Scrub Fashion: A Polite Request

In the medical field, way way before my time, doctors wore coats and ties, nurses wore starched bleached-white uniforms, and all was right with the world (I’ve seen the movies). Times change.

Now everyone wears scrubs at work, and I get why: easily cleanable, comfortable, and usually they help to cover an array of bodies that are better left unseen (and I include myself in that category).

At least, that’s how it used to be. I don’t know what’s changed in the last few years in the scrub design world, but scrubs are now, well, ill-fitting, or more specifically too revealing. Frankly it looks like a plumbers’ convention in the hospital these days, and crack is what some of the patients take, not something any co-worker wants to see, or should wish to display. I’ve seen all the multicolor thongs and undies I ever want to.

Yes, this makes me an old coot, and I’m okay with that, lets all just endeavor to keep our underwear choices a secret at work.


  1. Steve Lucas says:

    Ahhhh! Doctors. Let’s get the terminology correct. It is called a plumber’s smile. What I hate are the scrubs in the doctor’s office that are two sizes too small. Some of these people look like sausages.

    Steve Lucas

  2. This past week I had the opportunity to be at the Big University hospital ER with a friend. The only person I saw in scrubs was the person pushing the housecleaning cart. Everyone else was wearing street clothes, the nurses, doctors, lab people, everyone. I saw 1 doctor with a lab coat on. I thought it was rather strange and sad. Unless you saw the stethoscope or badge you would not know they worked there.

    The cops all had uniforms on, security was very tight.

  3. Nurse 1961 says:

    We have been working on getting this fashion trend stopped, but it is hard to explain that to the “what’s in it for me” crowd.

    This is another part of the generation “gap” that is reflective in the younger groups and in the fashion trend of designers to make scrubs more attractive.

    Frankly, I have had to resort to buying a larger size to get the fit I prefer.

    Yes, I am of the generation that “thongs” refer to the rubber sandels that you wear in the shower, Bikini’s are part of a swimming suit, and seeing someone’s underwear was just asking for a “wedgie”.

    Now you know why there is a campaign out there to “pull them up”.

  4. If this makes you an old coot, I don’t know what that makes me, because I agree 100%. In popular fashion, waistlines have been dipping for years. I think it’s dumb, but whatever–I’ve never been fashion savvy. However, there needs to be a modicum of professionalism in a hospital setting. Other professions are already green with envy at the idea that we get to wear “pajamas” to work; now we’re showing undergarments too it seems.

    For me, unisex scrubs are the bane of my existence. Tops too short, pants don’t come up high enough. It’s not a questions of size–they fit–it’s just cut for the most “average” body, which I unfortunately don’t have. :/

  5. Scrubs are supposed to be professional attire… a set of “utilities,” if you will. Using them as a chance to show off your “junk in the trunk” is just crass.

  6. When I see people with their pants hanging down so you can see their undies, I just assume they’re asking to be pantsed. I mean, the job is already half done Just finish them off. A quick swoop down and a little tug are all it takes to teach them to keep their pants up.

  7. Captain Sunshine says:

    Unfortunately for the pro-wedgie crowd, when you see (as I often do) a little whale-tail, the underwear is not substantial enough for a good pull. It’ll just come off, and then where are you?

    But I agree. The idea of professional presentation has been reduced to simple image, and not worth maintaining. I try to teach that to my students, and they are less than receptive. Then again the people they hang around with don’t care either, and they’re all getting older en masse. It’s this rising wave of sloppy.

    Almost makes me want to wear a tie. Almost.



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