Beyond Scrubs: Choosing a Lab Coat

Lab coats were originally worn by scientists to protect their street clothes from chemicals in the lab. They’ve since become a wardrobe staple for a variety of roles in the health and science professions, including nurses, pharmacists, and veterinarians. Few articles of clothing communicate authority and professionalism like a crisp white lab coat, so you’ll want to choose wisely. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you shop around.

What is your work setting?

Is your labcoat serving a protective function against hazardous and/or flammable materials? If so, you’ll want to keep certain practical considerations in mind, such as tight cuffs, snap buttons for easy removal in case of contamination, or treated fabric, such as Nomex (a heat- and flame-resistant fiber). If you work in a clinical setting where you interact frequently with your patients, then you might want a more stylish cut. MIT has compiled a detailed, thorough guide to selecting a lab coat.

What is your company’s dress code?

Some work environments have stricter rules about who is allowed to wear a labcoat. The length of your lab coat might also signify a particular rank or position. Check with your workplace before making your final purchase.

What are your personal preferences?

Do you like a looser fit, or do you want a more slim silhouette? What style works best on your body type? Do you tend to run hot or cold? If you are often on the move and sweat easily, you might want to avoid heavier-weight fabrics, such as twill, and select a lightweight and wrinkle-resistant poly-cotton blend. How much use will it get? 100% cotton lab coats are generally cheaper and would be sufficient in many clinical settings, but they won’t last as long as treated fabrics.

To view our collection of modern, luxurious lab coats here at Blue Sky Co, visit our website today!