Tucking In Your Scrub Top: Yes Or No?

When you walk into any medical institution, you can’t help but notice rooms filled with professionals using scrubs. While the uniforms themselves are identical, the style in which you wear them can differ from one person to another. One of the most common trends seen is tucking.

Strangely, the issue of tucking is something of a hot topic among many healthcare professionals. Some see it as sacrilege – that makes you look super weird. Others see it as the best way to wear a pair of scrubs.

This article aims to take a look at the question, hopefully figuring out (once and for all) if tucking in your scrub top is best.

The Pros and Cons of Tucking in Your Scrub Top

Like any other nuance in fashion, tucking has advantages and disadvantages. Knowing these prime facts can help you prevent possible disaster in your appearance or the line of duty.

Below we take a better look at the pros and cons of tucked vs untucked scrubs to help you make the appropriate choice for your uniform.

Tucked In Scrub TopUntucked Scrub Top
Pros It can look more professional. Tucking can prevent your scrubs from getting soiled, dirty, or stained. It’s out of your way, so you’re more comfortable going about your duties. It is beneficial in the OR as it reduces the possibility of compromising a sterile environment.Depending on the style, it can make you look more flattering. Easier access to bottom pockets can give you more freedom of motion
ConsNot all scrub tops are meant to be tucked in, like the ones with pockets at the bottom. It can be too restrictive if tucked in too tight. It can bunch up and make you look weird.The scrub may look like it doesn’t fit you—too big. It may come in the way while bending. The scrub can get dirty— sweep on surfaces or touch a sterile environment.

After looking at the advantages and disadvantages, it’s clear that tucking can either work in your favor or not.

For instance, scrub tops with specific designs such as mock wraps and bottom pockets can be difficult to tuck, as the bunching causes discomfort. While ill-fitting scrubs can look neater when they are tucked. We find that it’s best to assess your uniform style and working environment before deciding. 

The General Scrub Tucking Rule

Probably the best piece of advice when it comes to deciding whether to tuck or not is to evaluate by quality.

High-end scrubs with an almost tailored-fit? Definitely better off untucked.

Hospital scrubs that have seen better days? Probably better tucked. That’ll help hide the worn creases that appear after a big amount of washes.

As mentioned above, pockets also have a big role to play in terms of tucking. How are you supposed to fit or carry anything in pockets tucked tightly into your scrub bottoms? You don’t want your tuck to be too restrictive.

But all this is assuming you have a freedom of choice. Some hospitals, or clinics etc., may have a strict scrub dress code. Meaning the decision on tuck vs untuck comes down to the employer.

Make sure you read carefully any code of conduct relating to dress in your workplace.

Related: Can Doctors Have Piercings? (Explained!)

Do untucked scrubs look unprofessional?

Not necessarily. There’s no uniform rule saying scrubs need to be worn one way or the other. And most healthcare facilities are more concerned that they’re worn (rather than how they look).

A lot of top-level specialists have a preference for untucked. It says nothing about their professional capabilities.

How To Tuck In Scrubs With Pockets

If you don’t want to buy pocketless tuck-in scrubs (yes, these are an option), then you may be wondering; how do I best tuck in scrubs with pockets?

The answer is pretty obvious (like you would any other garment), but there are some basic rules to follow:

  • Try to not tuck your top so that you can’t access your pockets (this is important real-estate for things like pagers etc.)
  • Make sure tucking covers your underclothes (scrubs are intended as protective clothing)
  • Choose sensible underclothing (ensuring no part of your body is left exposed)
  • Be careful about how tight your scrubs looked once tucked

That last point is particularly important when considering the issue of the scrub bulge – more on this here; Bulge In Your Scrubs? Important Questions Answered!

What’s the Best Women’s Tuck In Scrub Top?

Based on research, the most popular tuck-in styles appear to be the following:

  1. Cherokee Form Women Scrubs Top Tuckable V-Neck
  2. Grey’s Anatomy Edge Lyra Top for Women – Wrinkle Recovery
  3. Med Couture Touch Women’s Chest Pocket Tuck in Top

Figs Tucked In Scrub Top

Another scrub pairing that’s very on-trend is the Figs One-Pocket Scrub Top for Women.

Slim-fitting, with a super soft stretch, this is the scrub of choice or the look-conscious nurse or doctor.

Scrubs Tucked or Untucked? What Does Reddit Say?

Listen to your superiors on the issue

Ortho doc told me to tuck in my scrubs because it was hospital regs or JCAHO or something, so I just kept doing it. Other than that, I feel like a lot of the nurses I’ve seen have better scrubs with pockets at the bottom of the shirt, which would make sense to leave untucked.


The tuck definitely isn’t universal

In all my clinical rotations (Canada) maybe 20% of docs tuck in their scrubs, so it definitely isn’t a universal thing


Sometimes regulations dictate

Scrubs are tucked in at hospitals because it’s a CDC sanitation recommendation. If you aren’t in the OR it’s not the same, which is why nurses on the floors don’t have theirs tucked in.

– Anonymous

Final Thoughts: Scrubs Tucked Vs Scrubs Untucked

Unless hospital regulations state otherwise, deciding to tuck your scrubs or not is a personal choice. An untucked scrub is no less professional – and in some cases more comfortable and less restrictive. While the tucked might work better for sanitary reasons.

Where do you stand on the debate?