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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014

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It's time for these kitchen accessories to return to the spotlight.
It's time for these kitchen accessories to return to the spotlight.

Where have all the aprons gone?

I am rising to an unvoiced challenge: to resurrect the apron as a kitchen necessity and domestic fashion statement once again.

When did the apron stop being as commonplace in the kitchen as a coffeemaker? When did kids stop coming home to moms swathed in floral, frilly frocks? When did wiping your hands on the front of your jeans replace gently smoothing sullied palms along the pleats of a lacey smock?

Perhaps when cooking from scratch was replaced by popping something in the microwave. Possibly around the advent of Oxyclean/Shout! stain removers. Probably when our clothing became so casual it was not worth protecting anymore.

After all, isn't that what an apron is? She is like armor combined with a shield packaged in a sheath of cloth (hopefully printed with a darling pattern) slipped over the neck and tied in a quaint bow around the waist. Better than a tool belt that only carries things, an apron equipped with pockets does double duty to guard you from splatters and acts as storage for any array of ingredients, utensils or electronic devices you wish to have on your person.

How is it even possible that this essential piece of wardrobe has become a kitschy relic of days gone by?

Not in my house.

Throwing one of my darling aprons over even sweats takes my galley style from Sloppy McNasty to classic polished. Or, if I'm wearing something a bit more precious, I count on my cute covering to defend me from splashes and spills.

And not to make anyone feel left out, I do love me a Mapron, Manpron ... whatever you want to call it ... a gent in an apron. Whether he's covered from chest to knee, or from the waist down, an apron-ed torso signals a man on a mission. I smell barbecue.

Feel like the apron has no edge? Channel your inner Donna Reed, your dormant Betty Crocker and add a dash of Betty Page – wear JUST your favorite apron. Suddenly, that quiet little swathe has a bit more allure, a modern update that may add a bit more spice to whatever you've got going on in your kitchen.

Viva L'Apron!

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