Ladies in lab, how do you dress?

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  • #10187

    Nana
    Member

    I’m a grad student starting in a new research lab. I was kinda looking to upgrade my style to put together but casual, as opposed to messy student. However, being involved in research means that I have to stick to long pants, close toed shoes, and for me personally, nothing loose in the wrist area. Besides this lab is a super casual environment, my lab is mostly male and it probably ranges from jeans and t shirt to jeans and a button up in terms of formality. I was just wondering if other ladies in academia had something worked out.

    #10188

    valde0n

    one of my favorite parts about being in academia is that you can wear whatever you want from day to day. my PI sometimes comes in wearing joggers and a hoodie.

    for reference, i work in a crystallography lab and my bench and work desk are in the same space. i do wet and dry experiments and frequent the cold room.

    most graduate students in my department wear jeans and flannel shirts (or some iteration of that look). i haven’t changed my style of dressing at all. i wear overalls, boiler suits, white shirts and jeans, bandanas, sweatshirt over a tee, dress pants and a striped shirt. mostly just whatever i feel comfortable in and what i can do work in. i’m there long enough i should feel good.

    some observations that i have made being in the lab for a while now:

    * never wear shoes you aren’t comfortable ruining. your lab coat will not protect your shoes. i keep a pair of new balance under my desk for this reason (or if i forget to bring proper foot ware).

    * similarly, never wear a top or pants you aren’t comfortable ruining if you don’t wear a lab coat. (i hardly ever wear the lab coat.) i stained a really beautiful white cardigan with coomassie and i’ll never forgive myself for it.

    * bell sleeves or balloon sleeves or any other sleeves that are drapey are not made for the lab. i saw an undergrad catch her bell sleeve on fire. she’s ok but it was scary.

    * if you’re in and out of the cold room, leave a neutral colored fleece or jacket in the lab. i alternate between a gray penfield fleece and a black quilted bomber from l l bean. they go with everything.

    * don’t wear something that limits your mobility, like a blazer (or a shirt that is too short so you don’t want to reach for things).

    * if you are working with large batches of cell culture or hazardous materials regularly, it might be a good idea to have spare clothes.

    * in a similar vein, when i’m working with large batches of cell culture, i make sure to wear clothes that can take a beating because i won’t wear those clothes again before washing them. my cell culture clothes wore a bit faster than my regular clothes because i wash them so frequently.

    * if you wear gloves, don’t bother wearing rings because they usually will rip your gloves. then when you take your ring off you might lose it — i’ve done this so many times.

    #10189

    paswonky11

    Fellow grad student here, and boy ohhhh boy, do I meditate on this question more times a day than I’d care to admit. I see a lot of people — both men and women, post-docs, techs.. pretty much everyone but faculty — dressed in “athleisure” type clothing (or just straight up workout gear), and it’s so tempting to do that as well, but there is something in me that has felt so much less prepared and qualified when I have done that (doesn’t do the old imposter syndrome any favors), I try not to do that much anymore.

    While I now have a separate “office” space from “lab” space, I also worked as a lab tech for two years prior in a similar setup to what it sounds like you have (office space combined with wet lab area). For the most part, I abide by the long pants and closed toe shoe rule, but I tread as closely to the line as I can — I will wear mules (it says “closed toe” not “closed heels”) and practical heels (with wider bases) and cropped pants, and tank tops in the summer / active experiment days (I know tank tops aren’t exactly forbidden but they still feel super exposed in the lab). I have also worn maxi dresses/skirts in the summer, but I really prefer to wear sandals with them so I’ll change into flats if necessary — actually that’s important: I keep a pair of GAP’s ballet flats in my bottom desk drawer. They have been surprisingly useful, like when I don’t want to wear my winter boots around all day, or I start to get a blister from the new loafers I bought, or my feet are randomly hot in the socks and chelsea boots I’m wearing, or my undergrad decides to wear stilettos to lab, or I wore sandals when I stopped by over the weekend and forgot I had to go into the mouse room…. I also keep a lightweight uniqlo puffer jacket at my desk in case I have a seminar in a notoriously frigid room, or for some reason the AC is cranked up in the dead of winter (both frustratingly common events…)

