Sunday, October 26, 2014

the case against scrubs

After a painful two week period of throwing out everything, my closet feels more abundant and I feel more in control. Looking at my old clothes made me reflect on how my personal style has changed over the years. Lately I've been focusing on dressing professionally- but with a twist of my own style. I attended a professional wardrobe workshop at Loft and loved these details like belting a comfy sweater dress and adding statement necklace with button-up's.

One problem? I wear scrubs five days out of seven. Sometimes I'll even go work out in my scrubs... biking in neon blue doubles as a safety precaution.

I loved this post by Chris Bailey where he experiments with clothes that affect his productivity. You should go read it (and his entire year of productivity), but these points I loved:
1. To pick the most productive clothes to wear, decide on what will make you the most productive: being more confident, or being more relaxed. Then wear clothes that make you feel that way.
To me, this means that even sweatpants and a T_shirt can be your perfect outfit if feeling relaxed is the goal, if this creates the mindset you want to enter.
5. You can compartmentalize your work life by changing your clothes when you get home. 
Dress for the role you want. So if you want to signal (even to yourself) that work is over, dress up different from you do at work, so you can slip into that mindset- naturally. 

So how do I feel about wearing scrubs? We don't really have an option since scrubs just became mandatory at Penn. I don't like it... because I don't feel dressed up enough. But it's more because I want to practice dressing up. And associate this dressed-up state with being ready for work. I need to get some misfitting blouses and clashing patterns under my belt to develop my own professional style. I like to think Mary Orton did not start out looking the way she does on The Class Cubicle. I want my experimental period to be in dental school, not the first few months of my job. 

On a related note, I finally figured out how they chose our class scrubs color: our bright neon lockers is a perfect color match!!!

Have you ever had a dentist who wore scrubs? What are your thoughts on a mandatory scrubs policy?   For you lucky ones who don't wear daily scrubs, what is your favorite professional outfit? Mine has to be a short-sleeve dress, belted and with dangly earrings.


  1. Your blog is great keep it up! I'm a third year dental student in Australia so I can relate to a lot of issues that you talk about :) similarly its very interesting to see the similarities and differences in teaching systems present in the states and in australia.

    All the best with your studies x


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