Today’s guest post is one that I’m sure we can all relate to at somet point – the dreaded work uniform, and how on earth to make it both comfortable AND stylish. Our writer today is Allison Stewart, a freelance writer with a passion for living life to the fullest and helping others do the same. Allison specializes in topics concerning women’s everyday lives, such as fashion, home life and health. She currently resides in Toronto, ON in Canada. Hopefully she can give you all some tips on how to make the most of your work uniform. For those of you in the US and Canada, you can also check out DailyScrubs.ca for all of your nursing uniform needs – another hard to style outfit! International shipping is also available.
Fashion is usually one of the last things people think about when they look at a work uniform. The best thing that can usually be said about them is that they are neat and tidy, or perhaps even comfortable. The idea behind a uniform is to present the look of a unified workforce, and to protect your street clothes from soil. You may have to wear a uniform every day at work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give it your own stylish twist, or make it more enjoyable to wear. Give your uniform some small tweaks that are still within company policy and you’ll feel better by looking better.
Many people choose their uniforms by picking a size that’s roomy and comfortable. While this can get you through the day without binding and chafing, it doesn’t do anything for your self-esteem when you look in the mirror. Shop for uniforms with a more form fitting cut. Take nursing uniforms as an example. Some tops are designed with a tie in the back that nips in the waist, reducing the flat look that most plain scrubs give. If a tied style won’t fit in with your work requirements, choose a style with a smaller waistline. Pick trousers with a slimmer leg to reduce the baggy, pyjama look many scrubs have. Buy the kind of bottoms with a tie instead of an elastic waist for a more customized fit to your body shape.
Check with your supervisor about regulations on colours and designs in uniforms. More and more employers allow much leeway in the choice of fabric in their employee’s uniforms. Following the nurse uniform example, keep your patients in mind when you choose the fabric pattern. Long-term patients, those in the cardiac care unit and patients on the oncology floor might enjoy bright patterns and colours as a cheerful break in their day. If you work in obstetrics or paediatrics then the sky’s the limit. Go for colourful cartoon characters, bright graffiti designs and colour blocks in primary hues. Get a different set of nursing scrubs for each day of the week to give yourself a break from the monotony of everyday uniform wear.
While some jobs have limits on the accessories you can sport on your uniform, there are a number of items that still can be changed up to brighten your look. Most uniforms require an ID tag, which is usually clipped to their uniform on a retractable cord. Search craft fairs and online for one of the new, designer-look ID tag clips. These new tag clips can be jewelled show your monogram initial or proclaim your love of a local sports team. If you have long hair that you wear tied back, key your ponytail holder to the current holiday by changing colours every month. If a little more personality if allowed in your uniform wear, start a collection of bright and colourful patterned socks. Choose holiday socks, striped socks, socks in animal prints and those with fun fashion designs for a touch of fun.