From Aprons To Trousers: A Buyer’s Guide To Chef Whites

From Aprons To Trousers: A Buyer’s Guide To Chef Whites

When people think of chefs, it is often tall hats, white jackets and checked trousers that spring to mind. While somewhat stereotypical, this image is not too far from reality.

Originating from the culinary traditions of French restaurants, chef whites have been worn for over a century. The garments’ popularity is most commonly credited to the legendary chef Marie-Antoine Careme, famed for his level of excellence and professionalism both in and out of the kitchen. According to Careme, a good chef is clean and efficient, so spillages should be infrequent.

Decades on, the world of fine dining and cuisine has changed a lot, but the uniforms worn by professionals have stayed relatively true to their roots. Though the tall pleated hats, known as ‘toques’, are less common than they once were, crisp white jackets and well-kept uniforms still stand strong.

For those working within the hospitality industry, whether it is managing restaurants, running a kitchen or preparing the dishes, purchasing chef whites for the staff isn’t always as straightforward as it seems. There are a number of considerations to keep in mind, so it’s worth doing your research beforehand.

Fortunately, here at London Linen, this is our area of expertise. To help you along your journey to kitchen excellence, we’ve put together a buyer’s guide to chef whites.

Read on to discover all you need to know.

Why Do Chefs Wear White?

Before we dive into the range of chef garments available, we thought it would be worth outlining the reasons that white has become synonymous with chefs. Though their aesthetic qualities do play a significant role in their popularity, they also boast a range of practical benefits.


First up, anyone who has worked in kitchens or high-quality restaurants will know that there are numerous long-standing traditions. From table service to bar etiquette, many fine dining establishments are accompanied by the traditions of their cultural birthplaces.

As mentioned briefly above, chef whites are a prime example of continued traditions. Originating from France in the mid-19th century, well-made white chef uniforms are a visual representation of quality and excellence. Modern use of such garments ties chefs to their profession’s rich history.

Hygiene, Practicality & Safety

Of course, tradition isn’t the only reason that chef whites remain popular today; these garments are designed with practicality, hygiene and safety in mind. As all of us know. white jackets and trousers show dirt and spillages incredibly well. Wearing white uniforms demonstrates the level of cleanliness upheld by chefs and kitchens, free of dirt, germs and food stains.

Moreover, chef whites are designed with a number of practical elements in mind. Kitchen environments are notoriously hot and fast-paced. For this reason, white, breathable, garments enable chefs to stay cooler while working. What’s more, their slightly cropped sleeves and well-fitted design prevents them from dragging through food or touching exposed flames. Chef jackets and trousers are also manufactured using fire-resistant materials for safety purposes.

Essential Chef’s Clothing

So, for those on the search for high-quality chef whites and uniforms, which garments are worth considering? Below, we’ve highlighted a handful of chef’s clothing and kitchen attire that is essential.

Chef Jackets

Let’s start with a classic, the chef jacket. As we’ve already established, chef jackets represent the tradition of the culinary industry while also providing numerous practical benefits. 

To cater for every need, chef jackets are available in both short and long-sleeve lengths. While this is often down to personal preference or the decision of the head chef, short sleeves are better suited to pastry and dessert chefs who are often handling messier food or kneading dough.

In addition to sleeve length variations, chef jackets are also available in single or double-breasted designs. Often, double-breasted jackets are favoured for their reversible nature. Both of these jacket styles provide ample airflow and are designed to prevent overheating or excessive perspiration.

Chef Aprons

Another kitchen essential is the classic apron. Designed to be put on and taken off with ease, aprons are often favoured by chefs as well as the jackets themselves. Aprons provide an extra layer of protection against heat, flames and stains.

Alongside their practical benefits, aprons are another effective method of demonstrating professionalism. Chefs, waiters and baristas alike can be found wearing aprons to signify an attention to hygiene and to convey their responsibility within the kitchen or dining area.

Chef Trousers

Thirdly, chef trousers are another crucial part of any kitchen uniform. Chef trousers are typically designed with a looser fit, to enable airflow and movement; elasticated waists and drawstrings eliminate the need for a belt.

Here at London Linen, our chef trousers are manufactured using only the highest-quality materials, designed to resist heat and prevent stains.

Buying Chef Whites

When it comes to choosing chef whites for yourself or your kitchen staff, there are a few things worth bearing in mind.


Be sure to invest in chef uniforms that are sized correctly for your team. Well-fitted jackets and trousers are essential as oversized garments can cause a number of issues, touching food and creating hazards when near flames. Similarly, a tight jacket will cause its wearer to overheat and can restrict movement.

Here at London Linen, we supply chef whites in a number of sizes. Feel free to get in touch with us to discuss your sizing requirements and ensure you find the perfect fit.

Sleeve Lengths

Moreover, sleeve length is a factor worth considering. For kitchens prone to becoming incredibly hot, short sleeves may be the most suitable option. Equally, for restaurants seeking a more traditional fine-dining aesthetic, long sleeves are often favoured for their tailored, uniform nature.


Although the name chef whites may suggest otherwise, kitchen garments are available in various colours. White is traditional and recognisable, but many kitchens opt for black uniforms to distinguish responsibility or hierarchy. For example, the head chef may wear white, along with the sous chef, whilst the prep cooks might be dressed in black.

Though the use of colour to distinguish rank is common, it is not the case everywhere.  A kitchen of chefs dressed in black can appear equally distinguished and professional. Black chef’s uniforms may suit your kitchen better and bring a sense of comradery to the team; it all depends on the style of your establishment.

Comfort And Quality: Chefs Wear From London Linen

Once you’ve settled on the style of uniform required for your kitchen staff, finding a reliable linen supplier is essential. Here at London Linen, we have over 80 years of experience serving the restaurant and catering industry and take great pride in supplying nothing but high-quality chef uniforms.

With a reputation for excellence and a focus on impeccable customer service, it is our mission to give each of our clients the fast, efficient and dependable experience they deserve.  So, whether you’re in need of chef jackets, trousers, aprons or polo shirts, you can count on us to provide professional services time and time again.

Our commitment to quality doesn’t stop there though, we are committed to sustainability and have a keen focus on environmental protection. We are always looking for ways to implement new processes, machinery, packaging and technologies to reduce our carbon impact.  So much so that we have won awards that recognise our efforts in these fields.

To discover our full range of high-quality kitchen linen and chef uniforms, get in touch with us today. We’re always happy to discuss your requirements.

Call us on 020 8574 5569 or send an email to

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Contact us today to make an enquiry about kitchen linen hire in London or restaurant and table linens services. As the most reliable dry cleaning services in London, we can help you achieve your best.

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