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What do you wear when you're cooking?

What do you wear when you're cooking?
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  • What do you wear when you're cooking?

    Post #1 - December 9th, 2013, 9:57 am
    Post #1 - December 9th, 2013, 9:57 am Post #1 - December 9th, 2013, 9:57 am
    I know this discussion could go a number of ways ... And that's not really my intent. :shock: :roll:

    The question comes up for me because we keep our house on the cool side this time of year so I normally wear a sweater around the house. My old favorite - a purple synthetic fleece pullover - has become so threadbare that it isn't really doing the job. Plus the elbows are worn out. I have a fairy heavy cotton pullover that I like to wear but the sleeves are awful. They won't stay up and I guess I usually cook elbows deep because I'm not happy unless I can push my sleeves up more or less to my elbows and they stay there. The sleeves on my old pullover are the style like this:

    Image
    I suppose these have gone out of vogue since there are so few in the pictures I find when I google "fleece pullover." :(

    With Christmas coming, I'm looking for things to put on my list so I'm wondering if any of you have something to recommend that will keep me warm and be suitable for working in the kitchen. Barring any input, I'll probably look for another fleece pullover with sleeves that will stay up. Perhaps there is something better.

    Thanks!
  • Post #2 - December 9th, 2013, 11:48 am
    Post #2 - December 9th, 2013, 11:48 am Post #2 - December 9th, 2013, 11:48 am
    I thought clothes were only for when I'm cooking bacon?

    :)
  • Post #3 - December 9th, 2013, 12:56 pm
    Post #3 - December 9th, 2013, 12:56 pm Post #3 - December 9th, 2013, 12:56 pm
    The Wife turns the heat down low when she leaves for work because, she explains, "no one's home."

    As I work at home, I don't share that opinion, and our house does get chill on days like today.

    I am a big fan of Columbia fleece "jackets" which are really more like sweaters (I just bought a red one last night). They zip on and off easily, so if it gets hot in the kitchen, you can just unzip and air out or take the thing off.

    Zippered pockets are better for holding things than a kangaroo pouch on a sweatshirt.
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #4 - December 9th, 2013, 1:07 pm
    Post #4 - December 9th, 2013, 1:07 pm Post #4 - December 9th, 2013, 1:07 pm
    One thing to consider: fleece can be very flammable. I'm not sure if the fleece we get is treated with flame retardants, but perhaps consider wool.

    Jen
  • Post #5 - December 9th, 2013, 2:37 pm
    Post #5 - December 9th, 2013, 2:37 pm Post #5 - December 9th, 2013, 2:37 pm
    Octarine wrote:I thought clothes were only for when I'm cooking bacon?

    :)


    Preach it!
    Never cooking bacon in my underwear at 3:00 AM again!
  • Post #6 - December 9th, 2013, 3:34 pm
    Post #6 - December 9th, 2013, 3:34 pm Post #6 - December 9th, 2013, 3:34 pm
    zoid wrote:Never cooking bacon in my underwear at 3:00 AM again!

    Wow. I'm as "green" as the next guy, but even I use a stove.
  • Post #7 - December 9th, 2013, 3:37 pm
    Post #7 - December 9th, 2013, 3:37 pm Post #7 - December 9th, 2013, 3:37 pm
    cilantro wrote:
    zoid wrote:Never cooking bacon in my underwear at 3:00 AM again!

    Wow. I'm as "green" as the next guy, but even I use a stove.


    You'll never think of smoked bacon the same way again.
  • Post #8 - December 9th, 2013, 4:25 pm
    Post #8 - December 9th, 2013, 4:25 pm Post #8 - December 9th, 2013, 4:25 pm
    I wear any thing comfortable...not pjs though. Usually comfy pants and a washable cotton or fleecy
    top. Today I have a teal polartec air core fleece henley with bIack stretch cords. All from lands end. I dont wear anything for cooking that I can't put in the washer or dryer. No wool or cashmere when I am cooking.
    Must have suportive and comfy shoes. I also tend to get hot quickly so I have to keep that
    in mind.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #9 - December 9th, 2013, 4:28 pm
    Post #9 - December 9th, 2013, 4:28 pm Post #9 - December 9th, 2013, 4:28 pm
    I'm tempted to say "a few drops of Chanel"... but that wouldn't be accurate.

