You don’t have to be a messy cook to warrant the wearing of an apron in the kitchen. It is pure common sense. No matter how careful and neat and tidy you might be, spillages, sloppy food, spitting fat and splashes are always going to happen. An apron offers the perfect protection for your clothes.
Of course, there are many styles available but the kitchen apron we know today comes really as two basic types; those with a bob and those without. Both of them really began life centuries ago. Women used to use pieces of cloth wrapped round their skirts from the waist down in an attempt to keep their main clothes clean but it really all started with the advent of the pinafore dress.
A pinafore was a sleeveless garment worn over a dress. Originally it was pinned to the front of the dress – hence the name – but it progressed to a much more fanciful garment that buttoned at the back. One of the reasons, other than for keeping dresses clean, was that lye soap used in laundry was damaging to the fabric and buttons of dresses, so infrequent washing was better for the longevity of expensive dresses. The pinafore dress became the symbol of lower classes and servants and only children of the more well to do folk wore them.
Today, the pinafore dress has evolved to a main garment designed to be worn over blouses and jumpers and we are more used to the apron as a kitchen and protective garment for other uses where clothes need to be safe from dirt or other substances and contaminants.
An apron is, first and foremost, a practical item. The type of apron worn should be suitable for the tasks for which it is intended and it should definitely fit. Kitchen Aprons come in all sizes, for adults and children, so it’s easy to find one that gives part coverage or full coverage. Kitchen aprons, especially, should have some thought put into them before buying.
Casual users might be happy with any old apron that they can pop on when doing something particularly messy but a kitchen apron that is to be worn by people who spend a lot of time cooking, baking or cleaning needs to be comfortable and easily cleanable. Cloth aprons are good for baking and cooking as they absorb food spills and splashes whereas, wipe clean are best suited to cleaning jobs.
There’s no reason that kitchen aprons can’t make a style statement. For an apron that is only worn on the odd occasion, a plain block colour is perfectly fine, but for the regular apron wearer or the fashion conscious, choosing an apron is no different to choosing a new shirt or a new dress. Thousands of colours, styles and patterns are available and for those who want to co-ordinate with their home décor, many home furnishing ranges will include a matching apron. For the dinner party host who wants to look their best but still protect their clothes, a kitchen apron that cuts a dash is de rigueur.