If you are thinking of following a career as a chef you may be wondering about what sort of clothing you will be required to wear in order to cook professionally. If you have paid any attention to the attire of chefs you have seen at work you will probably have noticed that they all tend to wear a hat, jacket or apron and trousers.

These items all serve to protect the chef in the kitchen environment. We are going to take a look at these various items of clothing that you will be expected to wear should you decide to embark on a career as a chef.

Wearing a hat as a chef

Not every chef wears a hat, but many do. There is a tradition that has built up surrounding the wearing of a chef’s hat. You will probably be familiar with the tall white hats that you may have seen chefs wearing. These hats were originally grey in colour and this only changed following the input of Chef Marie-Antoine Carême in the 19th Century. It was also this chef who developed the concept of a taller hat indicating more seniority.

So now you know, if you see chefs wearing these tall white hats you can tell which is the most senior as he will be wearing the tallest hat.

Why a chef wears a jacket or apron


Chefs wear jackets or aprons in the kitchen as a protective barrier. The jacket or apron is double thickness so the chef is protected against the hot liquids which are commonplace in a kitchen. This item of clothing is also generally white in colour so that it is obvious when it requires washing and so that it is easy to bleach. This helps to protect the hygienic environment of the kitchen.

A change in colour for chef’s trousers

Traditionally, chef’s trousers were decorated with black and white checks; this has changed over the years. Most chefs now wear trousers that are self-coloured. There is less emphasis on the colour but the style of the trousers is still pretty much the same. All chefs’ trousers are designed to have plenty of room in them. This is done so that air can circulate in what can be a very hot kitchen environment.

As you can imagine this is important to the comfort of the chef. Working in an extremely hot environment without air being able to circulate would be unbearable.

You can see that if you are considering a career as a chef you will be expected to wear certain items of clothing. Although traditions around a chef’s outfit have changed over the years the clothing still adheres to the same overall design and sometimes colour. These design considerations help to protect a chef as he works and also help to improve his level of comfort. If you work as a chef you will value both of these benefits.

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