    Generally, I find that while I'm cooking I'm wearing something all too stainable. Cooking a red pipian the other day, I let it get to a boil, or rather fumarole stage, and got a nice brick-red bloop on a white-and-blue checked flannel shirt.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #10 - December 9th, 2013, 5:08 pm
    Post #10 - December 9th, 2013, 5:08 pm Post #10 - December 9th, 2013, 5:08 pm
    I've got my "cooking" shirt, which is a fairly faded, orange, short-sleeve button-down number that's got all sorts of stains on it that I've accumulated over the years. Lately, it's begun to fray. It gets laundered regularly and it's clean but it's also been destroyed to the point where I can't where it anywhere but around the house. And I always wear shoes. Never sandals, flip-flops or any other bullshit on my feet.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #11 - December 9th, 2013, 5:43 pm
    Post #11 - December 9th, 2013, 5:43 pm Post #11 - December 9th, 2013, 5:43 pm
    I can't abide having to continually push my sleeves up while I'm trying to cook, so my favorite apparel item is a Lands End top I bought years ago that is made out of some sort of stretchy fabric. We keep our house on the cool side, too, but this top is usually sufficient while I'm cooking since I'm moving around so much and working near heat sources that anything heavier would be too much weight. I'm also trying to be better about using an apron for cooking, too!
    "When I'm born I'm a Tar Heel bred, and when I die I'm a Tar Heel dead."
  • Post #12 - December 9th, 2013, 5:52 pm
    Post #12 - December 9th, 2013, 5:52 pm Post #12 - December 9th, 2013, 5:52 pm
    I usually wear old sweats that I'd never want to be seen in outside the house. I can pull down the sleeve enough that it can serve as a potholder.
  • Post #13 - December 9th, 2013, 5:59 pm
    Post #13 - December 9th, 2013, 5:59 pm Post #13 - December 9th, 2013, 5:59 pm
    + 1 on the apron and solid shoes. For me, the shoes are far more important than any other piece of clothing (except maybe my codpiece). :wink:
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #14 - December 9th, 2013, 7:15 pm
    Post #14 - December 9th, 2013, 7:15 pm Post #14 - December 9th, 2013, 7:15 pm
    Hi,

    Most professional cooks wear a cotton jacket. I tend to wear cotton t-shirts with an apron over it. If I fail to wear an apron, I almost always regret it on laundry day.

    The last thing you want to wear in an airplane crash or your kitchen is anything synthetic. When synthetics burn, they cling to your skin while burning and smoldering at a higher temperature than cotton or wool. A woman wearing a clingy dress, pantyhose and high heals is in trouble in a plane crash. Another wearing flats, jeans and a cotton shirt, not showy but will more likely get out alive in a plane crash. People usually survive the crash, just not the fire and smoke afterwards.

    If you are so inclined, get the chef jacket (long or short sleeves) not so much for the fashion, but for the safety.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #15 - December 10th, 2013, 2:15 pm
    Post #15 - December 10th, 2013, 2:15 pm Post #15 - December 10th, 2013, 2:15 pm
    Now I'm afraid to cook and travel.

    I wear whatever the hell it is I have on, because I'm too lazy to change. If my outfit is particularly nice, I throw on my kitty apron. When I'll be in the kitchen all day or it's warm out, I'll change into a t-shirt and yoga pants. I have plenty of old sweaters and sweatshirts, but long sleeves annoy me and these are too stretched out to roll up. Either way, always socks, never bare feet, and often slip-on shoes.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #16 - December 10th, 2013, 8:16 pm
    Post #16 - December 10th, 2013, 8:16 pm Post #16 - December 10th, 2013, 8:16 pm
    This entire thread is cracking me up!

