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Have you noticed the “non-uniform” scrubs uniform?

If there’s one thing a strict dress code does, it highlights which coworkers fancy themselves nonconformists. The really funny thing is that people tend to deviate from the prescribed dress code in very predictable ways.

It’s so common that there’s actually a wiki about this on tvtropes.org. You’ve probably known one or more coworkers who are always testing the boundaries of your hospital’s uniform policy and seeing what they can get away with. Or maybe it’s you who secretly longs to bust out some style. Let’s see if you recognize any of these tropes from your workplace.

I’m Too Sexy for My Scrubs
There always seem to be a few nurses who follow the dress code to the letter when it comes to wearing the right color, but bend the rules of good taste when it comes to fit: pants so tight you know your coworker is wearing a thong…cleavage busting out of a V-neck with some help from a push-up bra…there’s just no telling what you’ll see next. These nurses might as well come to work wearing a nurse uniform from a Halloween costume shop.

They can’t get busted for disobeying the rules, but you can’t help wishing they’d bust a seam and finally admit they need to go up a size. With so many uniform options that are dress code-friendly, there’s just no reason not to get a good fit that’s both flattering and professional. Check out what Cherokee has on offer here in the Pro Flexibles collection. Slimming, solid color, modest neckline—perfect!

Mock Wrap Top

 

Puttin’ on the Ritz
This non-uniform uniform trend isn’t really offensive. It’s only problematic when people overdo it. For example, in the TV show Bones, Angela starts out in Season 1 with just a light bedazzling of her lab coat lapels. But her habit gets out of control in later seasons:

Angela from Bones

You want people to remember you for being creative, not for having a uniform that looks like a leftover from a craft fair. For ideas on ways to decorate your scrubs top without going over the top, check out the Scrubs article “Easy Ways to Make Scrubs Your Own.”

Special on the Inside
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air wore his school uniform per the dress code…but inside out. Chances are if one of your coworkers shows up wearing a scrubs top inside out, she just got dressed in the dark after too little sleep. But there is actually something to be said for personalizing the interior of your work uniform. Look at what Baby Phat does here with the lining of a lab coat:

Signature Lab Coat

 

Style NOS (Not Otherwise Specified)
The rules for most dress codes have two parts: what you must wear and what you cannot wear. Of course, this leaves a LOT of leeway when it comes to adding accessories that aren’t specifically prohibited. How about adopting a unique style with permissible accessories like lanyards or wide headbands? There are two ways to go with this. You can wear a specific pattern or color that becomes your signature look. Or you can become known for having the most extensive collection of accessories by wearing a different one every day!

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