Fashion Forward Aprons

Aprons are coming into fashion. Serious fashion.   NY Magazine, Spring 2009 But like most haute couture, we're not likely to see much...

Aprons are coming into fashion. Serious fashion.


But like most haute couture, we're not likely to see much of this style on the streets of middle America. Although my daughter did show up at our church potluck last week with her apron on. However, she wasn't making a fashion statement, she just forgot to take it off on her way out the door.
The humble apron has undergone a fashion evolution of its own over the centuries.
The first aprons were commonly related to various trades and crafts. Butchers, blacksmiths, and barbers wore aprons. Maids, butlers, and other household staff were required to wear an apron as part of their uniform. 
In the 18th century, pinafore aprons were part of the costume for children and working women. The pinafore was, literally, pinned to the dress at the shoulders.

For the most part, the apron was strictly a functional item until the 1930s when decorative aprons appeared on the scene. In the 1950s, as the advertising age glamorized and homogenized the role of the housewife, aprons became as much a symbol of the happy homemaker as June Cleaver's pearls and heels.

It's no surprise then, with the rise of feminism in the 1960s, the apron went the way of the bra. From the 1960s through the 1980s the only aprons around tended to be aimed at men wielding barbecue tools, or kitchsy aprons boasting cheeky statements like "Kiss the Cook." Receiving an apron for a birthday or Christmas was more of a gag gift than a legitimate present. (My own "Kiss the Cook" apron was included with my bridal shower gifts... in the lingerie.) 

In the past decade or so, aprons have enjoyed a resurgence of popularity. Much like the aprons of the '30s, '40s, and '50s today's aprons come in every color, pattern, style, and shape imaginable. For today's woman (or man) the choice of an apron can be an adventure in self-expression. 

Do you have a favorite apron in your current selection? Why is it your favorite?

My favorite is an over-the-head denim job I picked at a thrift store. No pockets, very plain and simple heavy blue denim. I love it because it doesn't show stains, it fits (I don't have to tie the neck loop in a knot to make it short enough) and it actually blocks spills from getting through to my clothes. It's utilitarian, practical, efficient... boring! I hate to admit this, but it describes my work in the kitchen for the last two decades of child-rearing. I think it's time for a change... tune in Friday!

Meanwhile, check out some of the following sites for fun apron inspiration.

The Apron Goddesses

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  1. Gotta love the one on the woman in the red dress (first picture.) LOL it's off to the side, doesn't cover anything crucial! The only ones I see in town are the "kiss the cook" type. I love the ones that Lucy (I Love Lucy) used to wear--must find one of those online :D

  2. LOL, I hadn't noticed that! She does give the impression that she didn't quite get the purpose behind the whole apron thing...
    The video at the bottom has these wonderful strapless aprons that are adorable. One comes in a zebra print that looks exactly like a Flintstones dress.

  3. Niki, the apron history was so fun to read. Just visited a relative who is making adorable aprons for daugther and granddaughters. The pattern book swept me away. Had no idea aprons of today were that cute. My fav is a denim one that says, "Christ Kitchen" on the front. It was a gift from a neighbor who supports our local "Christ Kitchen" that serves homeless women.

  4. That's the kind of apron I think I like best, Niki, the ones that have meaning and memories attached to their strings! : )


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