Six Easy Scrub Dresses to Wear to Work

Black and white picture of nurse posing in a stylish scrub dress

Scrub dresses that won’t make you look like Florence Nightingale

The first scrub dresses, grey, overlarge, and covered by starched aprons, were described by one unenthusiastic young nurse as “hideous.” However, Florence Nightingale herself mandated that all her nurses must wear the matching dresses. The first to suggest that nurses should adopt a uniform, Nightingale hoped that wearing one would signal their professionalism and protect them from disease.

The bulky and unattractive women’s scrub dress and was also meant to protect nurses from unwanted advances as they entered a male-dominated workforce and tended to wounded soldiers. A bit like a nun’s habit, or military attire, the Nightingale uniform was drab and functional. The dresses were even were a bit longer in the back so that young nurses’ ankles were constantly covered as they bent over beds!

As times changed and more women entered the nursing profession, uniforms became a bit more fashion forward. By the 1940s short white dresses with cuffed sleeves were standard nursing attire, and by the 1960s young student nurses were raising their hemlines even higher.

Not everyone approved. One woman wrote to the American Journal of Nursing, remonstrating “How can a person attribute a Florence Nightingale attitude to a person who looks like a lingerie model?” Still, as we now know, shorter hemlines were here to stay.

Even as the ever-practical scrub set replaced scrub dresses the most popular type of medical uniform, many medical apparel companies continue to stock the classic styles. Easy to wear, modest, and entirely professional, scrub dresses are a smart addition to your wardrobe.

Today on the blog we’re featuring some of our favorite scrub dresses and scrub skirts. The style might be a throwback, but these scrub dresses are as fashion-forward as they come.

39” Button Front Dress by Cherokee

The comfortable stretch poplin fabric and super stretchy rib knit is the perfect combo for healthcare professionals. This scrub dress has all the functionality of your favorite scrub set as well, with a bungee ID badge loop, front pockets, and an instrument loop. You’ll be comfortable and stylish in this sweet dress.

WonderWink Women’s Zip Front Dress

Is anything as crisp and clean looking as bright, white cotton? This scrub dress is wrinkle-resistant and functional, without compromising the sleek style that characterizes WonderWink scrubs.

WonderWork Skirt by WonderWink

Sometimes separates are just easier to wear, which is why we love this scrub skirt from WonderWink. It’s a polished and professional piece, which also is supremely functional, with two deep front pockets and a side utility pocket. It looks great paired with a WonderWink scrub top in navy.

Button Front Dress by Dickies

If it weren’t for the details like easy-wash fabric, you might think that this scrub dress was straight from sixties. The gorgeous, classic style is updated for today’s fashionista, and features a front waistband with button tabs, a notched lapel, and four pockets.

30” Knit Waistband Skirt by Cherokee

This scrub skirt runs a touch long, good for nurses concerned with a modest fit. It’s comfortable too, with a rib knit waistband, and has plenty of pockets for your instruments. It also includes a cell-pocket, so you can keep your phone handy and clean.

Button Front Dress by Cherokee Workwear

Beautiful A-Line styling, buttons down the front, and a notch collar, make this one snappy scrub dress. Despite its classic look, it’s firmly in the 21st century with a cellphone pocket for techy nurses. Princess seams give it a tailored look and flatter most shapes.

Want to try something you don’t see?

We carry a limited inventory online, so if you’re interested in trying other scrub dresses and scrub skirts come visit us in stores! You’ll find all your favorite brands at outlet prices. We’re always excited to see you, so stop by today.

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