If you’re reading this, you’re an OT, want to be an OT, or need to shadow an OT.
So what do Occupational therapists wear?
Occupational therapists usually wear scrubs, business casual clothing, or a polo shirt with khakis.
It really depends on the setting.
In this post, I’ll list the most common clothing OTs wear, and what to do if you still don’t know.
What do Occupational Therapists wear in acute rehab, skilled nursing facilities, and hospitals?
- Polo shirts
- Dark pants
- Running shoes
Occupational therapists in acute rehab or skilled nursing usually wear scrubs or a polo shirt with khaki pants. Some facilities require OTs to wear color coordinated scrubs for each department.
You might see nurses wearing the same blue scrubs, respiratory therapy wearing black scrubs and PT, OT, and speech wearing matching polos.
Some OT settings are flexible and will let you where scrubs, polos, or t-shirts. Other settings can be less flexible and may require specific clothing.
What do Hand Therapists wear?
- Scrubs or business casual clothing
- Casual shoes or dress shoes
I’ve seen OTs wear scrubs in hand therapy and also business casual clothing. If you visit the clinic’s outpatient website, you might have a better idea if they’re wearing scrubs or not.
If doing fieldwork or shadowing a hand therapist you may be near open wounds. Plan on wearing business casual clothing with running shoes or dress shoes. Avoid open toe shoes or ankle socks until you’re more familiar with the facility.
What do Home health and pediatric therapist wear?
- Business casual clothing
- Scrubs (less common)
- Casual shoes or dress shoes
If working in home health, avoid dressing up too much if you live in a big city. You may have home health visits in areas with increased crime.
Best clothing for OT, PT, and Speech Therapists
If money isn’t an issue, I recommend FIGS or Jaanuu scrubs for both men and women.
FIGS are a scrubs company out of Los Angeles and have been made popular from their new jogger pants style. They are light, comfortable, and they have a great return policy. You can buy them and exchange them if they don’t fit.
They also have a sizing chart on their website. Plan on spending about $100 for one pair. You can find deals around 20% off during holidays and nursing week.
- Some of their styles are loud and trendy
I almost like Jaanuu Scrubs more because they’re not as popular. They have excellent quality material (like Figs). They also have more styles.
Both Figs and Jaanuu are great for PT and OT because they stretch and give when you need it.
(Best budget) Cherokee
Everyone wears Cherokee scrubs because they don’t look terrible and they fit well. I still have a few pairs that have lasted forever.
Cherokee has recently updated their clothing line with the jogger style.
Search Cherokee scrubs here.
- Poor fabric
- Not as comfy
Business Casual and Polos
For business casual I recommend J-Crew, but they tend to be a little more expensive. Here are some other options I’ve listed below.
H&M and Macy’s will have business casual attire, and their clothing line changes all the time.
If you’re on a budget, go with H&M or Gap. They fit well and are fashion friendly.
What should I wear as an OT student?
If you are a student, volunteer, or shadowing an OT, I would recommend business casual. This could mean wearing a polo shirt with dark pants or khakis. You may also wear dress shoes or business casual shoes.
If you’re in a hospital, I would wear something comfortable with minimal jewelry.
I still don’t know what to wear
If you’re still not sure what your workplace requires, check out the company website. Sometimes they will post a photo of the rehab team.
That can usually give you a good idea of what to expect and point you in the right direction.
I Hope this was helpful. If you’re thinking about OT school check out my Pre-OT course.
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David is the lead editor of OT Focus. He has been practicing as an Occupational Therapist since 2013. He specializes in acute care, hand therapy, and ergonomics.