Tips On Layering Your Scrubs in Cold Weather

Tips On Layering Your Scrubs in Cold Weather
Scrub uniforms are generally comfortable, functional and stylish these days — but walking outside in the cold weather or entering the chilly hospital in these can leave you feeling like you’re in a thin, functional stylish pair of pajamas. BRRR. Wearing thin scrubs in the cold weather and in drafty healthcare settings can leave your legs freezing cold and unmotivated to move, your fingers too icy to comply and your core too cool to warm it all back up. Without sacrificing any comfort, functionality or style, though, this can be easily solved!

Cute scrubs for women who work in cold places and practices, combined with equally cute underscrub and overscrub layers, are the key. Layering up and looking good can be a challenge that leaves you sweating all on its own, but by learning how to layer your clothes properly, knowing how to use your layers and understanding what to look for in a good layering piece, you’ll never have to sweat it (or anything) again.

Know How to Use Layers

Dressing in layers is only part of staying warm. The other part is knowing how to utilize your layers by adding or shedding them as needed. If you wait until you’re sweating to shed a layer, it’s too late. Some materials can do a great job at wicking away this sweat from your body but, more often than not, sweat is going to make you damp and, in turn, hard to warm. Likewise, if you wait until you’re shivering to add a layer, it’s been too long. Two of the most important factors of temperature regulation are never letting yourself experience extreme shifts and never letting yourself work up too much of a sweat — so make sure you’re not just wearing layers, but USING them!

Understand Your Layers and Options

From knowing your materials and how to utilize your layers properly to anticipating your needs and finding the most effective ways to meet them, you need to be dressing and packing accordingly. First, though, you have to know what your options are and what kind of ground you’re trying to cover!

Base Layer

Your base layer will be the most important layer in maintaining a consistent body temperature, and it can’t be shed as easily as other layers, so it should be chosen wisely. Consider base layer pieces such as bicycle shorts, leggings, undershirts and long-sleeve underscrub tees — but remember to pay attention to the colors and fits that you’re choosing.

Your base layer should always fit properly and help you maintain a professional look, and it should be light enough in color that you’re not able to see it through your scrubs. If you’re planning to utilize a piece with long sleeves or a higher neckline that can be seen due to its style, you’ll want to make sure that the light colors you’re choosing are also complementary to your scrubs. Along with these factors, it’s best practice to strip out of your scrubs as soon as possible once your shift ends, so consider base layer pieces that could also double as your extra after-work clothes.


Your mid-layer is important because (if done right) it will serve to absorb the moisture that your base layer has done such a good job of wicking away from your skin and continue the process by allowing it to evaporate away. Along with this, the mid-layer is all about retaining heat. You’ll want to pay close attention to the fit and look for pieces like jogger style bottoms and long-sleeve scrubs that fit in a flattering and functional way, as your mid-layers work by preventing your natural body heat from circulating and getting carried away. It’s easy to feel like you need to wear a huge parka to stay warm, but your scrubs should make for a great mid-layer.

Outer Layer

An additional layer outside of your scrubs is always a good idea, thanks to how easily it can be shed or slipped back into. Along with this, your outerwear is likely going to be your best wind-blocking and heat-locking layer, thanks to the materials that most of these pieces are made from. That being said, wearing something like a parka is going to diminish your professional appearance quickly. You’ll want to aim for an outer layer like a softshell jacket or vest (or even a cardigan) in a color or pattern that complements your scrubs to amplify your professional aesthetic. Bonus points if it’s a piece that’s packable or which can be discreetly worn under a lab coat!


Know Your Materials


The scrub uniform has been specially designed to be as sterile and functional as possible. Along with this, healthcare environments are like no other. You don’t want to just wear anything with your scrubs. You’ll want to keep comfort, sterilization and functionality in mind. Avoid fabrics that are restrictive or uncomfortable, unsterile or hard to clean or that don’t help you (or even possibly hinder you) when it comes to regulating your temperature. For example, wool will warm you up but will likely leave you overheating, unsterile and itchy in a medical setting over the course of a 12-hour shift. Materials such as cotton, polyester and bamboo, however, will serve to keep you warm while being easy to maintain and allowing for optimum performance.


Always Respect Your Dress Code

Most health care facilities will allow you to wear certain pieces as long as your scrubs remain the focal point of your outfit. It’s always important, though, to make sure that you’re staying true to your dress code. Even in your place of practice, you’ll want to check out policies that pertain to your specific area — for example, your place of practice may have a fairly flexible dress code. However, if you’re generally in the operating room, then this will not apply to you.

Being prepared is by far your best bet for comfort. By following your dress code, knowing how to work with it and pick good layering pieces, and understanding how to use your layers, it’s as possible as it is fun to get prepared for the cold!