Healing someone might be the most human act. For a medical patient, there’s usually nothing more comforting than the assistance of a capable nurse. Beyond their very crucial expertise, nurses provide a personal service to patients, simply by caring for them. This humanity attracts many nurses to their profession in the first place.
In 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported that men account for an increasing amount of new nurses. According to a new study by economics professors Elizabeth Munnich and Abigail Wozniak, “Men made up about 13% of the nursing field in 2015, up from just 2.2% in 1960.” As such, men’s scrub options are expanding. No more baggy, boxy sheaths of fabric–the modern nurse has more options. Whether you’re starting your first arsenal of work uniforms or looking to begin a fresh new chapter, we’ve outlined helpful instructions and our favorite options for your new mens scrubs.
What to Consider When Buying Mens Scrubs
Most men’s scrubs balance cotton, polyester, and spandex. Each of these materials offers their own pros and cons. Natural cotton is breathable and soft, but not very sturdy. Synthetic polyester can withstand the elements, but its lack of aeration can make it uncomfortable and smelly. Spandex adds additional stretchiness.
Elastic bands often prove the cheapest option on the market, but they’re liable to either dig in too tight or lose their hold after a while, which means 12-hour long shifts either struggling to breathe or pausing every few minutes to hike up your pants. Drawstrings solve this to a degree. Button closures, however, are optimal for comfort, though these will of course cost you a premium.
While unisex scrubs do exist on the market, they’re not preferable for presenting oneself to doctors or patients. Cut for ambiguity, these baggy garments look sloppy at best. Amongst mens scrubs, there’s all manner of specificity to consider. Scrubs tops can feature a v-neck or crew neck. In terms of scrub pants, one can wear jogger pants, cargo pants with more pockets, or standard pants perhaps with a few. These choices come down to matters of personal preference, for comfort and style.
Hospitals are notoriously cold, but working as a nurse can mean sudden spurts of activity, leading to seesawing temperatures that can be hard to dress for. Nurses can mitigate this nuisance by layering underscrubs over their regular scrubs, to be switched out at opportune moments throughout the day if necessary. Versatility is perhaps the greatest skill a nurse can hold in their arsenal.
Color Magic for Mens Scrubs
Another element of style that deserves more discussion of its own accord lies in color, an element we take for granted in tandem with sight. Color has countless religious, psychological, artistic, and even magical meanings. While it’s certainly no substitute for your expertise, it’s always nice to stack the odds where possible, even by placebo. Sometimes tastes are clues leading to tools.
“Navy blue is manly, and I look like a sailor. Lavender wouldn’t have the same effect,” stated one male nursing student in Philadelphia for PhillyVoice. Blue is continually tied to the calming effect of an expansive sea or clear afternoon sky. What’s more, some surgeons also point out that its dark hue hides the bodily functions part and parcel to this job. Blue is a great choice for mens scrubs because it’s relaxing, practical, and suave. Did you know that one French artist even patented his own shade of blue? Your workwear can go from mens scrubs to scrubs homme.
In Liber Kaos, Peter Null lays out the eight types of magic within chaos magic’s disposal. “The eight forms of magic are conveniently denoted by colors having emotional significance,” he notes. It’s no surprise that red aligns with war magic–there’s a reason stop signs come in this hue! From a scientific view, the color is a physical stimulant. Skip the red scrubs and labcoats to save your patients’ heart rates.
Meanwhile, Null associates green with love magic, namely “the arts of making other people friendly, loyal and affectionate toward oneself.” The Orientalist but widespread chakra system associates green with the heart, another evidence of an association between love and the color green. From a utility standpoint, one medical rep told PhillyVoice how the color’s rich color is not only forgiving for mishaps, but also flattering on all body types.
Given the nature of this work, it should be obvious why this is a bad idea.
This one’s a toss up. On the one hand, gray is sleek and sophisticated. It’s also dark enough to mask stains However, from a psychological standpoint, its relationships rank less flattering. The Harvard Mental Health Letter wrote that while depression is often understood as “seeing gray,” the condition may also “affect how the eyes function—altering visual perception in a way that actually makes the world look gray.” Definitely read the room on this one.
