Scrub up in STYLE |

7 mins

Scrub up in STYLE

Kezia Parkins spoke to two brands reinventing scrubs…


We can’t get enough of these royal blue offerings from Funky Scrubs. The orange accents offer a pop of colour, while the blue ensures they keep a traditional, clinical, yet stylish feel.

Uniforms are an important part of everyday life. Our earliest interaction with wearing uniforms, for most of us, comes from our school years. Many of us will remember that first day of school and our parents bundling us into our crisp new uniforms that proudly displayed our school’s colours and guild.

From a young age, we are taught to become accustomed to the garb of all service providers - from doctors in their lab coats to police officers in their hats and lapels.

Later we become aware of the unofficial uniforms worn by businessmen and women that help to uphold professionalism in the workplace.

Not only do these items of clothing act as identifiers, but they also instil a sense of trust that the person in front of you is part of a wider organisation that answers to a higher power.

In the medical industry, uniforms are essential for a number of reasons.

Scrubs or lab coats worn by doctors, nurses, dentists and surgeons not only provide a hygienic solution for what to wear, but also help to make them distinguishable between ranks, while also securing a feeling of trust.

For those working in a dental practice or in the NHS, uniforms are a requirement.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines state that personal appearance must be tidy, hair should be tied back and no jewellery should be worn.

While these are just the top line minimum standards, they are backed up by studies which show that bacterial load and bacteria transmitted were significantly higher on ringed fingers.

Currently, there are no guidelines from regulatory agencies that define suitable attire for aesthetic practitioners in private clinics, although that could be set to change with the renewed push for further regulation.

However, the British Medical Association (BMA) advises that it is good practice to dress in a manner “likely to inspire public confidence,” and that clear identifiers like a name badge should be worn. The association also considers hand and wrist jewellery and false nails for direct patient care as poor practice.


Although there are no rules in place stating that those conducting aesthetic treatments in a private clinic should wear a uniform, there are plenty of great reasons to do so.

This is especially true given that a spate of new UK-based scrubs companies have popped up in the past few years offering fashionable alternatives to medical workwear that maximise cleanliness and functionality without compromising style.


Hygiene is likely the best reason to scrub up or wear a uniform as bacterial infections can, of course, go both ways.

Outside germs that could be bought in from your own clothes should be kept away from procedures, just as biohazards should stay within the practice walls to protect the wider public.

“I think that’s probably one of the most important reasons why these practitioners wear uniforms and scrubs – the cleanliness and reduction of cross-contamination,” says Alexandra Allen, lead designer at medical workwear brand Kara.

The brand’s new collection, Kara Edit combines boutique fashion styling with durability and usability.

Kara worked with more than 200 customers from the health and wellness industries to get feedback and discover what was important to these professionals in their day-to-day, in order to design those elements into the collection.

“We picked our fabric based on that feedback,” says Allen. “It has motion stretch to provide for a wide range of movement and is wrinkle- and water-resistant, so any spillages can be wiped off.”


Anybody working in the medical profession or with patients will know how full-on and physical a work day can be, making wearing the right outfit important.

“I think something that has come out of the pandemic is a need for comfort,” says Allen, referring to the years of anxiety and slobbing around in tracksuits that Covid-19 induced.

“People don’t necessarily want everything to just be clinical and bare – they want that comfortable nature back again.”

Beauty therapist, Jo Minchin, co-founded Funky Scrubs as a result of not wanting to go back to wearing the dull, dreary everyday scrubs her team was so used to wearing before lockdown, describing them as oversized, boxy and ugly.

Both Kara Edit and Funky Scrubs took influence from the days of lockdown, where comfort was key, pushing fashion towards a more urban, streetwear aesthetic. Think tapered, jogger-style bottoms with elasticated waists and matching classic scrub-style tops.

Funky Scrubs claims that you can even do the splits in their trousers!

“They give you the feeling that you’re conforming in a way when doing certain types of treatments, but you still look trendy while being super comfortable,” says Minchin.


“I think when there’s more than one of you in the clinic wearing different clothing, that’s not a good look,” says Minchin.

On the flip side, a team kitted out in a uniform can help foster a feeling of trust.

Aside from being paramount for ensuring high hygiene standards, in studies uniforms have been shown to increase work performance and instill trust in the patient.

‘Enclothed cognition’ is the title of a 2012 study that explores the symbolic meaning of certain clothing, coupled with the physical experience of wearing them.

It found that physicians wearing a lab coat not only helped engage patients, but also improved the wearer’s sustained attention and ability allowing them to perform better in critical tests compared to the group wearing their own clothes.

“It makes it clear that it’s a more serious environment,” adds Minchin. “There could be six of us all wearing the same scrubs in the same colour; it looks great and elevates you somewhat by looking similar to the scrubs you would usually see in the clinic.”


We absolutely love Kara Edit’s blush pink range coupled with the gold accents. The form-fitting shapes of all the styles are so flattering. Any clinic team sporting this range is sure to turn heads. We also love the abundance of secret pockets to keep all of your essentials safe and hidden from sight. For those not a fan of pink, the grey is super chic.


In the past few years, partly due to the pandemic and partly due to social media, medicine has become more humanised.

We saw doctors on the frontlines candidly sharing their stories of exhaustion during the heights of Covid-19 and the rise of Instagram and Tik Tok has allowed us a window into the lives and personalities of doctors all around the world.

No longer seen as a stuffy profession, we are increasingly seeing “cool doctors” using their platforms and humour to educate and inspire.

While those in cosmetics and aesthetics are often viewed as more relaxed, there has certainly been a shift to be in line with more medical standards, both in terms of regulation and the way that brands present themselves.

Unlike the unflattering and ill-fitting scrubs we are used to seeing in medicine, Kara Edit and Funky Scrubs have been designed to fit and flatter a wide range of body shapes, which can be especially important to women.

Rather than being big and boxy, both brands carry styles that can be worn to be form-fitting with stretch to complement curves.


We adore the tracksuit-style pink set from Funky Scrubs that could easily double up as streetwear, and the grey sets from Kara look so professional and sleek worn as a team.


Scrubs can also be a key element in building your brand. Celebrity doctor, Tijion Esho is a great example of someone in the industry who has built a reputable brand alongside his practice.

From the interiors of his clinics to the cut of his custom-designed and stylised scrubs that sport his increasingly infamous logo, these elements all go together to create a recognisable and unique experience to his clients.


Gone are the days when scrubs just came in faded blue or green, now there’s a range of colours to choose from.

The Kara Edit range comes in blue, black, grey and blush pink. The brand also features gold accents on zips and toggles, adding that element of luxury ideal for aesthetics.

“The colour you choose can really fit in with the branding of the company,” says Allen.

She says that blush pink has been super popular with those in aesthetics. It’s a very similar shade to “millennial pink,” Pantone colour of the year in 2016, which influenced brands like Glossier and became a symbol for millennials nostalgic for their youth.

“It’s quite trend-led, which is great for Instagram and social media,” says Allen.

Funky Scrubs also come in a variety of colours and Minchin says that pink is a very popular choice with their customers. The brand is looking to add more trending colours this year.

Both companies also offer custom logo embroidery, which, paired with the right colour can really help make your brand stand out and be memorable to your customers.

“Aesthetics is an industry where clients are aware of trends,” says Allen. “You want to show customers that you’re on-trend, too, which can be portrayed in an instant with the right clothing.

This article appears in September 2022

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September 2022
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