During my time as a pre-med biology major, I spent a fair share of my time in various labs : general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, anatomy, environmental science, and therefore on .
They ran the gamut from “ dry ” computer-based lab in physics to dissection labs that didn ’ thyroxine require a lab coat per selenium ( but I normally wore one because who wants pickled caterpillar juice on their clothes ? ) to lab coat and goggles-required wet labs – like the weekly four hour gen chem lab I dreaded so identical much – to truly wet lab, like the one time in environmental skill that I volunteered to trudge into the Charles River wearing waders to collect water samples.
Reading: Geek Chic: What to Wear to Lab
I imagine that my boyfriend fashion-loving science majors have all felt the tinge of jealousy on lab days as we watch our humanities-studying peers walk by in their fashionable, open-toed shoes or the occupation majors head to presentations in their dapper corporate wear and polished heels .
It ’ mho comfortable to fall into the rut of sweatpants and sneakers when you know that most of your kit is going to be covered by a lab coat anyways, but come on, my fellow eccentric chic scientists ! We keep hearing that “science is sexy”, so let’s rise to the occasion. ( Although you very should never always wear heels to a four hour lab. Trust me on this. )
Read on for tips and ideas about how to look cute, comfortable, and ready to get experimentin’ in lab!
Top 6 Tips for Lab Dressing
- Fitted 3/4 Sleeves. A three-quarter sleeve eliminates the possibility of your cuffs peeking out from under a lab coat and getting stained, or worse, ignited on a Bunsen burner. Avoid billowy sleeves for the same reason.
- Thin Layers. Prevent bulk under your lab coat by wearing thin layers that you can easily remove if it gets warm. Conversely, lots of labs are freezing, so it’s nice to have a light jacket or cardigan on hand.
- Rock that Ponytail, Work that Updo. I’m sure it says this in your lab syllabus, but long-haired ladies, don’t forget to put your hair up in a ponytail or bun.
- Close-toed shoes. Okay, I’ve definitely been guilty of wearing ballet flats to lab and calling it a day, but keep in mind that the top of your foot is just as susceptible to caustic chemicals as your toes. If you’re clumsy in lab like me, you’ll want to make sure that the hydrochloric acid you spill doesn’t end up burning a hole in your flesh.
- Spills and Stains. While we’re on the topic of stains, you’ll probably want to leave your absolute favorite family-heirloom-that-could-never-be-replaced clothes at home, just in case of the event of a spill.
- Glasses vs. Goggles. Depending on your lab’s policies, you may be able to wear lab glasses instead of lab goggles. If you find that your goggles are constantly steaming up or if you wear eyeglasses, lab glasses are an easier option. But remember the cautionary tale of Carol and always wear your safety equipment if you’re told to!
4 Stylish & Lab-Appropriate Outfits
Try these ideas for ensembles that are perfectly functional for lab, but besides won ’ thymine look out of place once you take off your goggles and point out into odoriferous, odoriferous freedom the street .
Products: T-shirt – ASOS, Blazer – Charlotte Russe, Earrings – Banana Republic, Jeans – Nordstrom Rack, Converse – Nordstrom Rack, Hair Ties – Sephora
Go for a classic look with the no-fail combination of Chucks and faded jeans. A colorful strip jersey jazzes up the equip, while a black blazer ( with 3/4 sleeves ) ties it all in concert. You ’ ll want to keep jewelry small — think stud earrings — and avoid wearing anything on your wrists to lower the chances of getting your accessories caught on lab equipment .
Products: Tunic – ModCloth, Earrings – Nordstrom, Ponytail Holder – Nordstrom, Leggings – Aerie, Moto Jacket – Urban Outfitters, Boots – Lulus
If you ’ ve got a more rock ‘n’ roll manner sensibility, try a pair of edgy motorbike or fight boots as your close-toed-shoe du jour. Leggings are a big option for lab because they ’ re sol comfortable ( if you ’ re staunchly anti-leggings, you could decidedly swap in a pair of black jeans ). wear ’ em with a long tunic that covers your idler and throw on a moto-style jacket .
Products: Shirt – Abercrombie, Belt – Target, Boots – DSW, Earrings – Nordstrom Rack, Jeans – Old Navy
A windsock bun is another big way to keep your hair out of your face and away from likely flame sources during lab. If you ’ re like me and own that one catchy pair of jeans that looks big, but is constantly slipping down at the waist, try out a playfulness belt out. That way, you won ’ thyroxine have to pull on your swath loops with your formaldehyde-coated gloves. Riding boots are another ideal footwear choice for lab .
Products: Blouse – ASOS, Jeans – Old Navy, Sweatshirt – H & M, Hair Tie – ASOS, Socks – Forever 21, Oxford Flats – ModCloth
For a quirkier vibration, try out a floral sweatshirt layered over a sleeveless blouse. The flowers will provide a pop of color that ’ ll be visible even when you ’ re wearing a lab coat. If you ’ re wear shoes that don ’ thyroxine wholly cover your foot, such as these oxfords, slip on a pair of model socks for an extra layer of protection. Plus, the socks will help keep your feet comfortable even after you ’ ve been standing at a lab terrace for hours .
What did you think?
Would you wear these outfits? Do you have lab courses? What do you like to wear to lab? Have you ever felt compelled to look cute for a general chemistry lab because your TF was truly cunning ? ( Oh wait, that ’ mho just me. ) Let me know in the comments!
Editor’s note: This post was primitively published in 2013 ; it was completely update and revamped in 2018 by Sharon with raw photos, outfit sets, and information .
Category : Fashion