We tend to associate aprons with the quintessential 1950's housewife. The women's lib movement of the '60s and '70s brought an apron revolt. Women threw down their aprons, as if these protective garments were, in fact, a symbol of oppression.
But, women who weren't at the forefront of the women's lib movement weren't wearing aprons anymore either. I don't recall my mom ever wearing an apron and she started out her marriage as a traditional housewife. Aprons had become old fashioned and out of style, regardless of a woman's political leanings.
However, aprons have had a bit of a renaissance in the past few years. There are websites and Etsy stores dedicated to aprons. People are making gorgeous aprons. Some are so pretty that it'd be a shame to get them dirty! And, really, that's what an apron is for. It's supposed to get dirty. It protects your clothes from dish water, grease splatters, flour, potting soil and any number of other household things.
I've been wearing an apron more and more lately. You see, whenever I do dishes, I always end up with a wet spot on the front of my shirt. No matter how hard I try to be neat, it still happens. If I need to pick up a child from school, go to the post office or whatever, I have to change my shirt. But, when I wear my apron, I don't. It's pretty simple. And practical. It saves time, effort and laundry. You can't go wrong with that.
When I think about it, it really makes no sense that the apron, of all things, was what the women's movement left in the dust. Maybe aprons became a frumpy symbol of women's work. Or maybe they were a symbol of drudgery. As if getting rid of the apron would make the work women did while wearing aprons go away. It didn't. We still have to clean toilets, cook dinner and do the dishes, regardless of whether or not we are housewives or work outside the home. The only difference is our lives seem to be in fast-forward mode as we are pulled in more directions than previous generations. Doesn't an apron make more sense now than ever?
|Image from Vintage Catnip Free Clip Art|
What about you? Are you an apron wearer? Do you have to change your shirt before heading out in the evening? Would an apron solve that problem? Do you care?