    Anyway, I think I have streamlined my dressing in several ways. For most days, I wear pretty androgynous tops and shoes, albeit with skinny jeans or everlane’s work pants (though the no pocket factor in those makes it a problem for carrying the ole cell phone). Actually, fair disclaimer, 90% of my weekday wardrobe is probably everlane (or similar, grana, uniqlo, etc). I found dressing with a simple tee (eg everlane’s box cut pocket tees) underneath a cashmere sweater (eg naadam’s unisex crew b/c no dry clean) has been great for this time of year. In the summer I tend to do a tank underneath silk button down or silk tee (love grana’s silk tees) or poplin/oxford, though I’m still having trouble finding a “timeless” but still “young-ish” oxford that I like. The layering is great for when I realize I’m moving around a ton in lab or if I forgot an experiment and need to be running all over.

    However, when I have BIG experiment days (like 10+ hours at the bench and/or various instruments)… I have a regimental uniform I swear by. I have groomed it over time, because I refuse to look “unpolished” when I’m being paid to be somewhere, but I also want to be comfy in case I end up staying super late. The foundation of my experiment day get up are lululemon’s “on the fly” pants in black, which, if you tuck the drawstring away, could probably pass for work slacks but are pure MAGIC in how comfy they are… seriously I could wax poetic about what a dream these pants are forever. Anyway, with those I will usually wear an older pair of Frye white leather slip-on sneakers (look almost identical to vans or keds, but I bought them on sale and they’re super comfy) with no-show socks (very important if you have to change into scrubs in a common area or anything similar), a clean (read: unwrinkled) tee underneath a fitted quarter zip or sweater. I have slept in this outfit and also met with important collaborators in this outfit and neither felt out of place.

    I think maybe I put too much thought into this topic, but in a male dominated (though increasingly female!) field, I think its so fascinating to observe how women represent themselves, especially as I continue to evolve my own sense of self. I think I also derive more than a little confidence by dressing a bit “masculine,” perhaps because by nature I am pretty “soft” and feminine.

    Anyway, sorry for the novel. Hope this helps!

    tl;dr incorporate (top) layers every day, have an experiment day uniform, and keep a pair of neutral, comfy flats in your desk drawer. Also a lightweight jacket or heavy cardigan.

    #10190

    Katdai

    If you work in a chem lab, please think about the chemicals you’re working with when you’re choosing clothes. Cotton is preferred over acrylic/polyester since some solvents can cause plastics to melt (into your skin) and they catch fire really easily and melt (into your skin). If you’re going to wear leggings, think about the protection they would give you if you drop something – thick winter leggings might be okay, but athletic or summer leggings probably not so much. If you’re not wearing a lab coat, you will develop acid holes in your shirts at counter height. Long sleeves are preferred, but with gathered wrists. Pants should never be tucked into boots or cuffed. Sleeves should be long enough to meet your gloves but not reach your hand (or preferably shorter and you wear a lab coat). No dangle-ies or things that could droop down into what you’re working on. Some places allow maxi-dresses/skirts, but I would still recommend pants. Non-slip shoes with leather uppers and good inserts.

    I work in a dry lab now, but I still pretty much dress the same way. Thicker pants or jeans, and cotton shirt and flannel, along with my lab coat as needed. Like some others have said, I have a pair of lab shoes at my desk to prevent contamination, but I also have a pair of office shoes that I change into when I get to work so I’m not tracking everything on the floor home with me.

    Something no one else has touched on is the pretty consistent hairstyle. Most women I know wear their hair just about shoulder-length so it’s easily able to be pulled back or up into a quick ponytail or bun.

    #10191

    chocolatepluscheese

    I work in a chemistry lab with the same dress code as you. We are also required to wear goggles and a lab coat around the bench. Everything I wear does eventually get some sort of lab-related damage (acid holes, bleach spots, holes in the front waist area of my tees where I lean against the bench), but I just accept it.

