For decades, the apron was associated with the 1950s symbol of the happy American housewife. (Think high heels and pearl necklace as well and you get the image.) In the decades that followed, the apron fell under the radar thanks to changing tastes and a transition into the women’s liberation movement.
Today, the apron is back and better than ever. The two most popular types – the bib apron and the waist apron have continued to evolve. The practicality of aprons is still in place, and today they’re being decorated with fashionable prints such as floral, stripes, polka dots, fruit and animal print. “A strong shift is moving toward full-color digital graphics with photographic imprinting capabilities,” says Scott Thackston, executive vice president of Aprons, Etc. “Brown is the new black lately, but in apron uniforms, royal, red and navy are still popular.” Companies are also striving to “bring sexy back” with lace-trimmed aprons and feminine colors, highlighting the housewives vibe coupled with trendy construction.
The apron has also crossed the gender barrier. Men wear them to flip burgers or stir up veggies on the grill just as much as women do when cooking, and when worn in a corporate environment, the apron provides a unified look for all employees. “They are more functional for multiple uses in one company setting or industry,” says Thackston, whose company has launched a new No-Tie Apron that uses Velcro to attach. “Our exclusive patented No-Tie Apron fits in many different departments as one uniform solution.”