We Asked 3 Brave Stylists to Make Scrubs Stylish

👡 Style Crush is the series that teaches you how to style the passé items that ultimately end up bogging down thrift stores and dumps. No stigma, no waste!  👡

I’ve struggled to come up with the perfect thrifted Hypebae-inspired look for quite a while. Scrubs, believe or not, won me over this past fall when trying to recreate a few of my most pined-for looks, from Kappa Official’s iconic sweatpant duos to Champion’s revered comeback. From the cargo-esque side pockets to the perfectly cinched mid-waist fit, scrubs have become a weekly wear for me.

I remember coming across this large, seemingly untouched section of a particular beloved shop of mine. I laughed off the thought of wearing the bright orange pair that caught my eye and went along with my day. Two weeks later, sifting through my emotions near the dress aisle, I caught a glimpse of that same vibrant orange once again and just had to give them a test drive. Of course, I had to think of their practicality: Who really needed these pants, and was I taking away the chance for nurses, doctors, and the like to get the uniforms they need at a reasonable price? To combat my rising guilt, I devised a strategy.

First, I’ve found that the ideal set can easily take you from one great look to the next, which makes it easy to keep your scrub run to a minimum. Buy only what you need — there’s no reason to go wild and snag everything in sight. Secondly, take a bit of inspiration from those first citrus scrubs that felt destined to be mine — if you spot a pair, let them sit for a few days. When they’re still resting on the rack the next time you come back, those babies are yours for the taking.

We asked three stylists to help prove our theory about scrubs, despite the occasional funky pattern and conspicuous neckline. Together they tackled this chunky elastic waistband and iconic chest pocketed duo head-on to create several ideal thrifted, street-ready looks.

 
 

De´ Randle
@dayrandl3

De´ was asked to style a patterned v-neck scrub top.

Tell me about your personal style — is it consistent or ever-changing?

My personal style is heavily based on observation — I get inspiration from movie characters, military personnel, business people, etc. The streets are one huge fashion show to me.

Did anything about the scrubs present a challenge to you when it came to styling them?

No. At first glance, the scrubs reminded me of a dashiki; the v-neckline and colorful pattern is actually very beautiful. However, I wanted to challenge myself to bring the scrub out of my original context and bring it down to earth — I wanted to make it more of a streetwear inspired look.

Tell me a little about how you styled your scrubs.

I typically have a formula for dressing: tuck my shirt in and roll my shorts up [paired with] tall socks. I wanted the scrub to be the statement piece and keep the rest fairly minimal. I chose navy, mailman-inspired high waisted shorts because I felt that was the least obvious choice. I knew a pair of slightly dirty, white sneakers would keep things matching and still show a li’l bit of my personality.

I thought I was all done at that point, but I looked in the mirror and just felt a bit incomplete. It was slightly breezy outside, so I pulled a wild card and tried on my Bathing Ape letterman thinking that there was no way these two would work. But I looked in the mirror and loved what I saw — I trusted my gut and went for it.

After this challenge, do you think scrubs could become a part of your wardrobe?

Honestly, scrubs are pretty versatile, lightweight, and most importantly very cozy. I can definitely see more groovy scrubs in my future, especially with the summer heatwave approaching.


 
 

Margaret Williamson Bechtold
@_mwb

Margaret was asked to style bright pink scrub pants.

Tell me about your personal style — is it consistent or ever-changing?

My personal style is always evolving. It's part of my job to take in new references, influences, and experiences, and that tends to show up in how I get dressed.

What’s your first thought when styling your outfit each day? Is there a garment or item you incorporate into each of your outfits?

I'm more of a macro dresser, really. I start with a proportion or genre I want to hit and then throw on clothes from there. I'm a pretty simple dresser if you break it down, though what I do choose can be a little weirder than your average pick. Instead of layers and layers of things, I tend to reach for fewer but bolder pieces that make statements on their own — for me, a few notes ring truer than a cacophony of too-much-stuff. I value effortless intentionality over over-planning any day.

Tell me a little about how you styled your scrubs.

When I saw that my pair was pink, I knew I had to go full Skittles pack for this. My second instinct would have been to go tonal, which I'm fond of, but since nurses usually dress tonally anyway with head-to-toe matching sets, I was happy to try to use them in a different light.

I paired mine with a palm green trench and a vintage navy blue tee I picked up in Copenhagen last fall. Next time I think I'll try them with a red bandeau top poolside.

After this challenge, do you think scrubs could become a part of your wardrobe?

I really do. I don't think I'd ever seen ones with an elastic waist instead of a drawstring. I'll definitely be visiting the scrubs section more thoroughly when I'm thrifting from now on!


 
 

Ryan Lerma
@ryanlerma

Ryan was asked to style bright green scrub pants.

Tell me about your personal style — is it consistent or ever-changing?

It’s ever-changing, but with a common thread of always mixing vintage with modern pieces. [My closet is] primarily denim (I’m forever wearing denim) and an ever-growing collection of vintage Simpson’s t-shirts.

Did anything about the scrubs present a challenge to you when it came to styling them?

The extreme high waist and elastic waistband were a challenge since I [usually] tuck in my shirt with a lot of outfits, and that did not work with the scrubs.

Tell me a little about how you styled your scrubs.

I chose pieces that would complement the color, and I gave them a rolled cuff to help them look more like a regular pant and less like scrubs.

After this challenge, do you think scrubs could become a part of your wardrobe?

If I found the right pair, I could see myself mixing it into my wardrobe — especially if it was a pair with a cool print or pattern.

🚑 Photography by Mika Locklear. Styling assistance by Meggie Copeland. Creative assistance by Victoria Jameson.  🚑