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Cooking Up Cool: The Rise of Chefcore

f you’ve been keeping your finger on the pulse of the fashion scene lately (or merely have a Hulu subscription), you’ve probably heard the buzz about what’s being dubbed as “Chefcore”. It’s part of the reason why your crush is posting thirst pics of Jeremy Allen White on her Instagram stories, and why polyurethane hospital-aid-looking clogs are being worn by some of the most stylish people on the planet. The chef’s uniform itself has a rich history that dates back to the 19th century and has evolved over the years to reflect the changes in the culinary world and society at large.

A Brief History of Chefwear


image via GoldenSpoonAwards.com

The iconic chef uniform was popularized by a French chef, Marie-Antoine Carême, in the early 1800s. He introduced the quintessential white jacket, symbolizing cleanliness and purity in the kitchen, and the toque blanche (white hat) which represented the chef’s rank in the kitchen hierarchy. The number of pleats on the toque was said to represent the number of recipes a chef had mastered.

Over the years the chef uniform underwent several modifications. The white color remained a constant, emphasizing the importance of hygiene in cooking, but the designs and fabrics evolved to accommodate the practical needs of chefs, such as comfort, mobility, and safety. Chefs started also wearing checkered pants to camouflage stains, and double-breasted jackets that could be reversed to hide spills.

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