I am on the verge on going from hobby baker to a working baker. I will probably work mostly from home still, but have been asked by a professional caterer to supply to him, and has offered me space in his kitchen to do so if I want it.
At home I am in an apron and whatever I am comfortable in, but I obviously want to look a bit more put together if I am in a professional kitchen. Also, what do you wear when you meet with clients?
Just looking for ideas, and excuse to go and buy myself some snazzy clothes
To work, I don't wear anything specifically uniform-y, I just make sure that my sleeves aren't going to hit things by rolling them up. To meet with clients, I just wear something nice that's kind of business casual-level, nothing too dressy. As long as you look professional and not sloppy it's fine. I'm not into chef's coats so I don't have one.
In the culinary world, different positions in the kitchen are determined by the hat you wear and your style of coat. I wear executive chefs coats. In my very competitive commercial kitchen, it distinguishes me as an authority and an executive chef to the other staff even though they don't work for me. They follow my lead, get out of my way, offer to help, ask me permission to do stuff, ask me to borrow stuff etc.
I wear my executive chefs coat to my consultations because I don't have a storefront, I meet in coffee shops so it makes me stand out. But I'd probably still wear one even if I did have a storefront because again, it makes me an authority and I noticed people take me more seriously.
Under the coat is generally a wife beater that I'd never wear in public... but would wear them all the time if I could. Those things are comfy.
FromScratchSF, how does an executive chef's jacket differ from ordinary chef's jackets? I know the hat is what separates my instructor from my classmates and me but other than that, we all look pretty similar. Are there subtle differences to look for?
In my kitchen I wear a chef coat...although I prefer one with short sleeves. I wear plain black pants with it that are comfortable. One thing you shouldn't overlook is shoes. My kitchen insurance requires that I wear certified non-slip shoes (I have some from Dansko) -- your caterer's insurance may require the same thing.
I wear short sleeve shirts and an apron, and usually some type of loose fitting yoga style pants.
I have many, many chef coats but found them too restrictive to wear and then they weren't getting all that clean from all the chocolate. Bleaching them only caused holes, so I switched to aprons.
Thank you all for your answers, it is interesting to hear what different bakers do. I guess top priority is really to be and look clean, or else nobody is going to want to order from you - but it seems it is pretty much up to the individual from there on.
My work "uniform" is jeans (clean, not faded, no holes) and a T shirt with the company logo. I wear the same for baking and meeting customers, although no logos. I live in a very small town, so casual is the expected norm.
The one thing I make sure of, though, is that my hair is always neat and put up when I bake or meet with customers. That seems to be what gets noticed and what most people mention.