Whether you’re buying your first pair of scrubs or your 100th, you need to make sure your scrubs fit well. As a nurse, or even as a nursing student, you pretty much live in scrubs. They become almost a second skin.

And because scrubs are a work uniform, not only do they need to be comfortable because you’ll be wearing them for 12 – 16 hours at a time – they have to perform.

Regardless of whether you like a loose, comfy fit or a slimmer, fitted cut, there are some things to keep in mind. Here are some of the most important considerations and reasons why you need good-fitting scrubs:



Depending on your department, your level of activity may be different. But no matter if you work at a desk or are sprinting down a hallway on a call, your scrubs need to allow unrestricted movement without being so baggy they get in the way.



Yes, you’ll be in those scrubs for some long hauls. If they don’t fit well (whether too tight or loose), they’re going to be uncomfortable.


Limit Exposure

Leaning over a patient when starting an IV or bending down to pick something up can, uh, show a little more than you’d like. Nobody wants that. With a good fit, you’ll have less to worry about when it comes to accidental skin exposure.


Looking Good

With a good fit, your scrubs won’t just be more flattering; they’ll look more professional.

Alright, we’ve set the groundwork for why you need scrubs that fit. Let’s get to the tips that’ll help you get the best fit from your scrubs every time. If at this point we get you excited, please check out what are the best scrubs for women out there.


How To Get The Best Scrubs Fit


There are really only three ways to get the best fit out of your scrubs. By measuring yourself, understanding how the different types of scrubs fit, and just trying them on.

We’re going to cover all three points, and by the end, you’ll be able to get a great fit from any brand, type, or style of scrubs you want to wear. So let’s get started with the most important step: getting your digits.


Measure Yourself

Think you know your size? Sure about that? The only way you can know for sure is to measure yourself, besides, brands sometimes have different measurements for their sizing.

It’s not hard – the only thing you need to know is where to put the tape measure.

Here’s all you need:

  • A tape measure (cloth is the most accurate)
  • Remember not to make the tape too tight or too loose when measuring
  • Measure on bare skin


How To Measure Yourself:

  1. Bust – at the fullest part of your bust, place one end of the measuring tape. Wrap it back to the front and around under the armpits. It should be snug but not tight. Wearing a non-padded bra will give you a more accurate measurement.
  2. Waist – wrap the measuring tape around your natural waistline (2 inches above your belly button)
  3. Hip – Standing straight with your feet together, wrap the tape measure around the fullest area of your hips and buttocks (8 inches below your waist). Bending to one side and noting the crease also helps you locate your natural waistline.
  4. Inseam – this measurement gives you the length of your pants. It’s the full distance from the bottom of your ankle to your uppermost inner thigh.


The Different Types Of Scrubs Fits


Most people when they think of scrubs envision the traditional, somewhat baggy, seafoam green scrubs that you see in the OR. But today, nurses and healthcare professionals have quite a few styles to choose from – all of which fit differently.

Here’s the rundown for each type:

Classic Fit

This is the traditional scrubs fit with the top falling over curves and a little longer than the modern cut, easily fitting over the waist and hips. Pants are usually mid-rise or natural. Has a looser and more relaxed fit.


Modern Fit

Many scrubs brands have gone with the modern fit – the main feature being a “tailored cut” top that fits snugger to the body from the hip to the chest. They’re also a bit shorter than the classic cut. The pants are more commonly low – mid-rise and slimmer through the legs and seat.

They can look cute, but some find them too snug.



Unisex scrubs are generally classic cut or similar to men’s scrubs. Often sold in a set.


Plus Size

Lots of brands provide plus sizes for women and big & tall for men. Both the tops and the pants usually have a classic cut. They provide the coverage and comfort you’ll need on long shifts.



Just because you’re expecting doesn’t mean you’re still not working. Lots of brands offer maternity cuts with drawstring mock-wraps and pants with elastics to accommodate your baby bump while still giving you workplace performance.

In addition to the different cuts, you’ve got different types of scrubs tops, and pants. We’ll give you a quick rundown here:


  • Yoga – stretchy, comfortable with a wide elastic band at the top
  • Jogger – tapered, athletic fit similar to jogging pants
  • Cargo – more like a real pair of pants with lots of extra pockets
  • Drawstring – drawstring tie, classic fit, roomy and relaxed


  • V-neck – classic V-neck design
  • Wrap – cute, wrap design that ties at the waist
  • Split – V slits at the sides, style, ease of motion


Trying Your Scrubs On


Yes, it’s a little Capt. Obvious, but you just have to try them on. Even if you’ve got the measurements and know the styles, different brands just fit differently. Some tips:

  • Some brands may run small (Dickies, UltraSoft, and Grey’s Anatomy have been reported to run small)
  • If you’re going to wear any clothing under your scrubs – wear it when trying them on.
  • Go through a range of motions: walking, bending down, picking something up, running, etc.


It’s not hard to get a good fit from your scrubs. Just remember the three points above: get your measurements, know the styles, and try them on.

With a good fit, not only will you have scrubs that are comfortable and perform on the job – you’ll be looking good too. And to keep looking good – here are some quick tips on how to remove stains from scrubs.


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