To Wear Print or Not to Wear Print? The Pros and Cons of Print vs. Solid Scrubs 4 Reasons It’s OK to Wear Print

4 Reasons It’s OK to Wear Print Scrubs

Within the past few years, scrubs have become far more fashion forward. If you’re lucky enough to work in an office with little to no rules regarding what kind of scrubs you wear, you have the option to wear printed scrub tops and jackets.

From Hello Kitty to floral and geometric shapes, scrubs offer something for everyone from the kitschy to the classic. However, if prints really aren’t your thing, solid scrubs are now available in fun styles and bright colors.

But is one better than the other? Medical professionals trying to choose between print and solid scrub tops want to make the right investments to help them look stylish and professional at work. Whether one or the other is right for you depends on your personal preferences and circumstances.

Categories of Print Scrubs to Consider

Although the thought of “print scrubs” may have you envisioning teddy bears or cartoon characters, medical apparel designers have been hard at work creating a vast array of graphic prints for scrub tops and jackets. Attention-grabbing styles available include:

• Abstract prints.

From paint splatters and plaid to polka dots, abstract prints don’t represent anything in particular; they simply look pretty. Look for designs in colors from neutral to bold and in pattern sizes from miniscule to large – like this distinctive mock wrap top from Cherokee.

• Floral prints.

Those in tune with nature – or admiring it from afar – can adorn themselves with flowers without aggravating anyone’s allergies.

• Animal prints.

Whether displaying a recurring panda print or an allover leopard pattern, animal lovers find many ways to express themselves.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Print Scrubs

In an environment open to print or solid scrubs, the decision of which to wear relies largely on the individual. Those opting for printed tops and jackets do so for various reasons:

1. Personal interests. Fans of particular cartoon characters or brands may wish to display these entities for their own enjoyment – and to share the fun images with others.

2. Strategic placement. Individuals with particular body shapes can accentuate their favorite areas (or downplay their least favorite) with carefully-selected print scrubs.

3. Working with children. In an environment where children represent the primary patients, staff often wear print scrubs to brighten moods and create a more youthful culture.

4. Stain coverage. Throughout a workday, medical personnel come into contact with various substances, from coffee to bodily fluids. Although it would be ideal to change one’s scrub top immediately after such an occurrence, this isn’t always possible. With a busy scrub print, spills are less obvious.

The case for print scrubs of all colors and designs is strong. However, some circumstances may detract from the potential benefits of graphic jackets and tops, including:

1. Questions of credibility. Having a cartoon character on your scrubs doesn’t make you a better or worse nurse or technician. However, not all patients – or their families – may understand this. Especially when working with patients in critical care units, medical professionals may find the lighthearted tone of some print scrubs off-putting to others.

2. Stain coverage. Although the ability of substances to “disappear” into elaborate prints can be a benefit, it can also present potential risks. Staff unaware their uniforms have become contaminated with bio-hazardous materials may unwittingly carry pathogens from one patient to another.

3. Color coordination. Collecting scrub tops in various different colors and prints can make it difficult to pair them with other apparel items, such as shoes, pants, and jackets. Rather than allowing your scrub collection to balloon out of control, one way to prevent this problem is to choose print tops within a coordinating color range.

The Pros and Cons of Solid Scrubs

Print scrubs can be a fun addition to a healthcare worker’s wardrobe, but that doesn’t mean solids don’t have their place. As scrub design has evolved, so have the options for tops in various solid colors, shapes, and sizes.

For medical professionals of all stripes, solid scrubs offer benefits such as:

• Simplicity. Whether your wardrobe consists of several of the same top and pants or multiple monochromatic outfits, it is easy to reach into the closet and pull out a matching ensemble. Finding accessories and shoes to complete the look is also a snap.

• Flattery. For some body types, wearing a solid color (particularly a dark one) from head to toe creates a long, lean look. This  Grey’s Anatomy women’s scrub top, paired with pants in the same color, is a compelling example of this phenomenon.

• Subtle details. As the silhouettes of scrubs continue to become more varied, solid colors often serve to highlight attractive details, such as pleats, mock wraps, ruching, and empire waists. These components give the wearer an understated, yet elegant, look.

When it comes to solid scrubs, it’s difficult to go wrong. However, possible drawbacks of sticking exclusively with solids include:

• Lack of variety. Wearing the same color day after day can get monotonous for some individuals.

• More apparent stains. Whether you spilled grape juice or bleach on your solid scrub top, it will inevitably be more noticeable than if the garment had a print.

• Lack of flattery. Whereas solids can suit some body types quite well, their lack of variation can call attention to problem areas in other individuals.

Whether you prefer prints or solids, a scrub uniform consisting of both types of pieces is perhaps the most balanced approach to a work wardrobe. This way, you can receive the benefits of both scrub aesthetics without committing to one over the other.

 Some scrub tops also offer elements of both prints and solids. These include:

  • Color block tops. Contrasting panels on this Dickies scrub top add visual interest, but keep the overall appearance simple.
  • Embroidered or laser cut tops. This solid Grey’s Anatomy top provides a pop of color without overwhelming the entire garment with a print.At Everyday Uniforms, we make it our mission to help you find the scrubs that best match your personality and profession. Explore our collection today to find the scrubs you’ll love to wear for years to come.
  • When it comes to scrubs, are you in the print or the solid camp? Why?


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