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The Transformation of Nursing Uniforms

At some point in your life, you will very likely have to go to the hospital, either as a patient, or as a visitor. So what's changed about the staff? For us at Comfort, the improvements to the uniforms are absolutely the talking point! Following up on the topic of female empowerment from our past article "The Thing About Uniforms and Female Identity", this week we'll be talking about the traditionally "female" industry of nursing.

So what do most people think about when thinking about nurses? Some may think about the skimpy sexy nurse outfits from Halloween, or about the pristine white colour of the clothing blending in with the lackluster walls of a hospital, or worse still: only women are in the field. The thing is, that simply isn't true. Again, I could go on about the debatable topics of gender equality and stereotyping, but I would like to talk about the changing face of the uniforms

We previously looked at how restricting female uniforms in the olden days could be, and for the nursing industry, we could very much say the same. To start our observations, let's bear in mind the fact that nursing was not a profession until around 1840's, influenced by the iconic Florence Nightingale. During this time, the uniform consisted of long dresses, with long sleeves, and long waist aprons, vaguely looking very much like a servant. As we entered the 20th century, the uniforms started looking smarter for nurses, with more tailored and professional looks, such that by the time nurses started playing roles during the world wars, their outfits began to focus on practicality and cleanliness. It wasn't after the war, where the displaced medical army men looked for other occupations, such as nursing, and the brought about the emergence of male nursing uniforms. But the general idea for both male and female uniforms was clear: nursing uniforms have to adapt to being functional, durable, and comfortable. As we approach the more modern nursing uniforms, we could see that the design has been evolving to become more flattering, with nurses wearing shorter dresses, with short sleeves finally becoming the norm. Check out the gallery below to see the changes mentioned above*.


Today, nursing uniforms tend to be more colourful, with both male and female nurses opting for the well known scrubs for their comfort, functionality, and for being easy to wash. The future of the nursing uniform industry is looking brighter than ever, with the introduction of functional fabrics, and ergonomic nurse shoes. According to the World Health Organisation, there are currently 19.3 million nurses in the world, so that's a whole lot of nurses looking for the next best uniform choice!

If you are looking for a new nursing uniform design or for some incredibly comfortable nursing shoes, look no further, as we at Comfort Workwear Ltd will be here waiting for you to let us know your style! Contact us if you want to learn more about our functional fabrics and uniform solutions!

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