Look sharp: Apparel brands highly recommended by healthcare professionals

By Joe Hannan | Fact-checked by Barbara Bekiesz
Published April 20, 2022

Key Takeaways

  • Modern scrubs brands are incorporating versatile fabrics and bold styles to suit the tastes of all clinicians.

  • Research indicates some clinicians are self-conscious in their scrubs outside of healthcare settings, highlighting the need for clothes that are aesthetically pleasing and functional.

  • The brands outlined below come recommended by healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and technicians.

For many clinicians, selecting clothes for work is a matter of efficiency—picking the right clothes for the appropriate jobs. But while scrubs may simplify morning routines for many, they also can present a stress point for some.

A 2018 study published in Southern Medical Journal indicates that healthcare workers commonly have concerns about wearing scrubs outside of healthcare settings.[] While research supports donning and doffing scrubs at work for infection-control purposes, sometimes life intervenes. If a sick child needs an immediate pickup from school, there may be no time to change.

You might as well look (and feel) good working in your scrubs.

MDLinx conducted an informal survey of clinicians’ favorite brands and discovered a trove of fresh looks, bold color palettes and patterns, and innovative fabric blends.


This sub-brand of Cherokee came highly recommended by an RN who works in an emergency department.

“Comfortable material with some stretch to it that comes in several styles,” she said.

Infinity’s new spring collection includes patterns and a palette that may brighten your day and that of your patients. Disney aficionados will enjoy its collaboration with the iconic brand. Many healthcare professionals will appreciate Infinity’s Certainty Antimicrobial Fabric that reportedly inhibits growth of odor-causing and fabric-damaging microbes.

Good for fluctuating temperatures, Infinity’s array of garments are suitable for layering, including knit tees, vests, cardigans, and joggers. The brand’s footwear line also blends style and ergonomics, making shoes that work in the boardroom or the OR.


If we’re going to tout the sub-brand, we should also highlight the original. The same ED RN called Cherokee “a more traditional-cut cotton scrub.”

Another RN, who works in a detox facility, lauded their durability, saying, “I have some Cherokee scrubs that have lasted forever.”

Finally, an RN who works in a fertility clinic called Cherokee her “runner-up” brand.

Cherokee offers a vast array of styles, fabrics, and cuts. Its luxury line, called Statement, caught our eye. Each of its garments features subtle rose-gold accents for clinicians looking for some flair.

Cherokee’s Originals line features the cuts and durability to which many healthcare workers are accustomed, as well as the same Certainty fabric you’ll find in the Infinity line.

If fabrics with sheen are more your style, you’ll love the Revolution line, which has daring options such as this snap front jacket, and bold colors like these tapered drawstring pants.

Grey’s Anatomy

For fans of the ABC hospital drama (and comfortable work apparel), there’s Grey’s Anatomy Professional Wear by Barco. This brand came recommended to us by a DPT who knows that progressing patients through strength, stability, and flexibility exercises requires scrubs that can move with you.

Clinicians looking for extra give in their scrubs may enjoy this brand’s Spandex Stretch line, which features moisture-wicking fabric that cleans up easily and moves with you.

If breathability is a priority, you may like the Edge line. Grey’s Anatomy says the Nylex fabric will help keep you cool and dry. It’s also wrinkle- and stain-resistant.


It was difficult to find a clinician who didn’t have something positive to say about Figs. Here are just a few of the takes:

“I know Figs are outrageously expensive, but I do love them. They’re so comfortable and just do not wrinkle,” the detox facility RN said.

“The only scrubs I purchase outside of the hospital-provided ones are Figs. They fit so well,” a colorectal surgeon said.

“Once I got a pair, I didn’t want to try anything else,” an EM physician told MDLinx.

“Figs never wrinkle or look sloppy, and I hate ironing—especially at 6 am,” said the fertility clinic RN.

There’s a lot to love about the way Figs look. First, there’s the palette. Colors like citrine, sandstone, and martini olive would pop on a runway or in an exam room.

Then there’s their collaboration with New Balance. Once the sneaker-heads find these vintage-inspired kicks, there will be a secondary market on par with Adidas Yeezys.

Some clinicians have abandoned the brand, however.

In 2020, Figs created a controversial video in which a female actor depicting a DO was reading an upside-down copy of Medical Terminology for Dummies.[] Many found the video offensive to women and DOs.

Figs issued an apology and pledged to donate $100K to the American Osteopathic Association.

Dickies Dynamix

Up there with Carhartt, few American brands say “working-class hero” like Dickies. Whether you’re looking for gear that will hold up under pressure (just like you), or scrubs that call back to the glory days of early 2000s emo and hardcore music, Dickies is your brand.

“They are light and comfortable and cheaper,” an ER tech said about the Dynamix line.

The fabric is 91% polyester and 9% Spandex, which should make for stretch, breathability, and easy cleanup. Many of the shirts feature extra pockets, including a zippered pocket on the sleeve, as well as a bungee ID badge loop at the neckband. Many pants also come with bungee cords in the pockets for keys and other easily lost valuables.

Plus, the Dynamix line features some vibrant prints and colors—ideal if you want to stand out in the clinic or the mosh pit.

What this means for you

You spend a lot of time in your scrubs. Pick a brand that’s reliable, durable, and comfortable. Infinity boasts innovative stretch fabrics. Cherokee is durable and versatile. Grey’s Anatomy offers the show’s star power and the comfort of flexible fabrics. Figs has mastered style—but the brand has some baggage. And Dickies offers affordable style with a bit of an edge.

Related: 10 gifts for every doctor's wish list
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