Okay, I'm laughing. Have been, ever since I was waiting in line at the Wal Mart fabric counter and spotted a Simplicity Pattern display showing "The Hottest Fashion Trend: Scrubs." Sew your own, save money, be extremely cool. Oh. My. Gosh. All those decades that I lived in scrubs--sometimes 16 hours at a stretch if I pulled a double shift--I was a FASHIONISTA. Who would ever have guessed that? Not anyone who actually saw me. Because, honestly, we're talkin' baggy and shapeless, highwater or trip-worthy pant legs, useless pockets , skimpy sleeves, drawstring waistbands and a traditional color range of blue and green. In hues of : Not-yet-Washed, Faded-into-Oblivion, and Hopelessly-Stained-by-Iodine Soap-and-Leaky-Ballpoint-Pen.
But, Grey's Anatomy has changed all that. And the scrub-makers are cashing in, offering the Grey's inspired, Katherine Heigl "Izzy" collection (after one of the mega-hit show's stars), which "draws inspiration from both runway looks and current lifestyle trends."
Runway?? Scrubs? That's a stretch, unless it counts that nurses run from the moment they hit hospital doors . . . to assess patients, administer medication, assist doctors, explain procedures, comfort both patients and family members, perform CPR, ride on Code 3 ambulance runs, climb aboard helicopter transports, mentor student nurses and paramedics, attend staff meetings . . . and much, much more. Run, yes. Runway looks, trends--hmmm. Not that I didn't try, mind you. For instance:
Vests: I became the Queen of Vests in my ER. Sewed my own (yes, a Simplicity pattern) in prints like: Chili Pepper, Easter Egg, Christmas Package, which (quite practically) reversed to Autumn Harvest, 4th of July flags, and Halloween Pumpkin.
Jumpsuits: while, though cute, were a royal pain to negotiate on a 45-second bathroom break between Code 3 ambulance arrivals. I'm lucky to have survived at all.
Cute-sy socks: A fashion statement which perks up any drab scrub set (and ugly, practical white shoe)--and is also prone to Iodine stains. And has the same bouquet as junior-high gym socks after after a grueling 12-hour shift.
Glamorous hairstyles: Do NOT ask me about my Princess Leia braids. Or the time I foolishly got a spiral perm the night before work. And did an impression of The Bride of Frankenstein for a subsequent humiliating and endless shift.
Custom scrub top: Silk-screened from an incredible sketch of our entire Methodist Hospital ER staff. Day shift, PM's, Night Shift. Friends and teammates (wacky, loyal, incredibly skilled and compassionate) front and back, on this one-of-a-kind scrub top. A weird and amazing idea. A salute to people who touched countless lives. And the only article of scrub clothes I've ever kept.
So, scrubs as fashion? I'm not sure I'm going to agree with that. I've worked in them, worn them during a bank robbery (another don't-ask situation), slept in them, laughed in them, cried in them, prayed in them . . . lived in them for most of my adult life. Fashion, nah. Clothing worn by some of the most amazing and compassionate warriors I've ever known? Robes of angels? You betcha.
Here's to the genuine everyday Scrub Fashionistas--set a trend, my honored comrades, we need you!