The traditional chef’s hat (or chef’s whites) includes a toque Blanche (“white hat”), white double-breasted jacket, pants in a black-and-white houndstooth pattern, and apron. It is a common occupational uniform in the Western world.
The toque is a chef’s hat that dates back to the 16th century. Different heights may indicate a rank within a kitchen, and they are designed to prevent hair from falling into the food when cooking.
In more traditional restaurants, especially traditional French restaurants, the white chef’s coat is standard and considered part of a traditional uniform and as a practical chef’s garment. Most serious chefs wear white coats to signify the importance and high regard for their profession. The thick cotton cloth protects from the heat of stoves and ovens and protects from the splattering of boiling liquids.
The double-breasted jacket is used to add protection to the wearer’s chest and stomach area from burns from splashing liquids. Many types of Scottish hat available on kiltmaster.
Knotted cloth buttons were used to survive frequent washing and contact with hot items. White is intended to signify cleanliness as well as repelling heat from the kitchen and is generally worn by highly visible head chefs. Increasingly, other colors such as black are becoming popular as well.