. On the flip side, don't try to pour yourself into scrubs that are too tight. Pants length is also key—no one wants to see your ankles when you’re walking around the unit, or see goodness-knows-what on your pants hem if they’re dragging on the floor. Try on before you buy, or check the sizing charts for online orders. Then, try on one more time at home before you pop the tags and wash. Most scrubs are made out of some sort of fiber blend and not just cotton, so don’t assume they will shrink much when you wash them—and if they shrink significantly, send them back.
Select a simple style. There are a multitude of scrub styles and patterns on the market today—even snakeskin skinny pants with cutout zippered tops! While expressing your individuality can help you stand out in the crowd, less is always more. Adding pockets, zippers, hangtags and additional hardware can add bulk, and can visually add unwanted bulges and pounds. Patterns can appear busy or dated. Matching tops and bottoms in a solid color is best for a long, lean, pulled-together look.
Put your best face (and hair!) forward. A 12-hour shift is not the time for Kardashian-style makeup, but a little effort goes a long way. Try a BB Cream or tinted moisturizer, bronzer or blush, a swipe of mascara and a colored lip gloss to give yourself a healthy glow. Put a little volume in your ponytail by backcombing at the crown before adding the elastic. Curl the end of the ‘tail with a fat curling iron and you’re out the door in no time with style that will last as long as you do.
Accessorize appropriately. Patient safety (and yours!) is always the highest priority, so sporting doorknocker earrings and an arm party of sparkly bangles might raise a few concerns. However, stud or tiny drop earrings, a terrific (waterproof!) watch, and/or a colorful headband or wrap looks stylish and professional all at the same time.
Find your signature piece. Is there something that you love that you can wear each day to complement your style, something that truly says “this is who I am?” If you’re a sporty girl, an oversized all-weather watch is a great, functional statement piece. A girly-girl might find it fun to switch out floral headwrap to keep her hair off her face during long shifts. Other options include colorful socks, patterned Dansko clogs, or even a flattering, easy up-do that you wear each day.
Scrubs don’t have to boring, unflattering or frumpy. Use our tips, pick your best look, and rock your scrub style!
Holly is the Founder and CEO of Catalyst Scrubs, an online fair trade medical apparel and accessory company that gives sustainable jobs to women in need around the world. Holly is a speech pathologist, social justice advocate and sought-after speaker. She lives with her husband Jim, their three children and a menagerie of pets in Lee's Summit, MO.
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