Friday, November 18, 2011

The Apron Experiment

A few months ago I had a visit with an old friend.  She brought me many sweet gifts, one of which was a poem about the history of aprons.

For our grandmothers and great-grandmothers (and their grandmothers and great-grandmothers...) aprons were an everyday necessity.

They were used to protect their dresses because they only had a few and were much easier to wash than a dress. 

An apron became an ever-handy pot holder and dishtowel.  It dried her busy hands and her children's tears.

Her apron gathered eggs from the chicken coop and carried in kindling for the fire.

But somewhere along the way many homemakers stopped wearing aprons.  Maybe we wanted to be young, modern women and associated aprons with being a matronly grandmother.

We stopped dressing up to start our day and met the demands of messy children and housework by bumming around in sweatpants if we got out of our pajamas at all.

I've always loved aprons and found them to be a necessity especially during my pregnancies.  My growing belly is much closer to the counter and stove top and I am forever getting something splattered on the front of my shirts.

This tired mama on Thanksgiving.  29 weeks in my vintage Christmas apron.

But this week I challenged myself to wear an apron everyday, not just while in the kitchen, but as I went through my day.

The first thing I noticed was that I felt more feminine, even when I was just wearing it over jeans and a t-shirt.  I felt like a cute 1950's housewife, not at all like a grandmother.

I felt more productive.  The apron tied around my waist was a constant reminder that there was work to be done.

It was useful.  I found myself searching for the dishtowel much less because my apron was the perfect place to dry my hands.  I used it to gather up toys that were on the floor and carry them to their homes.  My apron wiped the crumbs from my toddler's face before letting her down from her highchair.

I found that this simple piece of fabric, tied with a bow, changed the way I felt about my day.  I put on my apron like a uniform.  My day had a purpose.  It wasn't just about getting through it, I had a job to do and at the end of the day, when the kitchen was cleaned for the last time, I turned down the lights and untied that apron...and with it I was letting go of all the busyness of the day.


  1. I love this post and idea. Did you wear your apron out of the house? I think I need to take up the apron challenge.

  2. That is simply beautiful! I love it. I feel challenged to do the same. The only apron I have is ugly and man-ish (it was my husbands for grilling). Perhaps I need to make myself one. Love this apron challenge!

  3. Great idea! you use a full apron or just a waist one? Awesome!

  4. I LOVE my apron! I also feel like it's my "uniform" & I do feel much more feminine when I put it on! I had a friend drop by unexpectedly one afternoon, but I noticed I was less stressed & more hospitable with my apron on! Funny how that works :)

    Great post!

  5. Congratulations! You've been given The Versatile Blogger Award at Impossible Cleanliness. You can read more about this at

  6. Thanks Ladies! It was a fun experiment.

    Jen, I did wear it out of the house, but just in my backyard :)

    Camilla, you absolutely need a girly apron! I was inspired to make more for myself too.

    Carrie, I have 3 aprons, 2 full ones and a waist one. I mostly wore the waist one during this time and found it much more comfy...but it's also a vintage one and the fabric is thinner and well worn, so maybe that has something to do with it.

    Heather, you are so right, I did feel more hospitable with it on. :)

    Thanks Kerrye! I will have to check it out!

  7. Crystal--I have been following your blog for about a year now and I have just loved it. I love your perspective on things. I am also a mother of five--sixth was on the way but I miscarried. However, I just love the simple way you keep things. It's inspiring to me. Keep it up.

  8. Thank you so much for your encouragement and sweet words. I wanted my blog to be a place of peace and simplicity for women like me with busy homes...but I never expected to be so blessed myself! I have met so many women who have encouraged me on my hardest days. So thank you for reading and thank you for sharing your heart. I am so sorry for your loss. ((hugs)) ~Crystal

  9. I enjoy wearing aprons. I have a few; one of the most useful is the one my mother-in-law made me. It's a regular apron, but she cleverly sewed a coordinating dishtowel as the front pockets. So handy!


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