The Leather Barbecue Apron has been part of a cooks’ wardrobe for hundreds of years. Cooking aprons have been used by men and women for a multitude of tasks well before they were highlighted on the stereotypical 1950s television shows like “Leave it to Beaver”. Many of the 50’s television shows portrayed women as homemakers and mothers who sported kitchen aprons as a permanent part of their daily wardrobe. It was not until the 1940s and 1950s that our society started to embrace the stereotypes of the “”perfect mother”” who always wore a frilly apron all the time. After this time the apron became a part of the stereotypical “Pop Culture” definition of the ideal woman and the apron will forever be entwined with feminine history in this light. Before this however, aprons were thought of as functional pieces of the work wardrobe. The apron now exists in a practical parallel identity as a female “Pop Culture” symbol of feminism as well as a functional protection garment for all professions for men and women.
Some research associates the apron back to Biblical times and links the apron to stories in which Adam and Eve sewed together fig leaves to make aprons to cover themselves. Traditionally many of us think of aprons being used for cooking, and while this may true, the apron has served protection from other tasks that tend to be messy. Occupations such as butchers, welders and bakers have always used work aprons to protect both their clothing and bodies from the hazards and mess of their daily work.
Homemakers have used the bib apron for years to keep their clothing clean. They have also used the bib apron to carry essential cooking utensils such as rolling pins, whisks and, foods such as eggs. Aprons have been an effective tool for many, many years and have freed the hands of it wearer for other tasks consistently over time.
Today’s aprons are more stylish and some apron styles have made a fashionable comeback, even making occasional fashion appearance on clothing runways in the form of the apron dress. Finally, what apron story would be complete without referencing the everlasting image of the black and white maid uniform? This image has spanned the years and always spotlighted the maid work apron as a required component of this uniform.