Ultimate Guide to Scrub Sets: What You Need to Know Before You Buy
Nothing looks sharper than a fresh scrub set perfectly matched from top to bottom. All great scrub sets start out this way, but over time they end up in a closetful of “almost matches” and “near misses.” There are myriad reasons for this, but it usually boils down to a few things: you’ve lost one piece of the set because of fading, stains, stretching, or simply getting worn out.
Buying scrub sets made from a trusted brand with quality materials in timeless styles is your best bet for finding a pair that will last. Learn more about what scrub sets are and what to look for when shopping online, plus discover some must-have DIY scrub “sets” you’ll enjoy shift after shift.
What Is a Scrub Set?
When you’re shopping for new scrubs you can choose scrub sets or separates. A set of scrubs consists of a matching scrub top, bottoms, and sometimes a scrub jacket. These items are meant to be worn together. Typically, sets are items sold together as one unit, reflecting one color and one size. Many scrub sets are also made in a unisex scrub style, which often translates to a shapeless, boxy top and billowing drawstring bottoms, creating the all-too-casual uniform many nurses call “work pajamas.”
For most, the reason for buying scrub sets is to ensure a perfect match in style and color. But buying nursing scrubs in a set isn’t the only option you have – and it might not be the best option either.
What’s the Appeal of Scrub Sets?
As a healthcare worker, you’re likely seeking out scrub sets because you want to make sure the color of your scrub top perfectly matches the color of your scrub pants. Sometimes you might even buy a pair of black scrub pants from one brand (for example, Cherokee Workwear) and a black scrub top from another brand, like Healing Hands. Although both garments are black and should ideally go together, it doesn’t usually turn out that way.
Every brand uses its own processes to dye its fabrics, creating a different final result — so what’s black for one brand might be more like dark grey for another. Also, each garment likely holds up differently after washing. The scrub top could fade after the first wash while the scrub bottom might be made from fade-resistant material that keeps its color intact. As a result, the scrub outfit that was supposed to match suddenly looks off because the colors are nearly the same, but not quite. Not exactly what you were going for, right?
This is where scrub sets come in. When the top and pants come from the same brand, the issue is solved because they come from the same roll of fabric. Consequently, you’ll have scrubs that have the same saturation of color, fabrication, and fade resistance. That said, scrub sets aren’t the only way to go. There are some key features you need to consider before buying any scrubs, whether it’s a set or solo piece.
Pay Attention to Fabric
When shopping for scrubs, always look for colorfast, fade-resistant uniforms. Fabric blends are the most resilient and offer multitasking features. Keswi scrubs are made of a premium blend containing:
How To Prevent Fading
Nobody likes faded scrubs. The best option is to purchase scrubs that are guaranteed not to fade. (Hello, Keswi!) For all others, pre-wash your scrubs in cold water before you wear them. Cold water helps set the dye. You’ll also want to skip the dryer and hang your scrubs in a breezy area to let nature do the work.
Every scrub brand has its own idea and interpretation of color. This makes it nearly impossible to mix and match scrubs across brands. Choose a premium scrub brand that uses colorfast fabric and premium dyes, and you’ll never worry about matching scrub colors again.
Keswi premium scrubs use a special blend of fabric designed to hang on to color, a dye that resists fading, and a fabric that maintains its size and shape. We want your scrubs to look as good after one hundred washes as they did after one. And just so you know, Keswi solid scrub tops and bottoms come in a variety of stylish, timeless colors – black, navy, pewter, royal blue, and wine.
Scrub Sets vs. Single Piece Purchases
The biggest benefit purchasing a set is simplicity. Rather than picking out two separate garments, you only have to pick one. Purchasing a set means you don’t have to worry about finding the exact same color to match.
Occasionally, you can find compatibility across brands. Barco's and Landau’s have similar grey scrubs. Cherokee scrubs "burgundy'' is close to Grey's Anatomy Signature "wine." Med Couture's polo and pocket scrub sets feature the same hues of Koi's drawstring pants. Maevn's V-neck scrub top in teal is close enough to Cherokee Workwear Revolution’s teal cargo scrub pants that you wouldn’t feel totally mismatched. But these cross-brand examples are the exception, not the rule.
Another benefit of scrubs sets is that you don’t have to spend time finding complementary colors – does brown go with navy or is it always navy and black? You choose a style, color, size and voila! Your uniform is built.
But just like when shopping for bathing suit sets, you have to be careful about size selection. Not everyone is the same size up top as they are on the bottom. Some people prefer to have a more fitted top and a relaxed fit for pants or vice versa. Getting locked into one size for both pieces is the biggest drawback to purchasing scrub sets.
For this reason, Keswi doesn’t sell scrub sets. You can pick and choose your ideal sizes, ranging from XS-3X for women and men so you can get the perfect fit every time. (You’ll also love that Keswi women’s scrub pants come in petite lengths.)
