Takeout Nostalgia: A Moveable Feast of Throwback Fast Food Fashion

Written by Si Si Penaloza

What’s more quintessential Canadian kitsch than the 70s-era Tim Hortons uniform? From the beaver brown base layer and taupe apron to the matching Timbits bonnet, you can bet these pioneer maple-glaze ring slingers took their fair share of playful social ribbing.

A staple of fast-food franchises for decades, quirky uniforms quickly rose in pop culture recognition, often establishing brand identity as deeply as logos.

Here’s our round-up of the wildest, tackiest and most nostalgic Canadian fast food get-ups.

Timbiebs (Tim Horton’s, 2021)

Swag genius?

Beliebers got this custom Timbit + merch collab selling like hotcakes.

The First Uniforms (Tim Horton’s, 1960s)

In tribute to one of our most successful CanCon exports, the inaugural Tim Hortons location dating back to 1964 in Hamilton now features a museum installation alongside its piping hot double-doubles.

The birthplace shrine boasts an original counter with ‘60s pricing alongside an exhibit of uniforms over distinct eras.

The Frosty Outfit (Wendy’s, 1980’s)

This saccharine-sweet 80s Wendy’s uniform was an overdose in sugar, like something out of Willy Wonka.

From the floppy jester hats to the periwinkle stripes, the square burger squad looked ready to break into song like a barbershop quartet.

The McPolka Dots (McDonald’s, 1970’s)

McDonald’s styled their 70s livery like Charlie’s Angels go to Bible Camp.

Nothing more wholesome than birthday party polka dots.

McVarsity (McDonald’s)

We will admit to swooning over these Varsity-style McDonald’s sweaters right out of Netflix’s Riverdale playbook.

Bring on KJ Apa in cozy wool.

Festive Polyester (Swiss Chalet, 1980s)

Who could keep a straight face serving up “special sauce” in a festive Swiss Chalet outfit?

For generations of high schoolers, these polyester uniforms were a rite of passage.

Coffee Hot Polos (Dunkin Donuts, 1990s)

By the 1990s, Dunkin Donuts had the lock on preppy.

Dunkin docents looked downright dapper (albeit borderline glee club) in these polo shirts in the brand’s signature tangerine, plum and pink colorway.

Looking for more takeout nostalgia? Check out Part 1 and Part 2.