    For shoes I alternate between Converse, leather loafers and oxfords, and leather ankle or knee boots. I generally wear dark jeans or linen pants (in the summer). I like to incorporate a bit more variety in the tops that I wear – sometimes I’ll pick patterned blouses or sweaters with interesting textures. I don’t know if I necessarily come across as super stylish, but I do try and avoid the sneakers + jeans + tshirt + hoodie formula.

    I’ve posted past outfits in the WAYWT threads, but here are a few:

    [ONE](https://imgur.com/50pTsPi) [TWO](https://imgur.com/azRlO8L) [THREE](https://imgur.com/UDf2tTv) [FOUR](https://imgur.com/16ao2R3) [FIVE](https://imgur.com/P95bVDi)

    #10192

    lemon_and_ribena

    A pair of sneakers and leggings I keep in the office for when I’m doing experiments, and then I wear whatever I want haha. Sure sometimes I look ridiculous cause my “lab clothes” don’t match the rest of my outfit, but I like dressing the way I want too much to care. I should mention though that our lab space and write up spaces are separate. If you’re in the lab area all day then this might not work as well.

    #10193

    Thermohalophile

    I’ve worked in two bio labs (once in nutrition, so I was always covered in mouse poop, now in fungal genetics so I’m always covered in some kind of fungus). Honestly, work clothes are the one thing where I don’t go for high quality stuff. TJ Maxx and Marshall’s are where I look for cute but cheap stuff because if the day comes that I splash bleach on myself or am so coated in grossness that I don’t want to save the clothes, I’m not heartbroken or down a ton of money. I save my cute clothes for class, meetings, etc. That’s where I can look cute in high quality clothes!

    #10194

    TheFiendish_1

    I work as chemist in a lab that is mostly women. The typical uniform for analysts tends to be tshirts and jeans or leggings. I tend to wear colored denim, as my bottoms are the only things you can really see under the lab coat and I like to be colorful. I keep a gray cardigan in the lab for when it gets to cold to wear under my lab coat. I’ll usually also wear a statement necklace that peeks out from under the lab coat but never bracelets or rings because they get snagged on gloves. And as for shoes converse if it’s hot and ankle or combat boots if it’s colder out.

    #10195

    Zerokkuma

    As another commenter said above, wear things you can work in, and don’t wear anything you don’t want to ruin. I get bored with my style during the week, but I don’t want to get anything on my nicer stuff!

    Personally, I stick to jeans or dark pants from Uniqlo, and pair with tops varying in formality. Most days I do the ole flannel with T-shirt underneath, but you can also do a collared shirt layered under a cardigan to be a bit smarter – just no bell sleeves or anything that can get caught on stuff. I dress in thin layers as I get nervous and sweat when I’m doing experiments LOL. I also recommend keeping a layer in the lab – a zip up hoodie or something – for battling with the cold room or strong AC in the summer. For footwear, I tend to stick to sneakers since I’m on my feet all day for benchwork.

    An anecdotal thing, but I’ve stayed away from wearing darker colors since I use bleach pretty often in the lab and I’m clumsy. Just something you might want to consider, and especially if your lab doesn’t use lab coats for some reason.

    #10196

    avocatoo

    Yup I keep sneakers and sweats or scrub pants handy for when I go in the lab, especially when it’s hot otherwise so I can wear shorts. It’s hard because I want to dress well and look out together but I work with animals as well and it’s not worth having nice pants getting peed on. Lucky I do my lab work in bursts with desk time in between so I can dress how I want when I’m not dealing with animals. Still always a good idea to have some scrubs to throw on in case an undergrad needs help though!

    #10197

    Rogue_Fibre

    There have been a couple of threads about this recently [here](https://www.reddit.com/r/femalefashionadvice/comments/9gx7u9/laboratory_business_casual_how_do_you_do_it/) and [here](https://www.reddit.com/r/femalefashionadvice/comments/8p7xlg/inspo_album_the_stylish_scientist/) which you may find helpful!

