As part of my process of coming out to the World as plain(er), I use the apron confession to ease my friends into it. "I have an apron" I confess.

That conversation usually goes something like,
"You have an apron?"

"Yup?"

"Why?"

"How many things have you ruined by cooking or cleaning in them?" I ask.

I get a knowing nod.

"What you need," I suggest, "is an apron".

"Oh, I just wear the oldest rattiest clothes I can find to clean."

The analytical mind in me wonders when and why we moved away from aprons? Did aprons represent something we were escaping? I think many of us remember our mothers or grandmothers having aprons. I had one in Home Ec. in high school. Why is this a brand new (re)discovery for me now?

I mean they make perfect sense.

Paula

Views: 140

Comment by Isabel Penraeth on 6th mo. 15, 2010 at 6:36am
Sigh. I love my aprons. It brings to mind Pablo Neruda's poem "Oda a los calcetines" (variously translated "Ode to the Socks," or "Ode to a Pair of Socks" but I prefer "Ode to My Socks" due to the personal nature of his reverie about socks).

Recall that once upon a time, men wore aprons too. I suspect it has more to do with the current disposable nature of clothing. One protects something one can't easily replace, male or female.

Myself, I did not immediately buy aprons, but shortly after going plain adopted them. I simply valued my limited stock of plain dresses and didn't want to mar them. Now I have aprons I won't wear doing certain tasks because I like them so well and will take them off and hazard the dress instead.
Comment by Paula Roberts on 6th mo. 15, 2010 at 9:07am
I think you might have a point, Isabel. I may be valuing aprons now because I value the clothes I wear around the house. I value the clothes I wear around the house because my home has become very important to me. It's a funny thing. Last semester a student admonished me that I should respect my home more (we were talking about cleanliness -hers, and slovenliness - mine). If I saw her again I'd tell her she was right.
Comment by Leslie Rodgers on 6th mo. 15, 2010 at 11:42am
Ooooh, I adore aprons too. I have a couple of full length ones for my plainish dresses, and am making more. I have quite a few half aprons, very quick to put on but not such good coverage for messy jobs. I have some that were my mother's, and one that was my grandmother's that I remember her wearing when I was a baby (she died when I was quite small.)

Early on in our relationship my boyfriend came into the kitchen, looked me over, and said, "You are the only person I've ever known who actually Wears an apron," which made me think his mom and sister must have a long history of ruined clothes.

When I first decided to transition my wardrobe from "anything goes" to handmade and fashion-free clothing as far as is possible I immediately thought that for my purposes dresses are more comfortable and practical than pants and that Dresses need Aprons.
Aprons to me, whether worn by a man or a woman, are a symbol of Important Work being done. This applies equally to the blacksmith and the homekeeper.
And what could be more useful than an apron for wiping a toddler's sweaty little face, or transporting a clutch of eggs or a dozen peeping chicks, or carrying in fresh beans and tomatoes from the garden?
Comment by Paula Roberts on 6th mo. 15, 2010 at 12:11pm
I like what you say, that aprons are "a symbol of Important Work being done". I think that is it. Somehow we've devalued home-keeping in the spectrum of important things in life. Work and acquisitiveness are very important (as evidenced by how carefully we dress for them), but home and hearth are not important (as evidenced by how we dress for them). We here are re-discovering the importance of home and hearth I think. I love this apron from Katie's mercantile (it's in my photo) http://www.katiesmercantile.com/aprons_ladies_horse_buggy_long.html for the coverage.
Comment by Anne Littlebird on 6th mo. 29, 2010 at 7:01pm
Funny, I have always worn an apron of some sort. Mainly when cleaning or cooking although there are many times when I 'forget' to take it off. I love parons.
Comment by Rachelle Merle on 7th mo. 28, 2010 at 3:02am
I realized how necessary aprons are when I started to handwash my clothes. One light-weight apron is sooo much easier to wash (and wring) than an entire dress. I made one (almost the same design as Paula's!) out of an old sheet. It is wonderful to do all my gardening and animal care in. Plus: pockets! I have two big pockets, I can collect veggies from the garden, eggs (carefully), carry tools, baby's diapers...
I've found wonderful apron patterns at thrift stores... just as a side note...
Comment by Paula Roberts on 7th mo. 28, 2010 at 11:07am
Oh my goodness, Rachelle. Washing clothes by hand? I did that as a child in the Caribbean and don't care to again really. Although, if thee is washing clothes by hand it surely encourages thee to simplify!
Comment by Paula Roberts on 7th mo. 28, 2010 at 1:15pm
Isabel, I'm having a similar relationship with jumpers at the moment (Ode to Jumpers). I'm having a "where have you been all my life" conversation with them. They are so versatile; I walk the dog, run my errands, wear them about town, dress them up to go to a concert (last night), plan on wearing them to school in the fall. I too am a little bit in love, but not with aprons, jumpers.
Comment by Isabel Penraeth on 7th mo. 28, 2010 at 2:29pm
(this is me smiling in recognition)

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