For a chef, the uniform is an essential element of his or her daily work life. While chefs are expected to be impeccably dressed at all times, the uniform is designed to enhance their professional appearance. A chef's uniform is comprised of several elements of work wear such as: chef uniforms, chef coats, chef pants, chef hats, chef shirts, chef aprons, neckwear, jackets, and chef shoes, etc. Most chefs wear their uniforms very proudly as they are very recognizable.
The color white is generally the preferred color for chef uniforms as it promotes cleanliness however it is hard to keep a white uniform clean while working away in a busy restaurant kitchen. However, things are changing everyday and you will now find that chefs may be decked out in a wide variety of colors and designs. Most of the chef's work wear is functional as well as it is fashionable. For example, the double-breasted chef coat or jacket is usually reversible to hide unsightly food stains from public view. It also serves to insulate the body from scalding liquid spills and hot stoves. While executive chefs and head chefs generally wear black or colored pants, working chefs and cooks will usually wear checked black and white pants, both of which are designed to easily hide any cooking stains.
Chef coats are worn over their shirts, and aprons are usually worn while a chef is active in the kitchen for sanitary and cleanliness purposes. Today, neckerchiefs serve an aesthetic purpose. They were initially worn as cotton cloths around the neck to absorb body heat, an inevitable consequence of working in hot kitchens. Chefs are generally distinguished from the cooks and sous chefs by the tall hats they wear. Cooks usually wear shorter hats or caps. Disposable chef hats that are made from paper are now a viable solution for chefs.
A chef should always look professional while working as he or she is often seen by the public. This means the work clothes that make up a chef uniform should fit well and be kept as clean as possible. An extra uniform should always be on hand just in case of an accident or a major spill or stain. Chef uniforms come in a variety of sizes and materials and you may want to wear a lightweight uniform while working as it can become quite hot and steamy in the kitchen of a restaurant.
An evolving genre of attire, the chef uniform is here to give you a taste of things to come.