What to Wear Under Scrubs? Scrub Style and Layering Guide

nurse with crossed arms and red stethoscope around neck, styled with blue scrub uniform and wearing white undershirt under scrubs

Not sure what to wear under scrubs?  As the leaves turn orange and the air gets brisk, it’s time to master the art of “scrub layering.” Besides, while we’re all about saving lives in our healthcare careers, who says we can’t save our sense of scrub style on the job?

In this guide, explore how to style scrubs with professionalism and a dash of flair, all while staying cozy this fall and winter!

Layering and Scrub Style: 5 Things to Consider 

Cold weather is a chance to feel confident, style scrubs, and make them your own. But before we learn more about what to wear under scrubs, let’s consider a few key factors that will help us conquer the chilly weather in style:

1. Know Your Facility Rules 

Check your workplace’s dress code before pressing “add to cart.”

Many healthcare facilities have specific guidelines for scrubs and layers. Refer to your employee handbook to learn whether or not you can wear layers over your scrubs, what to wear under scrubs, what colors you can wear, and more.

2. Material Matters 

Ever notice how different your scrubs feel from the rest of your wardrobe? It’s no accident. Most high-quality scrubs are made from breathable, anti-microbial, and water-resistant materials to protect you from germs and getting overheated on the job. 

A smiling nurse posing in front of dark yellow background, wearing blue scrubs and gloves
Don’t Miss: Explore the best scrubs for nurses and healthcare professionals!

The same goes for your layers. Style scrubs with layers made from breathable fabrics that still provide some insulation. This will keep you cozy, not sweaty. 

3. Check the Temperature (Inside & Out) 

The temperature outside is one thing — the temperature inside is another. As the weather cools down, take note of how hot or cold your facility is. Some facilities are colder than a freezer, while others might as well be saunas. 

This will help you determine what to wear under scrubs and how many layers you’ll actually need.  

4. Style Scrubs with the Seasons 

Be careful not to over-layer, especially during the fall season.  

It’s easy to put on one too many layers on those crisp autumn mornings or evenings. Be sure you can easily remove or adjust your layers throughout the day to stay comfortable when it warms up in the afternoons.  

5. Comfort is Key 

Remember: You’ll be wearing these layers throughout your shift, so comfort is everything. When choosing what to wear under scrubs, pick clothing that allows you to move freely and confidently.

How-to: Fall and Winter Style, and What to Wear Under Scrubs

Now, let’s get down to the specifics of what to wear under scrubs and how to layer and style scrubs in the colder months. Get ready cozy up with some key pieces: 

Long-Sleeved Scrub T-Shirts 

Also known as “underscrubs,” most scrub brands also offer short and long-sleeved shirts to layer under your scrubs as the weather cools down. They provide an extra layer of warmth to wear under scrubs without cramping your style. 

Make sure they’re fitted yet comfortable to keep you warm, protected, and supported during your shift. Opt for moisture-wicking fabrics to prevent any accidental sweat-induced dramas. 

Pro Tip: Opt for neutral colors — they match everything. You can find a wide selection from some of the top-rated scrub brands like FIGS and Jaanuu

Thermal Bottoms or Leggings 

If your workplace is a few degrees away from freezing, you may want to add an extra underlayer with thermal bottoms or leggings. 

Wearing thin, breathable thermal bottoms underneath your scrubs can make a world of difference in keeping you warm. These layers offer extra insulation without adding bulk.  

Pro Tip: Layer and style scrubs with moisture-resistant fabrics to prevent discomfort during your busy shifts. 

Vests and Sleeveless Jackets 

Vests are your secret weapon to warm, stylish scrubs. They keep your core cozy while allowing your arms to move freely. Plus, they can give you extra pockets and protect your scrub top from stains and spills — truly a fashion and function win-win. 

Pro Tip: Opt for puffer vests for a lightweight, water-repellent layer. If warmth is your #1 goal, go for a fleece vest. Check out some of these stylish vests by FIGS

Add Scrub Jackets to Your Style 

If you’re allowed to layer over your scrubs, a lightweight jacket is your best friend here. A well-fitted jacket is a fantastic way to add warmth and style to your scrubs. 

Choose a lightweight, breathable jacket that can easily be worn indoors and outdoors.  

Consider muted colors or classic neutrals for a professional look that pairs well with any scrub color. 

Pro Tip: A zip-up or button-up jacket makes it easy to adjust your layers according to the temperature. Check out these styles by Healing Hands and Jaanuu

Wear Warm Socks Under Scrubs 

Don’t let cold feet slow you down. Warm socks are your first line of defense against the cold, as your body heat easily escapes through the feet. 

Pair them with comfortable, supportive footwear that can handle anything your work throws at you. Your shoes should be sturdy enough to offer insulation against cold floors. 

Pro Tip: If warmth is your goal, go for wool socks. If you need extra support during busy shifts, consider compression socks to help promote healthy circulation. 

Add Your Personal Style to Your Healthcare Career 

Just like you can adjust and style your scrubs, you should be able to personalize and cater your healthcare career to your needs — no matter the season! With CareerStaff, you can find the dedicated, hands-on support you need in your healthcare career. 

Get started by searching for healthcare jobs nationwide with competitive pay and benefits. Or, complete a quick application to get connected with your recruiter to find roles that meet your unique personal and professional needs. 

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