    I wear whatever I'm wearing. It's honestly never occurred to me to wear anything special in the kitchen, because I'm in it so often and for so long each day. If I'm wearing something nice, I put on the apron. Very rarely long sleeves; I get overheated fast. Once in a great while I will scramble an egg or make tea while in my robe, which is definitely some kind of synthetic, and I feel like I'm living dangerously.
    “Assuredly it is a great accomplishment to be a novelist, but it is no mediocre glory to be a cook.” -- Alexandre Dumas

    "I give you Chicago. It is no London and Harvard. It is not Paris and buttermilk. It is American in every chitling and sparerib. It is alive from tail to snout." -- H.L. Mencken
  • Post #17 - December 11th, 2013, 12:54 am
    Post #17 - December 11th, 2013, 12:54 am Post #17 - December 11th, 2013, 12:54 am
    When I worked in a hospital kitchen, I always wore an apron or my lab coat.

    At home, I wear one of the dozens of t-shirts I have accumulated over the years.
  • Post #18 - December 11th, 2013, 9:02 am
    Post #18 - December 11th, 2013, 9:02 am Post #18 - December 11th, 2013, 9:02 am
    I don't have anything special I wear in the kitchen, although since my daughter has started doing some work in the kitchen with me I've started wearing shoes. I was frequently sending her out of the kitchen to get her shoes on while I was just wearing socks.

    I do have one really fuzzy bathrobe that gets linty after awhile, and I have to avoid that while working at the stove since it has burst into flames in the past. I also have an old LL Bean parka that I use for winter grilling and smoking so my day to day jackets don't get too smoky.
    It is VERY important to be smart when you're doing something stupid

    - Chris

    http://stavewoodworking.com
  • Post #19 - December 11th, 2013, 1:51 pm
    Post #19 - December 11th, 2013, 1:51 pm Post #19 - December 11th, 2013, 1:51 pm
    I am very interested in what kinds of shoes people wear when cooking at home. I see chefs and cooks in restaurants wearing what I call chef's shoes or cook's shoes, the most interesting of which, to me, are clogs and full slip-on shoes. These tend to be "real" shoes, not just Crocs clogs, but shoes with support on the arch and foot that prevent fatigue when standing for several hours. Some that I have seen look to be molded plastic types.

    There are a few nice sources for cook's shoes on the interwebs but since the shoes can be quite expensive, can anyone recomend a source in Chicagoland where one can go in and see and try on cook's shoes before buying? Many thanks!

    --Joy
  • Post #20 - December 11th, 2013, 1:55 pm
    Post #20 - December 11th, 2013, 1:55 pm Post #20 - December 11th, 2013, 1:55 pm
    Northwestern Cutlery has shoes and jackets. Work n Gear has some as well but not as big a selection.
  • Post #21 - December 14th, 2013, 3:29 pm
    Post #21 - December 14th, 2013, 3:29 pm Post #21 - December 14th, 2013, 3:29 pm
    I don't wear anything special when cooking inside but I do have some garments set aside for grilling and smoking outdoors.
    There's a pair of baggy saggy jeans, a black zipper fleece with my employer's old logo and some $10 slip on canvas shoes. Is there anything harder to get off shoes than black BBQ grease?
  • Post #22 - December 22nd, 2013, 9:23 pm
    Post #22 - December 22nd, 2013, 9:23 pm Post #22 - December 22nd, 2013, 9:23 pm
    Thanks all for the thoughtful and sometimes amusing replies. You have given me much to think about.

    Very good point about not wearing synthetics in the kitchen. Of course they're safe enough when I'm washing dishes. Also good point about proper shows to protect the feet!

    During warmer weather I am happy to wear a T-shirt. And in general I do not wear anything special to cook except occasionally for an apron. However in winter that is often a synthetic pullover and I need to replace it. At the moment the replacement is a cotton sweater. The sleeves are loose and not at all suitable for cooking.