    (I’m also an academic who is sometimes in the lab, sometimes in the office, sometimes in meetings, sometimes meeting with external partners, etc.)

    #10198

    lit_tinselpug

    I work as an RA in an Immunology lab, and my workplace has a similar dress code to yours. 

    I usually wear a comfortable, knitted sweater since synthetic sweaters can adhere to your skin if you are to come into contact with flames. And this helps me since I’m constantly going in and out of the cold room.

    In addition, I pair my tops with a very comfortable pair of pants and boots. I tend to wear my hair in a tight bun or ponytail everyday as well. My PI even made the joke that I dress like a “fancy equestrian everyday”. Hey, at least I’m following PPE protocol! 

    Have fun finding your lab outfits! 🙂 

    #10199

    missdopamine

    Fellow researcher here. However my work is just running human participants so I don’t need to dress appropriately for a wet lab (ie. closed toe shoes).

    I just came here because in my first year of my PhD I was going to a neuroscience class in some cute heeled booties (nothing crazy, but maybe a 2-3 inch chunky heel) and an older female grad student took me aside and told me “heels don’t belong in science, as a female scientist you shouldn’t be wearing them.” Talk about making me feel self conscience and bad about myself!

    This is just a PSA to all those badass female academics out there, you do NOT need to change your personal style (within reason) in order to be an academic. As an epilogue to the story, I happily wore heels whenever I wanted and graduated on to a good job in the field. The girl who took me aside is currently living with her parents still looking for a job. So yes, academics CAN wear heels.

    #10200

    ur_so_spaghetti

    I like to do the jeans + tee/sweater look so that I don’t stand out too much from my peers, but I think the actual pieces you pick make a big difference in how it comes off. Making sure your clothes fit properly and are cared for goes a long way. My usual lab uniform is dark wash or black skinny jeans with a well-fitting tank top or tee and a cardigan (uniqlo usually) with ankle boots. I think properly fitted clothes, a nicer looking shoe and a ‘third’ piece like a cardigan or necklace makes my outfits feel intentional. I agree that you don’t want to wear anything you wouldn’t be okay with ruining, but I think this can vary by day-in my lab I’m not usually doing messy things every day and when I am I wear a lab coat. Lots of the other commenters are recommending against jewelry, but I think you can do jewelry if it’s subtle! I wear upwards of two rings, earrings, and a necklace every day-the key is to pick pieces that won’t get in the way. I have two simple science necklaces (a neuron and a DNA helix, etsy FTW!) that are just small pendants on a short chain, and low-profile rings that have never caused me any issues at work.

    #10201

    bestkind0fcorrect

    As a grad student in a biology lab, I wore a lot of skinny jeans and fitted tees, alternating between low heeled boots on the winter and lighter shoes like slip ons and Chucks in the summer. I definitely kept a pair of black ballet flats in the office for days when I wanted to wear sandals for class, errands, etc. Easily removed accessories like a bright bag, a scarf or necklace, can make an otherwise boring lab outfit feel more put together when you’re not at the bench.

    Now that I’ve graduated and I work in industry, I have to dress business casual, but still lab appropriate. In the winter, I wear a ton of dresses and skirts with tights and booties. The summer is harder because skirts or cropped pants with summery shoes/sandals are the fashion but they don’t necessarily meet safety codes.

    I never used to wear a lab coat unless I was doing something gross or messy, but now I wear one pretty much all the time to protect my clothes haha.

    #10202

    physarum9

    I work in a super casual hospital lab. One old guy actually wears grey sweats with the elastic band around the ankle and his puffy vest over his lab coat! What’s the point Jerry?!?!

    I usually wear jeans, vans and a graphic tee. On days I have a meeting I’ll wear jeans, a v-neck with a cardigan and ankle boots or oxfords. I like to wear a necklace, but not earrings because they hurt when I’m holding the phone with my shoulder and writing.

    The temperature will fluctuate between the break room and the lab because of all of our analysers. Layers are good when a lab coat is required.

