Look smarter heading into the office, and sharper heading home. Add a few versatile staples to your wardrobe—and learn how to mix and match them—to easily add a dollop of all-day style to your workwear, even in a hurry.

By Jeffrey Ampratwum

WANT TO UPGRADE your look with a dash of panache? Here are a few key pointers that dentists, male and female alike, can keep in mind to keep their sartorial appearance sharp throughout the workday and beyond.

Scrubs, menswear: Look for cool tones in athleisure. A simple jogger pant, tapered at the ankle, allows for comfort and a luxury feel when paired with a leather luxury sneaker in brown or black. White sneakers will do; however, they must not have too many lace holes or large laces. Prefer a dress shoe? Deep brown is preferable. Avoid black, as it can give off a formal-dinner vibe. All shoes should be worn with dress pants that are lighter than the color of the dress shoe.

Jogger pants should have two simple pockets in the front and only one in the back for accessible items; too many pockets will create an unnecessary imprint and bulge in the fabric. Add a navy blue or deep brown henley top with a small to medium-size duffel bag to complete the look. If the weather is colder where you are, add a medium-length fleece top that zips up at the neck. The fleece should be close to, or exactly, the same color as the henley. When you get to the office, simply remove the fleece and joggers and put on your scrubs. The henley top underneath the scrub top will keep you “dressed.” The luxury-leather sneaker will keep the look professional, and also provide comfort during the day.

Lab coats, menswear: Always start with a simple brown shoe with laces or a black shoe with monk straps, paired with dress pants in relaxed fit. For black pants, the best accompaniments are black dress socks, black shoes with black laces, a black leather belt without buckle, white crewneck T-shirt and white dress shirt with a spread collar. A tie, optional, works in any color, solid or printed; try subtle black polka dots or maroon. For brown pants, the best are extremely dark brown or khaki with brown dress socks (not pant color), a rugged brown dress shoe, brown belt in shoe color (black is permissible too) and a blue dress shirt (true blue, azure or royal). I don’t recommend a tie with the blue dress shirt option.

Scrubs, womenswear: Lead with a lovely handbag on your commute. The handbag must be leather and can be any color to add a pop of excitement. For shoes, black, nude and smoke gray are the best color options, preferably closed-toe. Avoid tall heels; stick with two to three inches at most. For pants, I recommend a fitted denim jean in Air Force blue as the best option, followed by wide-leg dress pants in black or brown only. For tops, consider a white dress shirt with stiff collar; cashmere sweater in cream, white or amber; or a gray cardigan (long) over a white blouse.

Lab coats, womenswear: You can keep the same bag as with scrubs, but add a subtle belt to complement the pants. You can also keep the same shoe when wearing scrubs, but consider adding a small bootie shoe complementary to the pant color. Dress pants in black, navy or cinnamon are best, with a wide leg or high waist and relaxed fit. Wide-leg pants pair best with heels; high-waist pants pair best with booties. Choose a soft white dress shirt/blouse and add a gray cardigan for coverage and comfort, or go with a turtleneck instead in white, cream or brown.

With just the few simple wardrobe staples above, you can assemble several great combinations. My top three: 1) cream turtleneck, black leather belt, cinnamon wide-leg pants, dark nude closed-toe shoe with handbag. 2) White soft dress shirt, black high-waist relaxed fit pants, no belt, black heels with handbag or black booties. 3) White dress shirt under gray full cardigan with navy blue wide-leg pant and nude heel.


JEFFREY AMPRATWUM is Incisal Edge’s fashion director. He was one signature away from attending dental school before instead choosing to attend Manhattan’s Fashion Institute of Technology, where he now teaches menswear styling. He has worked as a stylist, producer, creative director and consultant for top brands including Louis Vuitton, Dior and Hermès. Follow him on Instagram @jeffreyampratwum.