Scrubs: the epitome of high fashion, right? Um, not so much. As a nurse, you probably struggle with how to feel confident about the way you look at work when your uniform is not the most flattering set of clothing to be seen. But have no fear – looking good at work, even in scrubs, is entirely possible. Here are three simple steps to looking great in your nurse uniform.
Size is Key
No, we aren’t judging other nurses on the size of their bodies. What we mean is wearing the right size is important, regardless of your body shape, type, or weight. Your scrubs should be well-fitting, neither too tight nor too loose. One good technique is to take your measurements (chest, waist, hips, height, and inseam) and use these as your guide when you make a purchase of a new set of scrubs.
Wearing the correct size will allow you to look put-together. If you wear a size too small, you will look stuffed into your uniform. You’ll also be less comfortable with less mobility. If you wear scrubs that are too large, you can look sloppy and unkempt. With a well-fitting uniform, you will feel comfortable and look professional.
Choose the Right Color
You may not think it, but color can definitely affect how you look. If your place of work doesn’t have any specifications for what color you’re allowed to wear, feel free to experiment with which colors look best on you.
A good place to start is with your skin tone. You can determine your skin tone by looking at the veins in your wrist. If they appear blue or purple, you likely have a cool skin tone. If they appear greenish, you have a warm tone. Now you know what your skin tone is, here’s what you should look for in scrubs:
- If you have a cool skin tone, usually with a pink or blue undertone, bright jewel tones will work well. Think emerald green and deep blues and purples. Pastel shades like lavender, rose, and sky blue will also flatter your skin. If you prefer warmer colors in clothing, reds should be ruby-toned or pinkish. Light yellows are also a good choice. You should avoid tomato reds, bright oranges, and intense yellows. When in doubt, think of the ocean and winter – those associated colors will work for you.
- For warm skin tones, think of a forest. Mossy greens, salmon/coral, warm oranges, gold, and rich browns are going to bring out the warmth of your skin. If you prefer colors that tend to be cool, select the warmer version of it. For example, if you love purple, choose one with a red undertone as opposed to blue. For neutral colors, think of taupe and cream. Avoid cool colors. If it has the name of a gem (amethyst, sapphire, emerald, etc.) – stay away!
Even if you choose the right color for your skin tone, you may still feel boring in your plain old uniform. If you’re feeling somewhat “blah” about your look, consider accessorizing to bring some personality into it! Check with your facility guidelines about what is allowed, first. Once you know what’s acceptable, you can have fun creating your own look.
Jewelry is a good place to start, of course. A great pair of statement earrings can show your fun and fashionable side. You can also opt for a simpler pair; even a sleek set of tiny silver hoops can jazz up your scrubs. A necklace could be another great addition to your outfit. Just make sure it doesn’t get in the way of your work with patients. It should enhance your appearance, not demand the whole stage.
If jewelry isn’t your thing, or your boss doesn’t allow it, play with your hair. A sparkly clip or fun bow can do wonders to add just a hint of fashion and personality. Even an interesting braid or a sleek French twist can up your uniform immensely.