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Chef Attire


hathor
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Anybody have a good source for womens chef jackets that don't look like they are modified mens jackets?

Hello. I am not shaped like a man and I'm tired of looking like Mr. Potato Sack meets The Prison Warden.

Is there an unwritten rule that women need to look asexual, I mean dowdy, in the kitchen?

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Anybody have a good source for womens chef jackets that don't look like they are modified mens jackets?

Hello. I am not shaped like a man and I'm tired of looking like Mr. Potato Sack meets The Prison Warden.

Is there an unwritten rule that women need to look asexual, I mean dowdy, in the kitchen?

Try Crooked Brook - here's a link: Crooked Brook Chef Coats

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I have a nice woman's jacket that comes from Chefwear.com; it's a little pricey and a bit fancier than I usually wear, but I tend to wear it for demos and tv when anything else makes me look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Or Girl. This is it (below) and it has a tie in the back, which nips in the waist a bit.

ttp://www.chefwear.com/store/item.asp?ITEM_ID=12&DEPARTMENT_ID=73

BeefCheeks is an author, editor, and food journalist.

"The food was terrible. And such small portions...."

--Alvy Singer

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Thanks! I think I'll visit Crooked Brook the next time I"m in NY.

I feel myself getting all feminist belligerent that I'm being shoved into menswear. Years of sking in men's boots because women's boots were just beginner gear colored pink has made me a touch cranky on the subject.

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Anybody have a good source for womens chef jackets that don't look like they are modified mens jackets?

Hello. I am not shaped like a man and I'm tired of looking like Mr. Potato Sack meets The Prison Warden.

Is there an unwritten rule that women need to look asexual, I mean dowdy, in the kitchen?

Speaking of ill-fitting attire, it's not as if men have it easy either. Most chef jackets I've worn are way too tight in the shoulders, making it very difficult to reach anything up high. I'm not a particularly big guy (6'1" 190 pounds), but I need to wear an XL jacket just to have that shoulder room (and of course the rest of the jacket is just huge).

I do agree however, that chef attire does seem rather potato-shaped...

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There are some good wraparound styles that seem to make boobs look good (not like the normal chef coats make women look like the "uni-boober"), but yes, these are more than 3x the price of mens coats. (same thing with work gloves at home depot...womens are 2x more spendy than mens goves)

i keep trying to get my friends and family that have budding interests in fashion to design a line of chefwear that makes women look feminine, sexy even, in the kitchen.

Stephanie Crocker

Sugar Bakery + Cafe

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While I have to agree that chef wear isn't very flattering to women, the goal surely isn't to look sexy in the kitchen, is it? The uniform was designed for practical reasons...

long sleeves to keep you from burning yourself

a double breasted front so that you could conceal stains if necessary

I've never had a problem wearing a uniform. It thankfully keeps me from worrying about what to wear at work (and it saves me $$$). Then again, I've never understood women who wear makeup in a kitchen either.

I think the only time I would ever be concerned with how the jacket looked is if I were to be included in some sort of photo shoot. To me, the uniform is part and parcel of the job. The respect that you get from people who see you in a chef jacket is pretty universal. When I see people in novelty chef wear (baggy pants with peppers on them - apologies to FG, multi-colored or denim chef jackets), I automatically question their qualifications/intentions. But that's my own prejudice. :raz:

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Interesting points, and something that I've been puzzling about.

I wear make up in the kitchen because I'm a woman of a certain age and I would scare people if I didn't do a little something to make myself look decent. I'm not talking about masacare melting down my face....mascara would be truly scary! :laugh:

I don't know about looking sexy per se, but I don't see anything inappropriate about looking like a woman in the kitchen. I was thinking about it yesterday, and the effect that the Williams sisters choice of apparel had on the tennis industry. They rejected the white shorts/white polo shirt look and went all out fem. They revolutionized tennis wear.

My 'problem' with traditional chef attire is that it is designed for men and marginally adapted for women.

Sugarseattle, I was thinking the same thing. I've got friends in the fashion business too.

Look at wait staff uniforms, some of the top designers have designed for restaurants. What about the back of the house? I do emerge from the kitchen from time to time and I want to look professional but still feminine.

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i keep trying to get my friends and family that have budding interests in fashion to design a line of chefwear that makes women look feminine, sexy even, in the kitchen.

