There are two types of people in the world: Those who wear aprons when they cook, and those who don’t care about their clothes.
Which camp are you in?
I wasn’t always an apron advocate. There was a time in my early twenties when I engaged in all sorts of foolish behavior, including apron-free cooking and baking. Then one day I began a two-year stint as a barista while putting myself through college, and my love of the apron was born.
This was during the halcyon days of Starbucks when shift supervisors and management earned the lofty distinction of wearing a black apron, whereas all other baristas wore the now-universally required green. I was amazed at just how effective that darn thing was at keeping errant frothed milk, sticky syrups, and of course, coffee from staining or ruining my clothes.
My culinary life was forever changed.
Many a time I’ve been caught scrambling to put the finishing touches on a pasta sauce before my guests arrived, only to have it bubble up and splash all over the front of my apron, sparing me from having to change my frock for the night.
When a friend came over to bake cookies, I tossed her one of my extras I keep on hand. She thought it was silly, but ended up thanking me 20 minutes later when it was covered in flour and bits of dough.
I’ve found that nothing makes me feel like an accomplished chef quite like tying on my trusty apron. This simple action sends a signal to my brain that whatever else I was doing doesn’t matter, and it’s time to get down to business a la Julia Child. Heck yeah! Let’s make some boeuf bourguignon! Part of getting in character is having a proper costume, amirite?
One of my favorite items to search for in Goodwill is vintage sewing patterns. You can stumble upon all sorts of gems, like this frou frou 60’s version:
Or this slightly more no-nonsense one:
Or, you can take an old dress you don’t wear anymore and turn it into a fancy apron in just a few quick steps, like Meghan did:
I hope the next time you find an apron in your thrifting travels, you won’t pass it up as silly relic of a bygone era. And make sure to snag a couple for your friends!