Chef’s Coats and Chef’s Jackets

Chef’s coats are an integral part of the overall chef uniform, worn by a professional chef while on the job and in the kitchen. Chef’s jackets come in several different styles, allowing you to select the cut and fit which best suits you. Given that chefs are required to wear their chef’s coat whenever they are at work — it is called a chef’s uniform for a reason — searching for the right jacket at the right price can take time and energy.

Chef’s Coat Criterion: Comfort

As a professional chef, you’ll be getting a lot of use out of your uniform coat. Therefore, it’s important to find a chef’s coat that’s not only comfortable, but that you’ll feel great wearing day in and day out. In other words, your jacket should fit you such that you don’t spend every moment of your kitchen shift dying to take it off, whether it be too small in the shoulders, too long in the sleeves, or just plain itchy.

Chef jobs are physically demanding and the kitchen environment is high-paced and bustling. The last thing you need is to be wearing a jacket that restricts your movement or otherwise gets in your way, hindering your job performance — and, consequently, your attitude while at work. From a practical standpoint, then, it would be prudent to try on chef’s coats in different sizes, cuts and styles.

You’re a Professional Chef? Then Look Professional

Another reason the fit of your chef’s jacket is important is a professional one: as much as the overall aesthetic and preparation quality of your meals, cakes, hors d’oeuvres, etc., are a reflection of your work as a chef, your jacket and appearance also play a role in your professional image. The bottom line is that an ill-fitting jacket makes you look unprofessional. Whether you’ve just graduated from culinary school or are already an established executive chef, you’ve worked hard make your dreams of a culinary career a reality — and to wear the coat that comes with the territory. It’s important to treat the uniform with respect so that you are respected, in turn, as a chef.

A Chef’s Job is Messy: Buy Multiple Chef’s Coats

One pitfall of being a chef is that you’re likely to get food stains on your clothes. It certainly doesn’t help that the standard chef’s coat is white, seeming to invite sauces to splatter and melted chocolate to drip all over you. Food stains on your chef’s uniform is par for the course, and no one expects you to walk out of the kitchen after a long and hard day’s work with a pristine and spotless jacket. You will, however, be expected to wear a clean coat during your next shift. (Showing up to work in a dirty uniform is just as unprofessional — if not more so — than wearing one that fits poorly.) Since you probably won’t have the time (or energy) to do laundry when you get home, you should own more than one chef’s coat.

In fact, you should buy several of them — enough so that you don’t have to worry about having a clean and presentable coat for your next day’s work. If you’re the type of person who does laundry once a week, it would be smart to have one clean jacket for each shift. In other words, if you work five days a week and only have three chef’s jackets, washing them only once a week won’t guarantee you a fresh jacket on all five of those days.

Jacket Styles, Fabrics, and Colors

Chef's CoatChef’s coats are typically double-breasted, with a mandarin collar (also know as a Nehru collar or military collar), long sleeves, and made out of cotton. Coats made from eco-friendly and Egyptian cotton varieties also exist.

Furthermore, you can find chef’s jackets in a range of different colors, from black to green to red, though the standard white jacket is still the norm.

Other variations include short-sleeved jacket and coats with an asymmetrical placket.