    I do like the cook's jackets. it looks like the sleeves are a little shorter so they would tend to stay out of whatever I'm cooking. And they're not too terribly expensive.

    thanks again,
    hank
  • Post #23 - December 22nd, 2013, 10:50 pm
    Post #23 - December 22nd, 2013, 10:50 pm Post #23 - December 22nd, 2013, 10:50 pm
    Do any of you know why chef jackets have cloth buttons?

    Anyone know why they're double breasted?
    "Bass Trombone is the Lead Trumpet of the Deep."
    Rick Hammett
  • Post #24 - December 22nd, 2013, 11:46 pm
    Post #24 - December 22nd, 2013, 11:46 pm Post #24 - December 22nd, 2013, 11:46 pm
    Evil Ronnie wrote:Do any of you know why chef jackets have cloth buttons?

    Anyone know why they're double breasted?

    Cloth cannot chip, melt or break.

    Double-breasting not only allows a chef to reverse the closure to hide stains, it also provides an extra level of skin protection should hot food splatter.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #25 - December 23rd, 2013, 4:02 am
    Post #25 - December 23rd, 2013, 4:02 am Post #25 - December 23rd, 2013, 4:02 am
    Cloth buttons...so that if you get splashed with hot liquid, hot oil or God forbid your jacket catches on fire, you are able to rip the jacket off more quickly.

    Correct on stains, Ronnie.

    I've worn Dansko black clogs for 16 years, Can't imagine wearing any other shoe. Only issue is difficult walking backwards while carrying large containers of anything heavy.
    "Bass Trombone is the Lead Trumpet of the Deep."
    Rick Hammett
  • Post #26 - December 23rd, 2013, 4:59 am
    Post #26 - December 23rd, 2013, 4:59 am Post #26 - December 23rd, 2013, 4:59 am
    For me, it depends on the food in the pan!
  • Post #27 - December 23rd, 2013, 5:56 pm
    Post #27 - December 23rd, 2013, 5:56 pm Post #27 - December 23rd, 2013, 5:56 pm
    One more thing, especially if you are working in a commercial kitchen.

    Always wear leather shoes with RUBBER soles. Leather soles absorb grease and become very slick. The leather uppers are critical as you never snow when you will spill hot liquid on your feet.
  • Post #28 - December 23rd, 2013, 6:06 pm
    Post #28 - December 23rd, 2013, 6:06 pm Post #28 - December 23rd, 2013, 6:06 pm
    Joy wrote:I am very interested in what kinds of shoes people wear when cooking at home. I see chefs and cooks in restaurants wearing what I call chef's shoes or cook's shoes, the most interesting of which, to me, are clogs and full slip-on shoes. These tend to be "real" shoes, not just Crocs clogs, but shoes with support on the arch and foot that prevent fatigue when standing for several hours. Some that I have seen look to be molded plastic types.

    There are a few nice sources for cook's shoes on the interwebs but since the shoes can be quite expensive, can anyone recomend a source in Chicagoland where one can go in and see and try on cook's shoes before buying? Many thanks!

    --Joy

    When I did pastry eons ago, I got my clogs at that German shoe store on the section of Lincoln just south of Lawrence. I think it's called Salamander.
  • Post #29 - January 18th, 2014, 7:14 pm
    Post #29 - January 18th, 2014, 7:14 pm Post #29 - January 18th, 2014, 7:14 pm
    I wound up going with a black double breasted chef's jacket from Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DN1BH7S/ It's not real warm but I'm usually moving enough in the kitchen to be comfortable. The sleeves are a little on the short side and that works well to keep them out of whatever I'm working on.

    I figured out another function of the double breasted front (in addition to swapping to stretch the time between washings ;) ) The buttons are a little further from the button holes on one side so it can handle a little extra girth on that side if needed. :D

    Thanks again for all of the thoughtful suggestions.
  • Post #30 - January 26th, 2014, 8:21 am
    Post #30 - January 26th, 2014, 8:21 am Post #30 - January 26th, 2014, 8:21 am
    Whatever I have on at the time.

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