Scrub Set Inspiration
Before you can nail down which scrubs you need, plan a day to go Marie Kondo on your scrub closet. Translation: Get rid of all the mismatched scrubs with faded colors, ripped pockets, and ink stains. Once you make room for your sleek new wardrobe, it’s time to go shopping!
At Keswi, we encourage you to "create your own set." But that doesn't mean you have to go it alone. We've got some great ideas on what will help you look (and feel) your best. Here are scrub set ideas that will take your healthcare uniform from blah to wow.
You can mix and match any top and bottom from Keswi and we guarantee they'll match just like a set would. You could even match them with print scrub tops from other brands like Wonderwink, Heartsoul, or whatever others you might have in your closet.
The Original Women's Scrub Set: Malibu Scrub Top & Livia Scrub Pants
When putting together your scrub set collection, choose pieces that work well with others and have a mix of classic and trendy looks. Also, there’s no need to be matchy-matchy. You can experiment by pairing a pewter-colored top with wine-hued pants. For a timeless look, you can’t go wrong pairing the following women’s scrub top and bottom.
Malibu V-Neck Scrub Top
A classic scrub top featuring a flattering V-neck, Keswi’s Malibu V-neck scrub top is the perfect partner for the Livia cargo scrub pants. It’s the scrub equivalent of the LBD! The flattering blouse has two roomy, top-opening front pockets and two large side-opening pockets to easily store your stethoscope. You’ll appreciate the concealed power mesh pocket, which is perfect for stowing your phone or other personal items.
Livia Cargo Scrub Pants
The back chop pockets of the Livia cargo scrub pants bring extra flare to a typically basic feature. These pants have a tailored slim fit with an elastic waistband and interior drawstrings, so you never have to worry about having a comfy yet secure fit.
There are two roomy angled front pockets, which you’ll love as they are easier to get into. One pocket features an interior mesh cell phone compartment so you always have your device safely stashed.
The Distinct Women’s Scrub Set: Mira Scrub Top & Ventura Scrub Pants
For a distinct style that brings a little flair to the hospital floor, try pairing these two pieces for a DIY scrub set you’ll love.They’re best sellers for a reason.
Mira Mock Wrap Scrub Top
This on-trend mock wrap top and jogger pant combo is perfect for a more personalized uniform look. The Mira scrub top features a five-pocket design and a faux wrapped front and curved neckline for a fashionable, feminine touch.
As for function, the left sleeve pocket with zipper closure is perfect for personal items or extra end caps. And don’t forget the ID badge loop on the right shoulder, which is perfectly placed to keep your badge within sight but out of your way.
Ventura Jogger Scrub Pants
The Ventura jogger pant is a streetwear-style jogger that’s worth the hype. The flat front waistband ensures no bunchiness and the brushed cuff sits perfectly at your ankle for a casual yet chic look.
The Original Men's Scrub Set: Ozark Scrub Top & Glasgow Scrub Pants
Guys tend to prefer easy over complicated when it comes to shopping for clothes, and scrubs are no different. Here are two great scrub sets – one for a more classic look and one that's a little bit edgier.
Ozark V-Neck Scrub Top
You can’t go wrong pairing the Ozark V-neck scrub top and Glasgow cargo pants. The relaxed fit of this pocket V-neck keeps things comfortable while the chest pocket, shoulder pen pocket with a divider, and ID badge loop make sure your essentials are nearby all shift long.
Glasgow Scrub Pants
The Glasgow cargo pants offer a functional yet fashionable scrub look. With nine pockets, you have plenty of room in these tailored pants yet you’ll never look bulky. There’s even a couple of concealed inner pockets to stash your phone or mints.
The Distinct Men’s Scrub Set: Ajax Scrub Top & Bristol Scrub Pants
Keswi’s Ajax scrub shirt features a henley neckline with snap-front buttons. There’s also a zipper pocket on the left sleeve for secure storage. The ID badge loop on the right shoulder and pen loops on the left sleeve provide storage without having front pockets. There’s a large chest pocket and a left sleeve pocket with a divider to keep your pen and pen light within reach at all times.
Bristol Jogger Scrub Pants
The Bristol joggers are sleek and sporty with an elastic waist, tailored fit, and brushed cuffs at the ankle. There are two large front pockets, back pockets, and cargo pockets for all your storage needs (including your Littmann stethoscope).
Shop With a Scrub Set State of Mind
We understand it seems logical to want to buy scrub sets, but as you’ve learned, they’re not always what they’re cracked up to be. Learning how to combine separates to create a polished look can be fun and makes last-minute uniform decisions in the morning less stressful.
Before clicking the checkout button, choose scrub brands that only use fade-resistant, high-quality materials so the colors and structure of the pieces last. Also, if you don’t wear the same size top and pants, consider building your own scrub set using separate pieces from the same brand. Find fashion inspiration from the classics as well as new trends to build your sets. But above all, choose medical scrubs that make you feel your best so your patients get your best.