Because healthcare workers are the true VIPs, thoughtful, runway-inspired details are increasingly found in medical scrub fashions to help them look and feel their best. Barco’s medical scrub design team predicted what medical scrub trends we can expect to see in 2022 — including athleisure-inspired styles, a wide variety of silhouettes, a mix of bright and neutral color palettes, unexpected details, and Barco’s antimicrobial fabric.
After the latest designer fashions debut at Fashion Week each year, you might expect to see the latest styles making their way from the runway to red carpets and magazine covers. But hospital corridors and medical offices? While these settings aren’t *quite* as glamorous, that doesn’t mean the people who work there don’t deserve to look and feel like celebrities. After all, healthcare providers are the true VIPs.
That’s why our design team at Barco — fashion industry veterans who have worked with brands like Levi, Neiman Marcus, and Z.Cavaricci — not only obsess over the latest design trends, but find unique ways to incorporate the looks into Barco’s healthcare apparel.
We spoke with a few of the design leads behind Barco’s iconic scrub brands — including Grey’s Anatomy by Barco, Skechers by Barco, and Barco ONE scrubs — to learn what’s inspiring them now, and what scrub fashion aficionados can expect this coming Spring season.
As more people exercised and worked from home amid the pandemic, athleisure and loungewear suddenly became work wardrobe staples. Of course, we all know there’s little leisure involved in healthcare work — and certainly not as much “WFH.” But the high-end touches that have made their way into designer leisure and activewear clothing are also appearing in healthcare apparel.
This year, styles will increasingly bridge the gap between fashion and function. Scrub bottoms will resemble designer streetwear, with jogger scrub pants remaining a popular uniform staple. Meanwhile, scrub fabric will also continue to blend style and functionality. Barco’s design team expects comfort, durability, and movement to remain essential, while scrub materials will begin to incorporate more substance with heavier weights and textures.
These comfy, casual styles might look effortless, but a lot of thought and care goes into designing them, especially when meeting healthcare workers’ unique needs.
“We are very much a ‘bespoke’ company, meaning every part of delivering the best scrubs in the market is touched by a human being,” said Matt Hendricks, Barco’s Design Director of Healthcare Apparel. “A person that cares about our healthcare providers and knows that we have to answer to them in every way possible.”
If you’ve wondered, “What kind of jeans aren’t in right now?” you’re not alone. There is no shortage of silhouettes and styles in stores — from skinny and polished to baggy, ripped “boyfriend” jeans. Scrub designs are also incorporating more variety, which is excellent news for those who embrace it. It also makes finding on-trend apparel for different body shapes and sizes easier.
Matt describes this phenomenon as a “tale of two sides: leggings and fitted skinnies continue, but alongside a rapidly-growing resurgence of fuller fits and leg shapes like fit & flare and wide leg.”
The women’s Nova pant from Barco’s Grey’s Anatomy Edge collection is a chic and comfortable option for healthcare professionals looking to explore the flared pant trend. Classic, tapered fits like the Barco ONE Spark pant (women’s) and the Grey’s Anatomy Evolution pant (men’s) remain fan favorites.
Each year, the Pantone Color Institute selects a Color of the Year by analyzing worldwide fashion trends and cultural influences. The 2022 selection, “Very Peri,” is a shade of purple-y blue that the Pantone Institute says represents a “spritely, joyous attitude and dynamic presence.”
While the Barco team predicts bright and energetic colors will remain prominent, subdued neutrals are making a comeback. “Anticipate a growing interest in shades of brown as the base neutral,” says Matt.
Just as the industry is seeing more variety in shapes and silhouettes, Matt expects a broader range of colors to appear in medical apparel — from classic black and white to denim, pink, and lavenders.
Details like pockets have always been important in medical scrub design to aid healthcare workers in their day-to-day tasks. But who says you can’t incorporate “just because” details to medical uniforms to elevate their style and self-expression?
A few of the surprising details that Matt predicts we can look forward to in 2022: pleating, volume, lace, zippers, and crafted details. He thinks we should “expect the unexpected” in 2022. Among his predictions: “unique trim placements, exaggerated proportions, eye-catching materials/substrates, and texture mixing to enhance visual interest.”
Along with hand sanitizer and masks, antimicrobial products are making their way into consumers’ shopping bags as new innovations provide new ways to fight harmful pathogens. The need to protect healthcare workers is also top-of-mind for Barco’s design team.
“Healthcare workers know that they need to take care of themselves,” says Matt. “This pandemic has brought about this realization.”
When asked which new scrub product lines they were most excited about in 2022, Matt named the Grey’s Anatomy by Barco Spandex Stretch collection — which will introduce an antimicrobial fabric finish that inhibits germs, mold, mildew, and odor.
“It’s a completely new product offering for both women’s and men’s, with an amplified message about the added antimicrobial property of the fabric,” said Matt.