    I don’t wear anything I don’t want ruined. I keep a pair of scrubs in my locker for those days when I dump a rack of urine or blood on myself. I promise, you’ll spill something really awful all over your new shoes!

    One of the great things about working in a lab is that they are usually casual and no one really cares. Have fun and be yourself!

    #10203

    calmhike

    I work in industry not academia but it is a casual environment. I rotate shoes through the following: 2 pair of penny loafers, 2 pair of boots, 1 pair of sperrys. All are comfortable to walk/stand most to all day and cover my feet from spills/drops. The sperrys are more for dressing down an outfit and the others make more casual things look a little sharper (in my opinion). I wear dark jeans or colored jeans (dark maroon, black, olive green) most days. I had some khakis I used to wear but they got worn out and I haven’t replaced them yet. For shirts, I like button downs, dress blouses both in short and long sleeve variety and sweater/cardigans to help when it gets cold.

    I actually got a huge portion of my “work shirts” from goodwill. They are dressy, look nice and if I ruin it, that was $5 not $50+ just a suggestion of course. I found 3/4 sleeves are great for keeping you warmer and staying out of your way. Our labs are kept at 68F so it gets chilly sometimes.

    I like to wear jewelry, I wear earrings every day, a necklace most days and my wedding band. I do remove the ring if I am repairing an instrument (analytical lab) though.

    #10204

    SirenOfScience

    Depends what I’m doing.

    * If I’m doing animal surgeries all day and will be in bouffant, mask and ppe gown, I wear loose jeans and a t shirt or tank top.

    * Bench work or training animals, cute pants or jeans with a pretty 3/4 or short sleeve top under a lab coat. I have an arsenal of boat shoes or oxfords that are very comfy and look good. I found a lot of cute blouses when I had to teach lab so I looked more put together than my students but was still labwork ready.

    * If I’m writing all day or doing a literature dig or have meetings all day ( in house conferences or day long symposiums too) I’ll wear a long skirt with a blouse or sweater.

    * If I’m presenting or attending a multi-day, I’ll wear a pencil dress or a funky skirt and jacket. I like to wear dresses so I usually go professional with a dark edge when I can indulge in wearing a dress.

    I walk to work, about 20 min, so I change when I get to lab so I can handle the very hot or very cold days. I leave a pair of comfy sneakers at my desk so if I have to wear rain boots, snow boots, etc. then I can change into those at work too.

    I bought a few shorter necklaces and cute post earrings so I can wear jewelery if I feel like it. For rings, I don’t even wear my wedding or engagement ring when I do surgery since I have to take it off to scrub in. I have a cheap stainless steel band I wear on those days. If I’m doing a lot of bench work I leave the engagement ring at home and just wear my wedding band so I don’t have to worry about tearing the gloves. I purposely requested a wedding band with stones that are flush with the band so it could stand on it’s own.

    For hair, I mastered a few braids, sock buns or simple updo so I could keep my hair back and still be girly.

    The thing I love about research is I can really vary what I wear depending on the day. It makes me excited to go from bummy surgeon to glamorous presenter in the same week.

    #10205

    2noserings

    I work as a lab tech in geology and I have worn everything from distressed jeans to leggings to denim shorts. The only rule I have to adhere to is closed-toe shoes and the usual lab coat/goggles combo when working with any chemicals.

    Personally I like to keep my rings/bracelets at home or in my bag because they have a tendency to come off with my gloves & end up in the trash

    :—/

    #10206

    blonksg

    I just completed my first year in grad school in a chemistry lab so I know how you feel! When I began grad school I was definitely looking to change up my style from undergrad who just rolled outta bed to woman who looks put together and professional. Most of my lab mates dress pretty casual but normally I find that doesn’t prevent me from dressing up a bit. I normally wear booties with a small heel, jeans, a cute blouse and put my hair in a braid/tie it up for lab work. Sometimes I do dress a bit more casual and wear t shirt, jeans, sneakers etc but you can also make that look “dressed up” 🙂

    #10207

    Gingerfix

    I alternate between gray, black, and tan slacks and have a plethora of blouses to choose from or sweaters if the lab is cold often (in my last job the office was always cold) and on Fridays I always wear jeans.

