Everything You Need to Know About Chef Wear

If you want to work in a professional restaurant or catering kitchen, you need to look the part with the proper chef apparel. There is a variety of chef wear available today for both men and women, including several key pieces that every chef should have.

Chef coat

While a home cook may prefer an apron, chefs typically wear a chef coat or jacket as part of their daily uniform. This is essentially a double-breasted, button-up jacket that is worn over a t-shirt or tank top and is thick enough to protect the chef from grease, food splatters, and steam. The jackets are also typically fire-resistant. Chef coats come with short sleeves, half sleeves, and three-quarter sleeves, with or without cuffs. 

Chef hat

You may picture the traditional tall, white, and pleated chef's hat, called a toque blanche, when you think of a chef hat. While traditional, many chefs prefer something a little simpler. Skull caps and beanies are both compact versions of a chef hat that keep hair and sweat out of the way. Some versions even have a mesh top to keep the wearer cool. 

Chef shoes

There are three things to keep in mind when choosing shoes to wear as a chef. They are:

  • Comfort. As a chef, you need to wear shoes that are comfortable. When you cook for hours at a time, you won't be successful wearing a shoe that is uncomfortable or painful. Be sure to break them in thoroughly before wearing the shoes to work for a full shift.
  • Non-slip. Whether you work as a sous chef or man the fish station, restaurant kitchen floors can get slippery. Wearing non-slip shoes is essential for the safety of yourself and those around you. 
  • Closed-toe. Closed-toe shoes are also essential for your safety. Not only can your feet get accidentally stepped upon in a fast-paced kitchen, but hot soups, sauces, and even grease can spill on unsuspecting exposed toes. Closed-toe shoes protect your feet from injury.

If you buy chef shoes that are not only comfortable but also non-slip and closed-toe, your feet will thank you.

Chef pants

Chef pants are typically loose-fitting and made from cotton or breathable cotton blend. This is to ensure that chefs are comfortable and cool throughout their long shifts in the kitchen. 

No matter what field you work in, having the right gear is important. For a chef, having the right gear keeps you both comfortable and safe.