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International Journal of Costume and Fashion - Vol. 21 , No. 1

[ Article ]
International Journal of Costume and Fashion - Vol. 21, No. 1, pp.25-37
Abbreviation: IJCF
ISSN: 2233-9051 (Print) 2288-7490 (Online)
Print publication date 30 Jun 2021
Received 03 Apr 2021 Revised 16 May 2021 Accepted 01 Jun 2021

Analysis of Male and Female Nurses’ Attitudes toward Nurse Uniforms in South Korea: The Functional, Expressive, and Aesthetic (FEA) Framework
Seon Mi Jang ; Sae Eun Lee ; Jeong-Ju Yoo
Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, Dongshin University, Naju, South Korea
Doctoral Research Associate, Human-Tech Convergence Program, Department of Clothing and Textiles, Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea
Associate Professor, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, Baylor University, Waco, USA

Correspondence to :

Funding Information ▼

Citation Jang, S. M., Lee, S. E., & Yoo, J-J. (2021). Analysis of male and female nurses’ attitudes toward nurse uniforms in South Korea: The functional, expressive, and aesthetic (FEA) framework. International Journal of Costume and Fashion, 21(1), 25-37.


The goals are to investigate attitudes toward pantsuit uniforms versus scrubs between male and female nurses, and to analyze nurse uniform design preferences. It is important to thoroughly investigate both male and female nurses’ attitudes toward uniform designs. Applying the Functional, Expressive, and Aesthetic conceptual framework serves to understand nurses’ attitudes toward uniforms. Five female and six male nurses in South Korea participated in focus group interviews for this study. The participants revealed that male and female nurses hold similar views regarding their functional aspects with respect to comfort, convenience, and infection risk. Concerning the expressive aspects of uniforms, both male and female nurses believe that scrubs enhance their occupational value, status expression, self-control, self-image, and professional image, compared to pantsuits. With respect to aesthetic aspects, however, the male and female nurses in this study report different views of androgyny. While scrubs share both feminine and masculine stylistic traits, the male nurses still view their current uniforms as feminine in design. The FEA framework enhances an understanding of male and female nurses’ attitudes toward uniforms by investigating their perspectives. The study implications provide further support for design improvement and research in the field of clothing within the health professions.

Keywords: Nurse uniform, Occupational value, Professional identity, FEA model, Self-image


This work was supported by the Research Institute of Nursing Science, Seoul National University Student Research Grant in 2018

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