What to Wear with a White Coat (Plus Tons of Healthcare Clothing Tips!)

White coat + fashion = smart AND stylish.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you purchase through our links. Please read our full disclosure here.

Stethoscope next to computer

We’ve already discussed what to wear to a white coat ceremony here at College Fashion, but what about after? What do you wear when this is what you’re going to be wearing in every day of your life? Well fret no longer. Today, I reveal our ultimate guide to white coat outfits and what to wear under a white coat.

Health care professional clothing is a subset of business formal. However, it’s made easier by the fact that the white coat itself counts as your jacket. So instead of needing an actual suit, you can wear a skirt and blouse with a white coat, or blouse and trousers. 

Be careful though! Being in a hospital generally entails a lot more standing or walking than other business formal fields (I always get my 12 hours of standing per day!) so stilettos are probably not your friend.

Below are four white coat outfits to get you started, then scroll further because I’ve got tips on how to dress up your scrubs, too!

1: Pharm White Coat Outfit

White coat outfit for pharm - black dress, pharm necklace, stud earrings, low wedge nude heels

Products: Sheath Dress – Dress Barn (only $30!), Necklace – Etsy, Earrings – South Moon Under, Heels – Amazon

The most important thing to consider when wearing a dress or skirt in a professional context is length. You need a skirt that is knee length or below. This black sheath dress is long enough and figure-flattering while not being too tight. The lack of sleeves would be inappropriate, but since it’s under a white coat, it ends up being tasteful and classy. 

Pair the dress with some nude low wedge heels. The small heel adds to your professional appeal while being low enough to remain comfortable while walking around.

Finally, add this adorable handmade pharm necklace from Etsy, featuring a mortar and pestle. And don’t forget a tiny bit of sparkle for your ears.

2: Dentistry White Coat Outfit

Dentistry white coat outfit -- red sheath dress, black wedges, clear earrings, tooth necklace

Products: Red Dress – New York & Co., Black Heels – Amazon, Earrings – Kate Spade, Tooth Necklace – Etsy

These low wedge shoes are actually the same ones in the above photo, but in black. They would go perfectly with a red wrap waist dress, while remaining comfortable to wear while walking between exam rooms. 

This dress covers the knees and arms and is tied gently around the waist in a flattering drape. When you’re not working, it would work just as well as a dress to go out for a dinner date! Add this cute little tooth necklace to have the perfect accessory to wear for any occasion. Again, finish with simple studs.

3: Radiology White Coat Outfit

Radiology white coat outfit - polka dot blouse, nice black pants, red suede flats, skeleton earrings

Products: Pants – Gap, Blouse – H&M, Red Flats – Walmart, Skeleton Earrings – Etsy 

For an easy go-to outfit, go for some black slacks and a patterned blouse! Cigarette-style pants are a nice way to tie in a current trend while still being formal enough to wear at work. One of the important parts of having your clothing look formal is material. So make sure your pants are appropriate! Don’t substitute in dark jeans and hope no one can tell the difference (guilty!).

This cute blouse features cheerful polka dots and a tie bow that will definitely earn you some compliments. Add red flats for a pop! 

Demonstrate your dedication to imaging the human body with these skeleton earrings. Aww, bones are both cute on the screen and cute on your ears!

4: Medicine White Coat Outfit

Medicine white coat outfit: Burgundy midi skirt, striped blouse, nude shiny pointed toe heels, medicine necklace, pearl earrings

Products: Blouse – Mango, Midi Skirt – Amazon, Studs – Kate Spade, Medicine Necklace – Amazon, Heels – Marc Fisher

A-line midi skirts are a great way to balance comfort and professionalism in the workplace. They’re long enough to cover the knee while being looser than a pencil skirt. Feel free to stride along like the free woman you are, your steps unhindered. 

Since more of your leg is showing, add a pair of pointy toe heels to fully commit to the “I’m a French lady walking along the Seine” vibe.

Use a striped blouse and a sweet silver necklace to keep the look soft and romantic. The nice thing about this necklace is that unlike many EKG necklaces, this one is somewhat accurate. Finish with pretty, feminine earrings.

For Extra Fun: SCRUBS. 

