A good pair of scrubs can be incredibly comfortable. But are you committing one or more of these seven scrubs fashion faux pas every time you head to work? Give yourself a ‘working fashion checkup’ and make sure you are dressing for success.

We all have days where beauty and style take a backseat to other important life issues. Maybe you don’t have time to flatiron (or even brush) your hair or repaint your nails or dab on some concealer–we aren’t here to judge!

Here are some scrubs fashion faux pas specific that probably shouldn’t be crossed:

1. Beware the ankles

As Mom used to say, unless the floods are coming, your pants should end right at the ground. This is a matter of finding sizes that fit your inseam and making sure not to shrink your perfect fit in the wash. Scrubs are made in all lengths (thankfully), so there’s no excuse for too-short ones!

Pant length is a big issue. As we discussed many times before, find the sizes that fit your body properly – regular, petite, tall or plus-size. Find cuts that work for your body type, but pay attention to your ankles! Remember, scrubs aren’t Capri pants.

2. Wrists

Like ankles, your wrists are another spot where you might be coming up short (or way too long!) on well-fitting scrubs. If your long-sleeved scrub is only making it slightly past the elbow, keep a wary eye out for the fashion police. Likewise, if the ends of the sleeve brush your fingertips!

2. Double check that V-neck

This is huge…well, what a low dip v-neck reveals can be too much, if you get our drift. A good move? Go with a camisole or t-shirt underneath. Excessive cleavage at work is definitely out! Always be mindful of all of the bending and lifting you’ll be doing throughout the day when you’re wearing a V- or low square-neck top.

Even if it means standing in front of a mirror and leaning forward and sideways, make sure nothing is popping out or looking strange in your V-neck scrubs. This applies to both men and women! Throwing on a cami or T-shirt underneath is a simple fix.

3. Keep it a stain-free zone

For some of our wardrobe, a small stain wouldn’t be a deal breaker for continued wear. But for scrubs? A stain that won’t come out should signal retirement for that specific piece. Patient care requires hygienic and professional attire.

4. Nemo is great for pediatrics…not so much for the ER

This is an area where scrubs have come a long way in a fairly short time. Scrubs are now available in an endless array of everyday patterns and prints. That gives you lots of options…and plenty of opportunities to commit fashion faux pas! Dora the Explorer prints are appropriate in pediatrics, not the ER. In a hospital setting, it’s important to be mindful of what you are wearing, and the types of patients you’ll be in contact with.

There are tons of amazing scrubs options out there for nurses and if you’re lucky enough to wear prints and patterns, you should, of course, have fun with the offerings. But it’s still important to be mindful of what makes sense for your department.

5. Fabrics

So what’s in and what’s out? It’s almost impossible to go wrong with scrubs fabrics, fashion wise. 100% cotton, cotton-poly blend, broadcloth or lightweight poplin…it really depends what you’re looking for and how much work you’re willing to put into it (100% cotton can look great, but demands lots of ironing, for example). Blends continue to be very popular, as are specialty coatings, treatments and finishes (such as stain-release, moisture-wicking and quick-drying fabrics). Don’t let fabrics dominate your scrub fashion choice – just go with fabrics designed to stand up to the work you perform.

6. Keep it Clean

Are your scrubs stained? If you can see stains, so can everyone else! Choose colors (and fabrics) that hide the wear-and-tear of healthcare life. Faded old stains are definitely a fashion faux pas…and just plain unpleasant. We nurses are lucky…scrubs are so versatile, convenient and comfortable that we tend to forget about our everyday work clothes. We just need to remember to review the wardrobe every so often. What’s the worst fashion faux pas you’ve ever witnessed with scrubs?

7. Check your overall fit

The most obvious fashion faux pas is scrubs that don’t fit. With the plethora of options out there, there’s no excuse for baggy pants or too-tight tops. You can find any color, length, size and cut you want! The key to scrubs shopping is like anything else in fashion–you find something great that works well for your body shape and activity level, and then buy it in every color!

Remember that scale and fit are important. Stop trying to shoehorn a size 8 tall into a size 4 petite. Don’t go baggie, either. Scrubs should fit. This is something we mention every time we talk or write about scrubs – with today’s choices there’s no reason you can’t find something that isn’t baggy, feels & looks great and avoids the ultimate fashion faux pas…the dreaded droop! Remember: fit. Make sure it fits. That concludes today’s fit rant!

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  • I just love Lowcountry Uniforms!!! I think they have the best selections of scrubs and Danskos at a reasonable price. The customer service there is also excellent!!!! I was greeted as I walked in by an associate named Talese. She helped me from beginning to end while still managing to assist the other customers. If you are looking to purchase new scrubs, nursing shoes, lab coats, or accessories please check them out. I know I'll be back soon!!! Thanks.
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