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You’ve Heard of Cheugy Outside of Work—But Are You a Cheugy Clinician?

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Key Takeaways

  • Cheugy is the 2021-equivalent of basic and describes people who like what they like--and don’t care what anyone else has to say.
  • Cheugy characteristics that can be attributed to HCPs include liking Grey’s Anatomy, AirPods, and hospital-branded Patagonia vests.
  • According to some nurses, FIGS joggers are the most cheugy item a clinician can own.

Cheugy, iterated in 2021 by TikTok user Hallie Cain (but actually originates back to 2013), is the modern day “basic.” It’s the equivalent of liking music released 10 years ago: not exactly the coolest thing to listen to, but you enjoy it, so you listen to it anyway. TheCut describes it nicely: “Cheugy things, by definition, have a hard-to-pin-down, undefiniable element — part 2010 aesthetic, part girlboss energy — that gives them that cheugy flavor.”1

Some 2021 things that can be defined as cheugy include candles from Bath & Body Works, signs that say “Live, Laugh, Love”, Gucci belts with the large, brass “GG” logo, Louis Vuitton Never-Full bags (bonus points if you have a dog small enough to fit inside), and gender reveal parties. 

Now, as a clinician, you may be thinking to yourself, “I’m a little cheugy in my personal life, but I’m definitely not cheugy at work.” But that’s where you’re wrong. Cheugy comes in all shapes and sizes, and it definitely can be applied to hospital and healthcare settings. Did somebody say Figs Joggers? 

We’ve broken down the 5 most cheugy attributes that all clinicians can resonate with. 

5. AirPods 

While AirPods have become a staple for mostly all commuters, they are especially necessary for clinicians. Hear me out: they’re branded (Apple), recognizable (once you see that white, cordless headphone, you KNOW it’s an AirPod), no-fuss (cute and compact),  and a bit pricey ($130+). Sure, there might be better-performing headphones out there (such as Bose), but the, well, basicness and functionality for the clinician–who’s often jamming one into their ears while running for the bus to the hospital–ranks it #5 on our list.

4. Anything Patagonia

Similar to the AirPod, Patagonia-branded clothing–originally intended for hikes in inclimate temperatures–has taken over transitional garb like wildfire. It’s warmer than an athletic zip-up, but also easy to layer, and comes in fun patterns and textures. Plus, the signature “Patagonia” logo let’s everyone know you’re wearing something by the brand, and the price is just high enough to make it a higher caliber than, say, an L.L. Bean zip up. And if your grey Patagonia zip-up has your hospital logo as well as your name, your degrees, and where you work? You are a full-blown Cheug. 

3. Grey’s Anatomy

Ahh, Grey’s. We hate to love it (as we do for all things Cheugy). But for clinicians, the love is next level. You KNOW what it’s like to see your favorite colleague in distress. You FEEL THE PAIN of Dr. Bailey watching a tragic death. Your heart ACHED for Meredith when Derek died. You have a bff who you refer to as “my person.” Honestly, you might as well be working at Grey Sloan Memorial, that’s how close you are to the show and the cast members. Oh, and you’ve definitely watched the whole thing now twice.  

2. Dansko Clogs

Dansko Clogs are designed for one thing in mind: comfy feet. And what could be more appealing for a clinician on their feet all day? The 3 words used to describe these clogs are Comfortable, Durable, and Stylish. The shoes come in different categories, depending on your profession: nursing and medical. Not to mention the patterns they come in, which range from “Professional Blue Brush” to “Paisley Floral.” Dansko clogs are cheugy because, despite not being the most gorgeous-looking shoes, they’re incredibly supportive and make running around the hospital almost seem enjoyable. 


FIGS hospital wear takes the cake for the most cheugy clinician attribute because if you don’t have FIGS, well, then you might as well not even be a clinician. FIGS originated almost 10 years ago with the goal to provide technically advanced apparel and products for the modern healthcare professional while also being able to distribute them easily.2 FIGS quickly became the standard wardrobe among most clinicians, and now they’ve expanded outside of just scrubs. FIGS has designed apparel (like athleisure), footwear, headbands,  and face masks all using their technically-advanced materials. Not sure what to get your NP friend (who loves Starbucks and Bravo TV)? Try something from FIGS–it’s a guaranteed success. 

Honorable Mentions

Some incredibly cheugy honorable mentions include:

  • Hydroflask water bottles
  • Venti Starbucks iced coffees 
  • Extra-strength sleep aids
  • ON running sneakers 


  1. Mercado M. Turns Out I’m Pretty Cheugy. TheCut. Published May 3, 2021. Accessed June 7, 2021. 
  2. Our Story. Figs. Accessed June 7, 2021.

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