    Finding shoes is a huge pain in the butt. My staple is Clarks, but idk that they’re actually slip resistant or static-free. My coworker in my last job was constantly afraid of static build up around acetonitrile because we worked with so much of it, but the hoods are metal and I would touch the metal often to discharge static, so I wasn’t worried about that at all.

    Edit:

    I wear a lab coat as often as possible. I only wear long sleeves if I’m wearing a sweater, and usually the sleeves stay rolled up okay.

    I wear my hair back every day in a simple ponytail. At my old job I started to get depressed and stopped wearing any makeup at all, but at my new job I’m still wearing makeup so far.

    If you’re working anywhere with solvents and they don’t suggest you wear a lab coat and don’t provide you with one, even for academia, that’s sketch af, and if I ever spill something it lands in the hood or on my shoes, but sometimes on my lab coat sleeve, so if you wear long sleeves it’s easier to stain the sleeves.

    #10208

    ocypodidae

    I work in an industry lab, so not academia per se, but in terms of lab wear, the number one thing I’ve had to keep in mind when dressing is that it’s always cold in here, but lab coats are much warmer than you expect them to be. Because of this pullover sweaters are difficult – you always think they’re going to be great in the winter until you’re sweating at your bench because you have a lab coat/gloves on! So I would say layers are useful. Depends on what your research focus is, I spent some time in an evolutionary bio lab with no climate control and minimal use of lab coats and it wasn’t an issue.

    Since it’s a new lab I would try to get a feel for what your lab time to desk time ratio is and put your focus there – if you spend a lot of time at your desk you probably will want to feature the main tops/bottoms part of your outfit, but if you’re in a coat all day, your face and feet is mostly what shows, so your accessories will stand out more. For example: the sleeves issue is definitely a pain, but there are other options for detail – fun collars and neckline details are personally my favorite because you can still show them off a little with your lab coat on. I also have a pair of floral print sneakers that I get a bunch of compliments on every time i wear.

    Honestly at the end of the day if it isn’t comfortable to wear under a lab coat, it isn’t going to come out of your closet much. I dress much more simply at work than I do on the weekends because it isn’t worth it to be uncomfortable. A cute printed button down with jeans and keds (dr scholls are a must if you’re doing fashion sneakers, though imo) is professional enough for the lab and functional. Give it a little time to see what your routine is and build around that.

    #10209

    fionaapplebot

    When I worked in a lab I wore a combination of casual button down, skinny stretchy jean and ankle boots. I liked denim button downs and black skinnies with an ankle boot with an insert. I recommend clogs if you are on your feet a ton. Clogs can be cute with a skinnier pant and a striped tunic or a cotton sweater. I liked wearing a refined knit legging with a dress or tunic in an easy shape.

    Basically I had four of these and a bunch of pairs of black and grey leggings. https://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?vid=1&pid=290750022&searchText=Dress.

    Paired with a Chelsea boot or clogs and a pendant necklace.

    Or a denim/plaid button down with gray/black/dark/maroon jeans. Add oxfords or a slip on leather sneaker. Switch it up with a sweater on top if you want.

    Make sure your denim is well fitting and on the darker side. Feel free to mix on colored denim or ponte knit pants. Buy more refined tops. I like a popover or utility blouse https://www.loft.com/mixed-stripe-utility-blouse/484303?skuId=26059624&defaultColor=6181&catid=catl000011.

    Since you are in a lab go cheaper for most things. I would buy nice shoes though and treat them against damage

    #10210

    whybanana

    I move between synthetic chemistry, biochemistry and crystallography labs throughout the day. Occasionally I’ll have full “office” days that I dedicate to computational work.

