If you’re a healthcare worker, then you basically live in scrubs, but this doesn’t mean you have to look dull! Within the last decade, scrubs have come a long way in terms of style and design. They are available in many print designs and color choices, and they maintain comfort and complement curves like never before. Yet, before you go out and start shopping for a new wardrobe, there are some things you should know about choosing the best scrubs for your body shape. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know!
Why Are Hospital Uniforms Called Scrubs?
In general, medical uniforms became commonplace during World War I due to the plightful conditions in which the nurses had to work. The first uniform scrubs were invented in the 1940s by William Halsted, an American surgeon. However, they were pretty different from what we know today because they were long gowns only meant to be worn during surgery.
Throughout the ’60s and ’70s, scrubs were commonly called surgical greens because they mostly only came in the color green and were worn during surgery. The ’90s was when the medical industry finally upgraded the requirements for uniforms and equipment. From this, “scrubs” were born and got their name because they’re worn in a “scrubbed” environment.
Why Do Nurses and Doctors Wear Scrubs?
The days of white nurse uniforms and little caps are long gone, thankfully. Today, the preferred nursing uniform is scrubs, and for good reason. The truth is there are many benefits of dressing nurses and doctors in scrubs, here are some of them:
Scrubs help maintain a sterile environment
Medical workers commonly care for patients who are fragile and susceptible to infection. And at the same time, they are often exposed to contaminating substances that can transmit diseases. Due to this, scrubs are made from high-quality fabric that’s specifically designed for use in the healthcare field. In fact, most scrubs contain antimicrobial properties that inhibit the spread of germs and other bacteria.
Scrubs help people quickly identify the healthcare staff
It’s common for hospitals to assign specific colors to certain departments, making it easy for people to find nurses when needed. Color-coded uniforms are conducive to a professional medical environment and give an organized, streamlined, and professional effect that’s reassuring to patients and their families.
Scrubs are highly functional for nurses
Since scrubs are specially designed for healthcare professionals, they include many useful features that make them the best option. Such features include bungee loops, lots of pockets, moisture-wicking technology, and antimicrobial properties.
How Grey’s Anatomy Scrubs have set a new fashion standard in hospitals
It’s not a secret that the best scrubs are a lot like medical professionals: reliable, resilient, and authentic. And unlike trendy scrubs, Grey’s Anatomy scrubs with moisture-wicking technology have been around for years and just keep getting better. Think of putting on your favorite t-shirt – it’s probably soft and comfortable, and this is precisely what it’s like wearing Grey’s Anatomy scrubs.
It’s not a secret that fans will scoop up home goods and fashion trends they see in their favorite shows, and Grey’s Anatomy is no different. These scrubs have been around and selling wildly since the beginning of the show back around 2006.
Grey’s Anatomy scrubs are made from the industry’s highest quality fabric and offer nothing but the best performance, comfort, and design. Sure, they may look like any other brand of scrubs, but you know the difference when you put them on.
What Material Are Scrubs Made Of?
And speaking of high-quality fabric, just what material are scrubs made of? Though it may seem that every scrub is made from the same type of fibers, they are not. In fact, scrubs are available in many weaves, fibers, treatments, and finishes. And before you ask – no, not all fabric is created equal. Here are the most common materials that scrubs are made from:
Cotton is one of the most widespread fabrics for making garments around the world. It’s soft, lightweight, flattering, doesn’t build up static and is durable.
A close second to cotton is polyester, the synthetic fabric made from a chemical reaction between water, air, coal, and petroleum. Though it doesn’t feel “natural” like cotton, it does provide added benefits such as being easy to care for, wrinkle-free, quick-drying, and durable.
Lycra, or spandex, is often most associated with leotards and exercise gear, but this durable and lightweight synthetic material is also used to make scrubs. It’s resistant to water, bagging, sagging, abrasion, and sweat. However, it’s most generally combined with cotton or other fabrics rather than being used on its own to make scrubs.
It’s also common for medical scrubs to be made from fabric blends. Common blends include:
- Polyester and cotton
- Polyester and Lycra
- Cotton and spandex
What Is The Best Scrub Look For Your Body Shape?
In the past, you’ve probably used magazines or online quizzes to help determine the best cocktail dress or swimsuit for your body. So, if you’re a member of the healthcare field and have to wear scrubs every day, why not figure out the best scrub look for your body shape?
Are you looking for the best plus size scrubs, the most comfortable scrubs our coolest scrubs? We’ve got you covered. Find your body shape below and see what look fits your body the best:
Straight or Rectangle
Do you have broad, strong shoulders, proportional hips, and a waist that’s not clearly visible? If so, you should be trying to create the look of a core by wearing a jacket to “break up” your look. You can also buy styles that cinch at the waist and then flare out at the bottom, but avoid scrubs that are unstructured and flowy.
Wedge or Inverted Triangle
If you have broad shoulders, a large bust, and small hips, it’s best to avoid horizontal stripes on your top and anything with large prints. Also, choose lighter colors for your bottoms and darker colors for your top. It’s best to avoid scrubs with high necklines, gathered or puffy sleeves, and anything with frills, as this will simply exaggerate width.
Curvy or Hourglass
If you have a narrow waist and a full bust that’s close in size to your hips, then you’ll want to go for straight-leg pants to create a line down the middle. And whatever you do, avoid dressing in boxy, shapeless styles such as oversized cardigans and babydoll tunics.
Pear or Triangle
Do you have wider hips than your bust, with a small or average-sized waist where your torso and shoulders are more narrow than your hips? If so, look for pants with dark, wide legs as they will slim your silhouette and slenderize your thighs. Avoid going for skinny pants, but do opt for boatneck tops that will draw attention to your center.
Women with this shape generally have narrow hips with broad shoulders, chest, and ribs, with most weight accumulation above the hips. If this sounds like you, be sure to don monochromatic ensembles, wear empire tops, and make sure your pants are boot-cut or flare style.
What Do Different Color Scrubs Mean In The Hospital?
But, choosing the best scrubs goes beyond just the brand, style, and design – there are so many colors from which to choose! And what most people may not realize is that color psychology is still relevant to scrubs! So, how do you know what different color scrubs mean? Here are some feelings specific colors can evoke:
- Red: Physical strength, survival, courage, energetic
- Royal: Reflection, serenity, trust, intelligence, calm
- Pink: Love, warmth, nurture
- Green: Peace, harmony, equilibrium, love, universal balance
- Brown: Support, reliability, naturalistic
- Purple: Quality, truth, meditation, spiritual awareness
- Orange: Passion, abundance, warmth, security, physical comfort
- White: Clarity, simplicity, hygienic
- Black: Substance, sophistication, efficiency, security, emotional safety
In the end, choosing the best scrubs comes down to personal preference. Since you wear them for such long periods of time, the important thing is that you are comfortable both physically and emotionally!
Check out this color guide infographic for the best scrubs:
Original infographic via Uniform Advantage in 2014, content updated November 2021.