Work uniform turned fashion statement, medical scrubs worn with white sneakers brought hospital style to the street. Nurses’ surgical scrubs became a popular fashion under the influence of television dramas like St. Elsewhere and Quincy, M.E. The devotion to the shows inspired a desire to copy the lifestyle, much like Private Benjamin and M*A*S*H helped to launch military fashions, or Miami Vice popularized pastels.
Scrubs were simple cotton 2-piece outfits featuring v-neck boxy tops and straight-legged drawstring waist pants. Scrubs were easily purchased through uniform stores, and were made in several different colors, the most popular being green, blue or pink. Wearing the complete outfit made you look like you escaped from the hospital, unless—like a fashionable few—you mixed up the colors and then wore them with lacy socks and pumps for girls, or your red Converse high-tops for boys.
They may not have caught on for long, but for at least one shining moment, scrubs joined painter’s pants and hats as uniform-influenced novelty fashions.
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