The traditional chef’s uniform (or chef’s whites) includes a toque blanche (traditional hat), white double-breasted jacket, and houndstooth-patterned, black and white pants. It is a common uniform in the Western world.
The double breasted jacket can be reversed to hide stains. The thick cotton cloth protects from the heat of stove and oven and protects from splattering of boiling liquids. Aprons shield the wearer’s garments from food splatters and stains.
The toque is a chef’s hat that dates back to the 16th century. Different heights may indicate rank within a kitchen. The 100 folds of the toque are said to represent the many different ways a chef knows to cook an egg. In more traditional restaurants, especially traditional French restaurants, the white chef’s coat is standard.