The Real Reason KFC's Colonel Sanders Always Wore A White Suit

When you think about KFC, there's a pretty good chance that Colonel Sanders is part of that mental picture. Not only did he create the chain and its KFC's secret signature blend of 11 herbs and spices, but the Colonel's face also appears on KFC's signs and packaging.

Despite his title and his military-esque attire, Colonel Sanders was not an actual colonel. He briefly served in the U.S. Army, per the History Channel, but it wasn't until decades later that a Kentucky governor gifted Sanders with the honorary title of Colonel.

To better live up to this honorary title, Sanders exchanged his wardrobe for a look inspired by real-life southern colonels. Sanders started wearing a black frock coat and a string tie, also known as a western bow tie. However, you might have noticed that Colonel Sanders depicted on KFC's packaging is not wearing a black jacket — he's wearing white. As it turns out, there's a reason for that. 

Why did Colonel Sanders exchange his black suit for a white one?

Most of us would agree that a black suit is much more reasonable for a chef to wear. After all, black hides dirt, food, and spilled sauce a bit better than white does, right? Well, it depends on what exactly that "food" is. For Colonel Sanders, daily life involved breading chicken. And if you know anything about using flour, you know that it is extremely messy.

According to History Daily, this is precisely why Colonel Sanders switched out his black suit for a white one — to better hide the flour he was constantly splattered with. The white suit eventually became his signature look and is still a big part of KFC's marketing today. But the face of KFC didn't own just one white suit, he owned multiple, and several of them have gone up for auction over the years, with one selling for a whopping $80,000 in 2002, reports TODAY. More recently, the Colonel's personal aide auctioned off more memorabilia including another white suit, a white Stetson, and a personalized belt buckle (via Just Collecting).

We can't help but wonder — exactly how many white suits did the famous Colonel collect through the years?