Friday, October 21, 2011

Old Fashioned or not???

The Homemaker's Uniform is simple, or at least it is for me.

I'm going to talk about the apron today and I'm sure there are women out there who will turn their noses up at this post and think that I've either lost my mind, or I'm stuck back in time, and that is ok because we all have different opinions.

I happen to be falling back in love with the idea of wearing an apron and truthfully, I find that the minute I put it on, I immediately go into Homemaker mode and get things done quicker.

The strings were tied, it was freshly washed, and maybe even pressed.
For Grandma, it was everyday to choose one when she dressed.
The simple apron that it was, you would never think about;
the things she used it for, that made it look worn out.
She may have used it to hold some wildflowers that she'd found.
Or to hide a crying child's face when a stranger came around.
Imagine all the little tears that were wiped with just that cloth.
Or it became a potholder to serve some chicken broth.
She probably carried kindling to stoke the kitchen fire.
To hold a load of laundry, or to wipe the clothesline wire.
When canning all her vegetables, it was used to wipe her brow.
You never know, she might have used it to shoo flies from the cow.
She might have carried eggs in from the chicken coop outside.
Whatever chore she used it for, she did them all with pride.
When Grandma went to heaven, God said she now could rest.
I'm sure the apron that she chose, was her Sunday best.
-by Tina Trivett-


From Better Baking:

Women ‘officially’ wearing aprons came about the turn of the 20th century, in Victorian England, although most pioneer matrons wore them, and wore them for all the right reasons: to keep their clothes clean from all the hands-on tasks they did. But Victorian England matrons, at home, were the first to wear aprons, on the domestic front (and not really need to wear them at all!) and these were delicately embroidered and stitched. As the 1920’s roared around, women no longer wanted to be solely associated with the home front and aprons, once a symbol of ‘domestic pride’, according to apron author Teresa Coats, were adopted more, as they were first intended, with a utilitarian purpose by those serving the upper classes. In short, the matrons went out to play; the maids stayed in and were bequeathed the aprons.

These days, the only people who wear aprons seem to be chefs and those of us, regardless of age that have the values of another time and generation. Then there are some, like me – who simply, honestly, quite love aprons.


My apron has become a part of my daily routine, I slip it over my head, tie the strings and get to work and I literally leave it on all day long, until I turn the lights off in the kitchen and head to the bedroom. Then it gets hung back up until the following day.

Now I know that it may seem old fashioned, and maybe it is, you certainly don't need to wear one to do your housework or to cook, but for me it's a necessity, it's just another part of being a homemaker that I truly enjoy and I don't have a problem with people seeing me in it.

It's functional, it's pretty and it puts me in the right frame of mind to get my tasks accomplished.


Thinking back on my childhood, I don't think I can envision my greatgrandma and grandma without an apron over their dresses.  I can even smell the mix of cleaners and talc powder when my greatgrandma would engulf me in a hug.

I remember watching with fascination as they would use the apron to carry potatoes from the pantry to the sink where they would be peeled for dinner.  I would mimick it with my t-shirts and always think that one day when I grew up, I would have an apron all for myself, just like that one.

Those aprons had pockets filled with all sorts of things....kleenex, keys, random papers here and there.  And nowadays mine have become the catch all as I move from room to room doing my cleaning.  If you had to take a peek inside, you would most likely find candy, lego pieces and GI Joes.


It's truly become a part of me and I wear it with pride.

I happen to believe that old fashioned is not a bad thing, I've been told I'm old fashioned many times, I've been told I am a real homemaker, heck my own husband told me I'm the perfect 1950's housewife not that long ago LOL

I consider aprons a part of being a homemaker, and I think that might be a little bit of why they tend to be frowned upon at times, I mean after all they have become synomymous with domesticity, they seem to bring forth pictures of women slaving away on a stove or doing farm work.

While some may shy away from that, I tend to feel more drawn to it, but then again I'm the gal that literally inhales anything to do with simpler times, with hard work.

I think it's high time that this tradition of years gone by, be resurrected, not only for the practicality of it but for women to remember to embrace who they are and not ever be ashamed. I have seen far too many shy away from aprons because it makes them look like a homemaker and that's not supposed to be the cool thing......thank the Lord that I was never and never will be one to follow the cool gang.

If wearing an apron every day makes me old fashioned and uncool....then sign up me for that club, I'll just go on wearing cute little aprons and happily living my life.

Look back through the history of aprons.........

Twelfth century:
Guess who wore aprons first? Men, as hygienic, protective wear.

Fourteenth century:
Dark-colored aprons started to be worn tied at the waist.

Sixteenth and seventeenth centuries:
Colors denoted the trade of the wearer. English barbers wore a checked pattern; butchers and porters, green; and masons, white.

Eighteenth century:
The pinafore apron was "pinned" to clothing.

Nineteenth century: 
Cooks began turning the apron only once before washing. Any more, and the stains aren't hidden.

Long aprons cover and protect clothing.

1920s Porch Swing

Straight-line aprons are the style.

Beautiful prints with bright sashes, along with crocheted aprons, make an appearance.

Printed half-aprons tied around the waist, and aprons made of handkerchiefs, are popular.

Full-skirted plastic aprons, and ones with cross-stitch designs, gain U.S. popularity.

Half-aprons with attached hand towels are sure-fire hits, along with aprons sewn with plastic hoops or valance material.

1970 to present:
Barbecue, anyone? Grilling is a popular design or theme for modern-day aprons.

So, now I want to know, do you wear aprons? Do you wear them everyday or just when you cook or just on special occasions?

How many aprons do you have, do you make them yourself?


AshleyBeth said...

I'm going through some of your old posts, so sorry for all the comments ;)
I actually very rarely wear one, not because I don't like them, but because it never crosses my mind. As far as the old fashioned part, why does it have to be bad to be old fashioned? A lot of people today feel we as stay at home moms have to be more "modern". I love cooking and baking from scratch, and I love being able to show my girls that not everything comes from a store, or a box. I don't need educational toys for my kids, they learn from the everyday things I do! And I love it! Carry on wearing that awesome apron!

Sharon said...

Great post!! Thank you for your research and all of the pictures for the appropriate times of the age, it gave me another idea of womanly historical research for our daughter in homemaking. I found your blog from Pinterest and will be coming back!

Mary Mary said...

Yes, I wear aprons. I also make them. I also quilt, so I put fabrics together to the make my aprons unique.

Sissy Sweets said...

I wear aprons all the time!! Love them! I have one for every holiday and in many colors. I make them myself most times unless I see one in store I just have to have. My favorite is the 1940-1950 style. I'm a vintage girl at heart. Love to cook and love unstained clothes. So gotta love the apron :)