What to wear in Medical School: The Essentials for Women

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Fashion in medical school is one thing most people ignore because the everyday life of a med student would usually involve grabbing a cup of coffee, putting on scrubs or a white coat on a regular top and simple skirt and getting to the ward.

For someone entering medical school afresh, it can be a challenge trying to figure out the things to pack in terms of clothing for the many years of your stay.

This happened to me a few years back. Right after premed/basic sciences, you quickly transition into a business (well mostly business casual) world. I know the various schools have their basic requirements and rules when it comes to dressing codes but they all amount to the same style

I love all things chic and street style and that was my mode of dressing in premed/basic sciences. Therefore, my entire wardrobe needed a revamp to do away with the skinny jeans, cute tops, and t-shirts once I entered med school properly.

When our code of dressing was released, it was clear the school required us to dress formally but I still went against the rules on my first day and I was left totally embarrassed.

I remember going for a simple top and skinny jeans with sandals but tucked in to appear less casual. All throughout the entire orientation, I remained timid and not wanting to move an inch because I didn’t want to be pointed out for my outfit. Gladly the day ended for me to get things right.

This happens most of the time to freshers. Not knowing what to wear in medical school.

Here are the basics you’ll need;

what to wear in medical school



This is what I think of the most when I’m doing my back to school shopping. At the end of the day, all you’ll need will be enough blouses to match your one skirt or pants. It doesn’t have to be all glamourous or shirty. Just a presentable one that would look good both tucked in or left out


For the more formal looks, shirts are a staple. I absolutely love these H&M shirts because of the length. It gives a good tuck in as well as a casual-chic style when I decide on a front knot. Another favorite look I love is a suit dress on a plain long sleeve shirt. I went for this outfit one time at school matched with my Clarks Hamble Loafers and I was over the moon with it.

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Cotton Shirt - Powder pink/blue plaid - Ladies | H&M US



I can literally count the number of skirts I have, maybe 5? As I said earlier, it’s all about mix and match in med school because no one is really looking (haha someone is definitely looking). I swear by a particular black skirt I’ve worn over and over again. I’m pretty sure it goes unnoticed when I wear it 5 days a week.

Medical school gives you an opportunity to build a capsule wardrobe if you please because you can do with just one skirt and a few tops and you’re good to go!

Pants/Pair of trousers

Just like skirts, owning a black pair of trousers has been a lifesaver because it matches most of my blouses. I’m not a fan of tucking in trousers because I feel exposed sometimes (my weight) but it always looks so good and formal once you get that shirt in.

Jeans are, however (for my school) not allowed for obvious reasons. The fact that it appears less professional and the clear manipulative way students would try to style them to look good. Lol. Once awhile I see people pair their blouses with a decent pair of black jeans and it usually goes unchecked/unseen.

Formal Dresses

I lovvee formal dresses. It ‘s a quick way to get your formal look together while staying elegant. Complementing your plain formal dresses with these brooches is one perfect way I add a little sparkle to it in addition to a good pair of shoes (in this case a colored one). Dresses are great but you can’t wear them as much as those mixes and match tops and bottoms. Having a good number about 6-9 is enough in my opinion

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The ideal medical student is supposed to put on shoes that cover the entire foot because of the dangers on the ward. Although sandals and slippers are not prohibited. Again, I prefer black to colored ones due to the multiple attires they go with.

Sneakers are fine but you’d have to wear them to look professional. A white converse or black pair will do

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Heels are also permitted but more of the kitten ones which are trending now. Of course, no one wants to slip while on the ward. I love wearing flats/court shoes most of the time because it’s more comfortable allowing absolute freedom in moving around while clerking patients


Much of jewelry is not necessary. Simple stud earrings and a single chain necklace will do. The whole concept is to appear less blinky because you’d want to portray yourself as empathetic even with your looks toward the patient.


Now makeup? I personally don’t put on makeup to lectures or the ward but others do. Honestly, I spend so much time on makeup because the 1% perfectionist in me will not have it doing it anyhow. Also, the majority of my mates don’t do it anyway. It’s not breaking any rules, makeup is totally allowed but again minimal.


My new found love when it comes to handbags are the tote ones. It can carry my laptop, chargers, notebooks, clipboard, and now my pandemic flu kit all at once. A good backpack is also great and even better because of the balance in wearing it on both shoulders rather than one. There are n restrictions to this but it’s one sure way to get organized in med school.

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Professional suit

I kept this last because presentations and situations which require this kind of absolute business look are very rare in med school once you’re done with your interviews. Maybe twice a semester. I’d advise you include at least one professional suit in your wardrobe to cater to emergency situations.

I included a little gallery here of a few medical outfits just to give you an idea

Hope you enjoy!

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