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The do's and don'ts of lab fashion [Infographic]

By: Roche Life Sciences

Posted: March 21, 2016 | Career & Lifestyle

While walking the laboratory hallway past centrifuges and liquid nitrogen tanks isn't exactly strutting the runways of Fashion Week, there are some basic laboratory do's and don'ts to be safe, yet fab, in the lab:

DO wear shoes that cover your toes. We know that sandals are a wardrobe staple during the beautiful summer weather, so keep an extra pair of closed toe shoes at your desk. Taking your little piggies all the way to the emergency department with a caustic burn is never a good look.

The saying 'big hair, don't care', does not necessarily apply in the lab. Your long luscious locks might be perfect for a romantic date, but one wrong swivel over the Bunsen burner could spell trouble.

Your hair could also become the culprit of contamination. Scientists nearly 60 years ago discovered that beards retain microorganisms despite washing with soap and water1. So DO rock the ponytail, updo, or man-bun if needed; good news is that the man-bun is so in these days. As for the beards DO perform good beard hygiene, because bacteria love your beard as much as you do.

DO be sure that your shorts, skirt, or dress is longer than your lab coat. This prevents a number of awkwardness glances when you walk by.

DON'T try to rock the disheveled genius scientist look; just accept that for most of us, the showered and slightly put-together look is actually for the best.

DO protect your eyes when working with chemicals or hazardous materials, even if this means wearing your favorite vintage-inspired wooden-framed hipster glasses.

Now that you've read our do's and don'ts of lab fashion, we hope that you are ready to apply what you've learned to be safe and dress for Nobel success!

1. Barbeito et al. Microbiological Laboratory Hazard of Bearded Men. Applied Microbiology. 1967; 4(15) 899-906.

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