Tuesday, February 16, 2010

TO SERVE AND PROTECT, IN STYLE

I consider well worn sweats and fuzzy slippers comfort clothing, you know, the threads we reach for when we want to feel warm and cozy.  Kind of like comfort food -- macaroni and cheese and meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy – comfort clothing has a way of wrapping me with certain kind of affection.  My aprons also wrap me with comfort and security, whether I’m in the kitchen cooking, cleaning the house, outside gardening or collecting eggs at the chicken coop, my apron is my companion, a convenient place to dry my hands, shield my clothes from cooking splatter, gather weeds and cradle eggs.  The moment I tie on my apron I feel complete, a little bit girly (it’s great for emphasizing my waist!), focused and ready to undertake the task at hand!
For many hundreds of years, aprons were worn primarily by men (think blacksmiths, furniture makers, cobblers and fishermen).  For the longest time, aprons were masculine wear, not feminine, and were purely about function and their color denoted the trade of the wearer: English barbers wore a checked pattern, butchers and porters wore green aprons and masons wore white.
Aprons didn’t really become fashionable and girly until the 1950’s when images of the perfect housewife were projected on TV sitcoms like Leave It to Beaver (remember how June wore her fabulous apron with her even more fabu pearls and heels?).  But by the 1970’s, when I was growing up, aprons had fallen out of fashion and even on TV, they were worn only by “dowdy” housekeepers like Alice on The Brady Bunch. My mother never wore an apron and I imagine it would’ve looked out of place with her “groovy” décor including the plaid orange, yellow and brown patterned wallpaper that wrapped not only the kitchen walls but the ceiling!
Over the past several years aprons have been making a stylish comeback, finding their way out of hope chests and closets and onto new TV programs (Bree wears beautiful ones on Desperate Housewives), craft fairs and even museums.  And of course, I’m doing my part to revive the apron by designing and sewing them for Retro Revival.  My aprons are not only stylish but functional and designed to flatter a woman's figure -- what better way to serve (a yummy meal) and protect (your clothing)?!  Here are photos recently sent to me by a couple of my customers:
Yujin (above) models her Retro Revival "Christmas Traditions" half apron, made from a vintage 1950's tablecloth.
And here is Natalie in her Retro Revival "Vintage Roses" apron (another handcrafted from a 1950's antique tablecloth).
Thank you for sharing your photos, ladies, you both look GORGEOUS in your aprons!
Next week is the drawing for the vintage mink wrap so if you haven't already, be sure to comment on one of my blog posts so you'll have a chance at winning!

3 comments:

Tracy said...

Natalie's looking good :), Anyway you can lighten up the Yujin picture, I'd love to see the Christmas Traditions apron.

Anonymous said...

i love aprons and yours are so well made! ~ Georgia

Ms. B @ Millie Deel said...

I love vintage aprons and even have a couple that were made by my great grandmother but it would kill me if I stained one of them which is their entire purpose, I know. So they just stay in a cabinet and get taken out every now and again to be admired.