Along the wearing scrubs…next comes the white coat; a staple in the cupboard of most physicians. In Pediatrics, sometimes we don’t wear white coats, in order to avoid scaring our little visitors. I thought all white coats looked the same, until recently when during our book launch for ‘The Chronicles of Women in White Coats’, Medelita gifted us a white coat. It was sharp, well fitted and exquisite.
Where we can get more creative and sassy is under the white coat. So I talked to some fashionable women in white coats and here is some advice from them.
1) Make sure it gets past infection control: Recently there has been so much controversy about ‘appropriate work clothes’ that whatever you wear is up for scrutiny. Personally, I have never seen anyone dress in a way, which is offensive. Most people I see at work are dressed professionally and appropriately. But I guess, that is why I don’t work in infection control!
2) Follow the hospital policy: Some places do have a dress code. I remember going to Mayo clinic for a fellowship interview and was surprised to see how the dress culture was so different from my parent institution. For a part of the day I kept thinking, that everyone there was interviewing, not just me. I remember asking one of the fellows who was interviewing me, that how many suits she owned, when I finally discovered that it was their dress code!
3) Jazz it up: Dress code or not, scrubs or dresses, there is always room to add a little flair. As long as it does not interfere with the work you are doing, accessorize, but don’t overdo it. Creative lanyards are a great way to add a little fun to a regular work-day.
4) Do invest in quality staple pieces: The formal solid shirt and a good quality pants always stands the test of time.
5) Don’t wear open toed shoes: I love open toed shoes, trust me, but I would not want to get my nails-spilled on by blood, vomit etc. and accidents do happen in the hospital setting. One of my friends, Dr. Marianna De Bennedictis rightly pointed out to me this morning, “ I decide my attire based on if I’ll be dealing with blood today or not and that is why I did not wear my Gucci shoes today.” Take that advise!
6) Play it by seasons: I love seasons! Although, not good for the wallet but most stores come up with collections for different seasons. I went to Loft yesterday and wanted to buy the entire store. It just looked perfect for the fall! Orange and greys! Loved them. Next month it will change into the Christmas/winter theme, red, sparkly clothes. If your job allows, especially if it is clinic based, your patients deserve a little glamour.
7) Celebrate: Again, you see why I love pediatrics. We celebrate everything. We dress up for Halloween, Christmas, awareness months, St. Patty day; I mean everything as long as there is a dress for it. And our little visitors look forward to it. So do not miss the celebration! Celebrate each day and moment! Celebrate life and dressing up is one of the ways to do it!