This is a discussion of what to wear with real life, real hospital-issued scrubs

This is not a discussion of nice, flattering, “buy them yourself and look cute” scrubs. You’re fine. you already look good. You don’t need this.

Comparison of scrubs worn by Izzie in Grey's Anatomy and scrubs sold by the company Landau
This ain’t Grey’s Anatomy. I’m talking the scrubs on the right here.

Here are my tips for scrub wearing. 

Must have items for wearing with scrubs: Fleece lined leggings, bralette, memory foam shoes, badge pull, clipboard

Products: Fleece-Lined Leggings – Anthropologie, Long Line Bra – TargetMemory Foam Shoes – Skechers, Liver ID Pull – Awkward Yeti, Folding Clipboard – Amazon

1. Bralettes

Scrubs are loose. Everywhere. Use this to your advantage and free yourself from boob jail. “But Christi”, you say, “you don’t understand. Bralettes are only for girls B cups and less. I’m unable to free myself.” 

“NONSENSE!” I say, confidently, perhaps even arrogantly. However, somehow, not unattractively so. “You have yet to try the long-line bras from Target. Even my busty self can wear them and I haven’t worn a single letter bra size since high school”. You are convinced. You buy one. It is amazing. You thank me mentally when you put it on, daily.

2. Tennis shoes

Not just any tennis shoes. Get memory foam tennis shoes. I got my first pair of memory foam tennis shoes while waiting tables and I was convinced. If you’re going to be on your feet all day, these are the babies you need.

3. Leggings

Fleece-lined leggings will save you in the winter months. Scrubs allow wind to blow through you, causing endless sadness and cold. With a pair of fleece-lined leggings, you can keep your bottom half reasonably warm.

4. Folding clipboard and anatomy ID pull

These clipboards are amazing; they fold in half and fit in a white coat pocket. You can buy notebooks that fit in them perfectly, or you can even purchase ones that fit an iPad mini if that floats your boat. 

Add on a cute ID pull like the ones sold by the Awkward Yeti and you’ll be styling for sure.

Final Thoughts

Do any of these outfits look like something you’d want to wear? What about in a different career? Let us know!

4 thoughts on “What to Wear with a White Coat (Plus Tons of Healthcare Clothing Tips!)”

  1. The only outfit that looks practical is radiology. I’ve worked with numerous female pharmacists. They might wear a dress in the winter with leggings, but rarely. Community pharmacy is ~100% on your feet so while this makes it somewhat easier to wear a dress (no worries about sitting “ladylike,” there’s no sitting!) this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s practical. Where I work there is a lot of bending over, occasional climbing on countertops to reach things, and somewhat decent agility is needed just to maneuver around the tight and overcrowded spaces. A skirt/dress that’s too restricting would not function well.

  2. finally something i can relate to!!! Yes to the bralettes, I own 10 pairs from aerie and they are the best ( target abandonned the canadian maket a while ago…) But those Aeries, OMG , I never taught i would be able to wear bralettes because of my breast size, I tried one on last summer and NEVER got back to the torture again!!!! Also yes for everything in the scrubs section. I am less convinced about the medicine outfit. Heel when you are on your feet all day do not seem like a good idea to me. ( The outfit is cute, love the midi skirt even though i cannot wear them cauz i am too short, sorry, “petite”, the blouse is meh to me but this is personnal opinion). Thanks for the post!

    • Hi Louise! The medicine outfit is definitely one that had a bit of discussion before it’s final reveal !(Fashion can be so controversial!)

      My original suggestion for shoes was https://www.dsw.com/en/us/product/mix-no.-6-scarlette-ribbon-ballet-flat/387559?cm_mmc=CSE-_-GPS-_-G_Shopping_Flats-_-New_Flats&cadevice=c&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8ZqHwOzh1wIVl_5kCh0LEATQEAkYBCABEgLwC_D_BwE

      And the blouse was http://m.hm.com/us/product/73825?article=73825-K

      Maybe one of these articles might work better for you!

    • Makes sense! I think heels, for me, always make me feel more professional but they’re completely optional if they hurt you. We definitely recommend the block heels (shown above) as well, as opposed to stilettos, etc. for comfort. But you could totally substitute ballet flats in any of the outfits.


Leave a Comment