    Even though there are strict rules regarding clothing requirements in synthetic chemistry labs (with good reason), most of our lab members are very casual. While lab coats and specs are always a must, I can get away with cropped dress pants and ankle cut skinny jeans very easily. Most people don’t blink an eye if I wear a dress/skirt with opaque tights (my go-to generally, just for freedom of movement and being able to seamlessly going to more formal meetings during lab days). This is especially nice in the winter as I get to wear my super cozy thermal tights (the M&S ones are a godsend). I prefer looser, cropped pants during warmer months (Everlane), usually paired with a tee or blouse. I’m partial to the leggings/jeans and old sweatshirt combo when things gets stressful or if I have a messy lab day (running tons of gels, lab cleaning days, working with smelly chemicals…)

    Love some cotton tanks in the summer too. If I wear more revealing (i.e. tanks, lower cut shirts) during the summer under my lab coat, I’ll keep a cardigan or light sweater close by to wear when I enter the office (it’s usually a lot cooler in the offices anyway). I really like GAP for cotton basics.

    Biochemistry and crystallography labs are incredibly lax. I can get away with not wearing a lab coat (though I generally prefer wearing one as I tend to stuff my lab pockets with extra pairs of gloves, markers etc). I hate wearing bracelets as they get in the way of some technical work (and cuffed lab coats are not allowed in synthetic chemistry labs, so wrist wear should be limited to a practical watch, if that). I never wear rings anymore because they make glove removal difficult, which is terrible if I have a solvent/toxic chemical spill and need to remove them asap. But I wear stud earrings or small hoops on the daily.

    I wear sneakers all year round (I’ve definitely gotten good use out of my Nike Cortez and NB 220s sneaks). I wear my Everlane Chelsea boots on snowy/rainy days and most of the winter. Oxfords/dressier boots if I have meetings. Also have an old pair of Doc Martens that I wear for longer days in the synthetic chemistry lab, or if I know I’m dealing with a lot of solvents/corrosive substances that day.

    I also keep spare pair of workout leggings, sweatshirt, t-shirt and socks in my office in case of spills or extensive use of super stinky chemicals (thiols anyone?).

    I used to tuck my hair into my lab coat or shirt (hah) when I had super long hair (butt length) and was too lazy to put it up — buns and ponies give me massive headaches, and I’m always misplacing hair ties. If I had more time in the morning I’d do a french braid which is super practical and pretty. I recently chopped my hair to chin length, so I can’t put it up even if I wanted to. If needed, I’ll clip back some looser parts of my hair, but having short hair has been so fucking amazing and practical for lab work — never going back haha. If I’m feeling fancy I’ll wear cute hair clips or do some braids to keep looser strands under control, but I can get away with just a quick brush in the morning and maybe give my hair some extra life with texturizing spray (Bumble and Bumble Dryspun Texture spray or even just a touch of dry shampoo for a little grit).

    I keep makeup pretty minimal in the lab as it becomes a serious pain over the course of the day. I’ll put on some BB cream if my skin is a little temperamental or just use a touch of concealer instead (Glossier Stretch Concealer 4lyfe). I also keep some tinted lip balm at the ready that can double up as a sheer blush (Glossier Cherry Balm Dotcom, add a bit of Generation G in Jam if I want more color). Occasionally I’ll put on some very minimal soft liner along my lash line just to define my eyes a tad (any cheap waterproof gel liner, as thin as they get). I just hate maintaining makeup when I’m working in the lab as I don’t like touching my face too much when I’m at work.

    I think I put more thought into what I wear than most people I work with, but I really enjoy being able to have so much flexibility with my clothing, even with lab restrictions. And people seem to enjoy seeing others put more effort occasionally (it kind of detracts from the whole sluggish, lazy grad student look).

    #10211

    sbshondo

    Bio lab. I honestly had no idea people put that much thought into what they wear to lab. I’m the only girl in my lab who doesn’t just wear yoga pants and that’s just because most don’t have pockets and you could see my panty line and that’s just not cute. Jeans, T-shirt (flowy or random free T-shirt from an event), comfy keds and I’m out the door.

    I live in Arizona so the long pants thing isn’t really enforced so replace jeans with shorts in the summer.

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