Black is not a mixture of all the colors. It’s actually its own pigment. A standalone statement such as this carries an air of authority. Sometimes there’s a stigma surrounding the funerary association of this color in a medical environment (even Null associates black with death magic) but one nurse aptly told PhillyVoice “those who wear it at work are in the business of delaying those events.”
Mens Scrubs to Stay Stylish In:
The Best Seller Kit by FIGS
Straight out of the gate, we simply must discuss FIGS, the scrubs sensation sweeping the nation and updating the field’s neglected aesthetics. They have perhaps been the first company to make scrubs feel kind of sexy, and why not? The people wearing them are those we were cheering for every evening a year ago. The brand’s flashy fashion energy and higher price point have sparked controversy, but their prowess remains unscathed. This best seller kit includes a Leon™ Two-Pocket Scrub Top and Tansen™ Jogger Scrub Pants. Available in an array of colors, the modern design features a v neck scrub top with one neat pocket and jogger scrub pants with tapered ankles and a drawstring waistband.
Men’s Long Sleeve Underscrub Knit Top by Cherokee Uniforms
Cherokee Uniforms stands a well-respected name amongst the medical uniform industry. The company possesses a pragmatic, no-nonsense approach to their assorted mens scrubs. As such, Cherokee Uniforms is a great company to recruit for your sturdiest staples, like underscrubs. This long sleeve underscrub can pair with any scrub top to offer additional warmth on cold hospital floors. It features a crew neck, front and back shoulder yokes, front seam detail and coverstitch detail throughout. Reinforced seams work with the four-way stretch material to keep this streamlined, athletic fit underscrub top intact through your toughest shifts. A necessary component to any classic uniform, this underscrub comes available in four tasteful neutrals to complement a wide array of ensembles.
Carhartt RipStop Men’s Utility V Neck
Check out Carhartt for a similar, sturdy reputation and for durable mens scrubs tops and scrub bottoms. The brand has built a name with decades of integrity and strength behind it, crafting workwear for hard driving professionals of all varieties. More recently, Carhartt has gained some cultural cache, even completing some fashionable collaborations. The Utility V Neck Top has reinforced stitching in all the right places, with a convenient, multifaceted pocket for pens and other tools. “I have zero complaints about my Carhartt scrubs,” writes Chris in the reviews. “The belt loops, zipper and button make for a flawless fit around the waist. The fabric used is the same fabric that some of my regular Carhartt pants are made from. It’s simply top quality. Durable, comfortable, and with all of the different pockets – useful. I recommended these with the highest recommendation.”
Men’s Slim Fit Cargo Pant by Jaanuu
Like FIGS, Jaanuu also arrived on the scene relatively recently to offer medical professionals the world over a chance for some scrubs re-dux. The company harbors an intense admiration for the customers it serves–Jaanuu chose their name based on the Hindi word for life: Jaan, a choice made “In reverence to all that life challenges us to face, accept and overcome,” according to their own mission statement. Jaanuu has engineered a proprietary fabric that stands apart from most competitors, at once modern and durable and stylish. This 4-way stretch fabric incorporates the industry standard microbial protection while leveraging movement with a professional aesthetic. Their Slim Fit Cargo Pant runs a little more expensive than comparable scrub pants on the market, but with its drawstring waist and super helpful (but discrete!) pockets, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.
Hampton Cotton Polo for Men by Blue Sky Co.
Blue Sky Co. is a lesser known alternative to big names like FIGS who are out here updating the mens scrubs market. The company offers a wide range of unexpected styles that step beyond the standard fare of hospital floors and TV melodramas. If your workplace allows for a more laid back atmosphere (or even casual Friday!) then consider introducing a fun staple like this scrub-certified polo into your workwear ensembles. From bomber jackets to hoodies, Blue Sky Co. pairs their classic wares with unexpected options, including a $10 sales page to snap up some stitches before they’re discontinued. When you look good, you work even better, and your patients can feel that too. Loosen up and enjoy the sensation of caring for your patients in style, through every situation and every shift.