I believe Nigella Lawson has solved this problem in her own way by investing in a pile of well-fitting cashmere sweaters... :rolleyes:

Actually, my favorite things to wear in the kitchen are old sweaters; the long sleeves keep grease from spattering on my arms but never end up dangling in any sauces. Maybe Nigella's onto something.

Edited by Rehovot (log)
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I'm very late to this thread, and it's very interesting and says a lot of the same things I've been thinking/hearing for years.

hathor, I'm with you on the "bit o'makeup." (To everyone else, yeah, she's a real monster ... not!) Seriously, I wear mylack of sleep less well with every year. Lancome makes an amazing undereye concealer that's waterproof, and waterproof mascara. Just a tiny bit of each makes me feel not-horrible, and got me through some wicked Augusts on the line.

When I have a choice, I wear knot-button coats with plackets that are cut on a curve. Since I look more like a guy, I've always "defined" my waist with the apron which, because the waists are usually huge on me, makes me look like an EBWE (Egg Body With Extremities). Seriously, denim jackets and pepper/fish/mushroom pants are only for teaching kids, in private classes. I've worked in some kitchens that don't allow them.

When I see Nigella Lawson in her little twinsets, I think (a) what I wouldn't do to have that body!, and (b) little green, pink, and blue fuzzies in the food. Unless she wears a white coat over her cashmere when she cooks, of course.

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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Hey FFB...nice to hear from you!! :biggrin:

It's time to change the attire, I just need to come up with what. Today's fantasy is a sort of lab coat.

I was looking at my Roman chef, male partner today, and his outfit looked like prison gear. It's time for a change. :laugh::laugh:

And those 'naf printed pants do NOT count!!

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Look at wait staff uniforms, some of the top designers have designed for restaurants. What about the back of the house?  I do emerge from the kitchen from time to time and I want to look professional but still feminine.

Just an aside, but I remember a lunch at Union Square Cafe once when a well-endowed friend commented on the oxford shirts wait staff wore. She complained that the masculine style just isn't flattering for bodies like hers.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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As a personal chef, I am often in front of guests while I work. Standard men's jackets are too long in the body and sleeve, and too narrow in the hip [bust seems not to be so problematic :wink: So, I have invested in some women's tailored jackets from Blackwood Apparel in Vancouver. I have regular "shirts" for prep and behind-the-scenes time, but switch to the jacket when it's showtime. The jackets are available in several colors, including the red which I ordered... and then sourced a few pair of matching earrings, too.

Otherwise, one could pick up the relatively less costly men's jackets in a size larger than required, then take to a tailor/alterationist for customizing. It works for jeans and jackets, so why not chef apparel. The overall expense for 2 or 3 jackets may be less than special order from somewhere distant...

Karen Dar Woon

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Thanks Karen, I'll take a look at Blackwood Apparel, for inspiration.

Let's be pro-active....what are practical features of chef attire? Once we compile a list, we can forward it to anyone interested in designing chef wear and see what happens. Maybe they'll name the jacket after us....the eGullet chef jacket!

A quick glance at my arms tells me that burn protection is necessary. So sleeves are required. But, I always have to roll up my sleeves, and then that runs the risk of catching on something, or something running down and into the rolled cuff. A rolled cuff also looks a little sportif and a bit messy.

The jacket needs to hide or camouflage dirt/stains. So the double breasted approach is good, but not particularly flattering.

I want to look professional, neat and feminine when I go out to the front of the house. I don't want to look like I've adapted my husband's jacket to fit me. I want to make a professional statement that I am a woman in the kitchen. (Now, there's a ranting manifesto, if I ever heard one! :laugh::laugh: )

Pockets are nice, but not essential. Side on seam pockets, below apron tie height would be welcome.

The jacket needs to be long enough to cover any chance of chef crack when I'm digging around in the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, but not so long that it hinders walking.

The fabric should be breathable and washable. There are fantastic high tech fibers out there, the stuff that Patagonia and other outdoor specialists use, so surely there is something that would suit our particular needs.

Anyone else? What would your chef jacket wish list include?

