How The Costume Designer For ‘Scrubs’ Changed The Scrubs Clothing Industry

By John Popham

June 30, 2022

Cast of NBC TV Show "Scrubs"
Photo: Getty Images

Her handiwork was onscreen for all but the last three episodes of Scrubs, as well as the first four seasons of The Office, setting the visual tone for both TV comedies.

Her name is Carey Bennett, and her designs brought a feel of authenticity to the shows she worked on. As she told Zach Braff and Donald Faison on their podcast, Fake Doctors, Real Friends with Zach and Donald, one costume project in particular took off in a way she didn’t expect.

“You started your own line of scrubs,” Braff said.

“Yeah, I launched a little business, and it did amazing for a while,” Bennett replied. “Back in 2001 scrubs were unisex and there weren’t any for women.”

Throughout the first season of the show, Bennett and her team had to modify the scrubs worn by the actresses on set to make them more comfortable. Following the season one finale, she got to work creating scrub designs specifically for the actresses to wear on camera.

“Nurses started writing in asking where they could buy the scrubs on the show,” she said.

In the years following the show’s conclusion, major brands have started making their own scrubs for women, inspired by Bennett’s design on Scrubs.

“Carey, you did incredible work,” said Braff. “No one should ever think you only threw scrubs on people.”

It's true. Bennett’s hand can be seen in every crazy outfit Braff’s “J.D.” and Faison’s “Turk” wore in flash backs, dream sequences, and fantasies. It got to the point where she had to work with the production crew to push scenes with elaborate outfits to the end of the week so she had time to prepare.

“I did every fantasy costume, every animal costume," she said. “There even was a unicorn in there somewhere.”

For the costumes worn by the doctors and nurses of the fictious Sacred Heart Hospital, Bennett spent some time at a local Los Angeles hospital to study what the medical staff wore.

“All the characters were there walking around the hospital,” she said of the visit. “Even Doug with his fanny pack.”

Listen to the full discussion with Bennett as well as the hosts breakdown of the season six episode “My Words of Wisdom.” Fake Doctors, Real Friends with Zach and Donald is the ultimate Scrubs rewatch podcast hosted by the former stars of the show. New episodes are available weekly on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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