You're my doctor? It's not a question a doctor wants to hear from a patient. Doctors have to look the part. They have to dress in a way that signals professionalism to nurture trust and confidence in their patient. How can a doctor's attire achieve that goal?
The University of Michigan surveyed more than 4,000 patients who said their doctor's attire is important to them. 33% said that it influenced their satisfaction with their care. Researchers learned that dress pants, a dress shirt (and tie for men), and a white coat rated highest among patients.
That makes it easy, right? Well, not quite. Knowing what patients prefer helps, but we want to show how a doctor's attire can look polished while demonstrating a commitment to care. And since you have enough on your plate, let's make it effortless.
Here are elements of a male doctor's attire that prescribe professionalism, care and compassion.
A Versatile Suit to Anchor a Doctor's Attire
Building the ideal doctor's attire starts with the right suit (when you're not in scrubs). Stick to classic suit colours like navy blue and light or medium grey. And get it tailored! Feel how the jacket and pants drape on your body.
It shouldn't feel so loose that you have excess fabric floating about. And it shouldn't feel so tight that you worry one false move will rip your suit apart. Sit, stand, reach and move around in your suit. It should move with you and not tug in the wrong places.
As for your trousers, hem them to the appropriate length. Excess fabric pooling at your shoes can make you look like you're playing dress-up.
One last thing about your suit jacket: the buttons. Avoid 3-button suits and choose one or two buttons. A single-button suit gives you a more modern look with its deeper V-shape. If you have a more athletic build, a two-button jacket will draw more attention to your chest than your waist.
Of course, you won't wear a suit jacket underneath your white coat when seeing patients. You'll reserve that for meetings and conferences. Let's look at the next element of an ideal doctor's attire: the dress shirt.
Show How You Care in a Crisp Dress Shirt
Fit, of course, should be your primary consideration. Wear an appropriate length that allows you to tuck the shirt in comfortably. Watch out for your sleeves. Too long or too short, and you'll look like a science experiment gone awry.
You'll want white or light blue dress shirts to complement your navy blue and grey suits. Make the right choice when choosing your collar type. A cutaway collar (where the collar points finish farther apart) may be too bold in the clinic or hospital but appropriate for conferences.
Make the safe choice with a spread collar. Or pick up a button-collar shirt that will keep your collar high and tight throughout your day.
Add a Healthy Dose of Details
With the suit and shirt in order, now comes a question professionals in all industries ask every morning: Tie or no tie?
We say, yes! It's part of the doctor's attire that rated highest among the surveyed patients. We also love how a tie fills the frame created by a suit jacket's lapels (or a white coat). Wearing a tie radiates professionalism and sophistication. It signals that the wearer is willing to go the extra mile. Who wouldn't feel good with a doctor who does that?
Refined designs, high-quality materials and fine craftsmanship make ties that leave the best impression. Ties with loud designs undermine the message you're trying to send. Choose versatile ties with understated designs to complement your navy and grey suits.
Start with a White-Ringed Deep Blue Six-Fold Tie and work from there. Stay away from overly complicated knots that distract from your overall attire. Keep your knot simple and sophisticated like our go-to Four-in-Hand Knot.
Treat Your Feet with Sophisticated Shoes and Comfortable Socks
With the suit, dress shirt and tie en pointe, you're ready for whatever your day has in store. You've built a solid doctor's attire! But there's an important piece we haven't discussed yet: footwear.
Doctors spend a lot of the day on their feet. We need to take care of those feet while looking elegant. You don't want the patient glancing down to see beat-up old sneakers or combat boots.
Pick an Oxford shoe with a simple, clean, elegant plain toe. A light brown shoe will complete your look with a navy blue or grey suit. For extra comfort, care for your feet with socks made of fine breathable materials.
We've gone top to bottom and created the ideal doctor's attire! Now it's time to hang that jacket up, put on your white coat, and make a patient feel heard and cared for.
Show you care in refined essentials.