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Not every fashion company puts this much thought and care into women’s clothing design. It’s no wonder so many women healthcare professionals swear by Grey’s Anatomy by Barco medical scrubs!
Over the years, women's medical uniform design has tended to follow cultural norms — even when those "norms" didn't seem to take comfort or functionality into account. Imagine a time when women healthcare practitioners (mainly nurses) were expected to perform their jobs wearing full-length, starched dresses and shoes with heels!
Fortunately, the 1950s marked the beginning of a renaissance in medical uniform design. That was thanks to a visionary named Kenneth Donner, who had taken over the Barco Uniforms business in the 1930s, and saw an opportunity to improve the fashion and function of women's uniforms. (Read more about how Barco has been pioneering medical uniforms for decades.)
Today, Barco's Grey's Anatomy women's scrubs are designed by women, for women — and tested on real healthcare professionals, too! We spoke with Chantel Pierre, a senior designer at Barco (the parent company of Grey's Anatomy by Barco), to learn more about her team's design process, the importance of body-type inclusivity, and all the uniform details female healthcare workers have to consider.
Barco's in-house design team has experience working with other top fashion brands, so their design process looks similar. It starts with finding creative ways to incorporate the latest runway colors and trends into the Grey's Anatomy by Barco uniform designs.
"The process starts from concept and color, where designers initiate new creative elements whether that be within the silhouette, design details, trims, or fabric sourcing," Chantel explained. "As a team, we design into collections and initiate new color concepts within our many brands at Barco."
Chantel and her team believe it's essential for women to feel both comfortable and stylish at work, so they pay close attention to the overall styles and silhouettes that are trending. Which trends are inspiring her the most now? "I would say the 'fit & flare' pant and the high-waisted wide-leg scrub pant," she says.
In "fast fashion," corners are often cut to get garments into production as quickly as possible, sacrificing quality and fit. That's not acceptable for the team at Barco, who understand that healthcare workers expect and deserve more from the uniforms they wear every workday. So, once designs reach the prototype phase, they are tested on live models. It's this thorough, high-touch process that has made Grey's Anatomy by Barco women's scrubs famous for their fantastic fit.
"Much time is taken within the fitting process, as it is imperative that the fit of every style is great," says Chantel. "This is something we take much pride in — knowing that the professional wearing our collections needs to feel good with every movement. We fit a multitude of prototypes to ensure we're getting the best fit before moving into production."
When it comes to ensuring a flattering fit for every woman wearing Grey's Anatomy by Barco scrubs, there is much more to the process than simply replicating a pattern in a larger size. At Barco, body type inclusivity is part of the process from the beginning, when the team thinks through the details like chest pockets and waistbands.
This design inclusivity also means testing on different body types. "We are inclusive of curvy models within our fit process and make sure our scrub styles fit immaculately on all sizes and figures," says Chantel. "We make sure our fit model can move freely without having to worry about her clothes not moving with her."
What woman hasn't felt, at some point, that clothing designers didn't take her needs into account? If you've ever wished more women's clothes had pockets, you've been there. Fortunately, the Grey's Anatomy by Barco scrub design team listens to all of this feedback to deliver uniforms that function as great as they look. And yes, that includes thoughtfully incorporating pockets.
"As a healthcare professional, she wants to know that everything is accessible to her and on hand," Chantel added. "We ensure that she has a pocket for every device she needs — from a pen placement to a scissor pocket or personal device holder. Every detail is clearly thought out so that what she is wearing complies with her everyday needs."
Much thought and intentionality also go into the fabric choice to enhance comfort, functionality, and ease of care. The Grey's Anatomy by Barco Spandex Stretch collection for women features Barco antimicrobial fabric properties in many styles, which helps protect against bacteria, mold, and other harmful pathogens. And because consumers increasingly value environmental responsibility, the Barco design team has found unique ways to incorporate sustainability into its Barco ONE and Skechers by Barco product lines.
The overall result? Women's medical scrub styles with elevated fit and function. It's no wonder Grey's Anatomy by Barco has been a fan favorite among women for all of these years.