How to Dress for the Job: A Guide to Chef Clothing

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The traditional chef’s uniform took its form back in the mid-19th century. It all started in France when chef Marie-Antoine Carême created the uniform. This uniform became a symbol of status, and it’s recognizable all over the world.

As the world of cooking changed, the uniform evolved too. Over time, each article of clothing evolved to serve a different purpose in the kitchen. So, let’s look at the necessary items to dress as a chef.


Toque means hat in Arabic. It’s one of the essential pieces of clothing a chef must wear. It also shows their level of experience in cooking; a professional and renowned chef has a tall toque to reflect their years in the industry.

The pleats aren’t just symbolic. It shows a chef’s cooking techniques and skill level. For example, if a chef wears a hat with 100 pleats, it is said to show that they have mastered 100 ways to cook an egg. The toque isn’t just to show one’s skills. It also has a purpose in the kitchen. You wear it so people can spot you immediately and keep your hair out of the food.


The jacket or the iconic double-breasted white coat is iconic in the kitchen. You might think that the white color shouldn’t be in the kitchen because you have to deal with all kinds of sauces that ruin it by the end of the day, but it represents something more than just a piece of clothing.

The white color represents cleanliness, and the overall look shows an authoritative figure. The color white was chosen because it deflects heat, which is essential in a hot environment. It also protects from steam and liquids. 


Aprons are essential in the kitchen for protection. A chef will wear an apron around their waist for protection against hot and liquid food like soups. The typical length is around the knee for better mobility, as kitchens can get chaotic, especially on a busy night.

If you want a professional apron, opt for a wax canvas apron because it offers maximum protection and is easy to take care of, as you can clean it using the washing machine. Furthermore, if you take proper care of the apron, you can wear it for many years as they are pretty durable.

Side Towel

The side towel is an essential accessory because you will use it to grab hot plates, dishes, or other kitchen utensils. It’s critical to have it on you to avoid burning yourself and compromising a day’s work, or worse, ruining a dish because you couldn’t find a rag to pick it up.


The chef’s pants need to abide by three rules. First, they must be durable and breathable because you run around in a hot environment all day. So, you need to be able to move without overheating while they can sustain some damage as kitchen accidents are prone to happen. In addition to that, they need to be comfortable when you are cooking. 

A chef’s attire combines elegance with practicality. Wearing proper cooking attire helps you manage your kitchen quickly and inspire others to do the same.

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