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While I have to agree that chef wear isn't very flattering to women, the goal surely isn't to look sexy in the kitchen, is it?  The uniform was designed for practical reasons...

long sleeves to keep you from burning yourself

a double breasted front so that you could conceal stains if necessary

I've never had a problem wearing a uniform.  It thankfully keeps me from worrying about what to wear at work (and it saves me $$$).  Then again, I've never understood women who wear makeup in a kitchen either.

I think the only time I would ever be concerned with how the jacket looked is if I were to be included in some sort of photo shoot.  To me, the uniform is part and parcel of the job.  The respect that you get from people who see you in a chef jacket is pretty universal.  When I see people in novelty chef wear (baggy pants with peppers on them - apologies to FG, multi-colored or denim chef jackets), I automatically question their qualifications/intentions.  But that's my own prejudice.  :raz:

Knocked up????!!!!!! Wow! congrats....

secondly, sexy in the kitchen is gross. I mean if youre naturally sexy, go with it, but if you need a push up and heels..c'mon...

I hate the pepper pants and stuff...wear whatever you want in your home (I cook in sundressed all year long...but in the professional kitchen the clothes (help) make the wo(man).

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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While I have to agree that chef wear isn't very flattering to women, the goal surely isn't to look sexy in the kitchen, is it?  The uniform was designed for practical reasons...

long sleeves to keep you from burning yourself

a double breasted front so that you could conceal stains if necessary

I've never had a problem wearing a uniform.  It thankfully keeps me from worrying about what to wear at work (and it saves me $$$).  Then again, I've never understood women who wear makeup in a kitchen either.

I think the only time I would ever be concerned with how the jacket looked is if I were to be included in some sort of photo shoot.  To me, the uniform is part and parcel of the job.  The respect that you get from people who see you in a chef jacket is pretty universal.  When I see people in novelty chef wear (baggy pants with peppers on them - apologies to FG, multi-colored or denim chef jackets), I automatically question their qualifications/intentions.  But that's my own prejudice.  :raz:

Knocked up????!!!!!! Wow! congrats....

secondly, sexy in the kitchen is gross. I mean if youre naturally sexy, go with it, but if you need a push up and heels..c'mon...

I hate the pepper pants and stuff...wear whatever you want in your home (I cook in sundressed all year long...but in the professional kitchen the clothes (help) make the wo(man).

Thanks Emma. And you know first hand that I'm no girly-girl in the kitchen! :raz:

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So sleeves are required. But, I always have to roll up my sleeves, and then that runs the risk of catching on something, or something running down and into the rolled cuff. A rolled cuff also looks a little sportif and a bit messy.

...

Pockets are nice, but not essential. Side on seam pockets, below apron tie height would be welcome.

The jacket needs to be long enough to cover any chance of chef crack when I'm digging around in the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, but not so long that it hinders walking.

The fabric should be breathable and washable.

Karen Dar Woon

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I don't know if the rest of you are having problems with the lower cut waistlines these days, but I think they suck. My boyfriend's daughters were explaining "muffin tops" to me, and they didn't mean a nicely-rounded, crumble-topped blueberry muffin! :wink: I'd like something just slightly lower waisted, say like wearing a perfect pair of men's (sorry, but they fit me well!) Levis 501s!!!

Suggestions?

Thanks.

kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

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  • 2 months later...

My main beef is with the pants.

You have the choice of the sized pants or the elastic waist ones, and neither kind fits women well. I have the elastic waist pants, because like a lot of women, my waistline can fluctuate. The large size was too big...there was enough room in the sides of these suckers that I could have carried around a small child on each hip. The medium is not as bad....but the crotch depth doesn't allow for a woman's butt...so you have a wedgie all day and they're a bit more snug on the waist than I'd like.

There has to be some better solution, a bit of elastic on the sides only, or a side zipper on the fitted pants might offer a better fit. One of these days when I have time I'll experiment on a pair of my worn out checks with my sewing machine.

These are pants that you have to wear all day, sometimes for 10 or 12 hours, so they should be comfortable, why doesn't anybody make them that way?

If only I'd worn looser pants....

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Have any of you tried taking a jacket that you like (besides the fit) and taking it to a tailor? I think it would be a cheap and easy job. My friend Sara has her levis tailored! Doesn't cost her much. Getting a good fit out of a simple jacket should be easier than getting one out of pants that are supposed to hug the ass.

Edited by paulraphael (log)

Notes from the underbelly

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