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Let’s just suppose that you’re trying to do about 50 things at once. Say you’ve just come home from an appointment and you’re still wearing one of your favorite summer dresses. You dash through your kitchen and throw together a big pot of soup, congratulating yourself for getting an early start on a dinner. Yeah! While you’re working away in your home-based office, your dinner will be simmering on the stove, ready to eat whenever your family arrives home for the day. What a good, good girl you are! Managing all of this in a dress and heels.

“Probably should have worn an apron,” you think to yourself. Oh, well. There isn’t even a dribble on your dress as you head down the hall toward your office. Invincible, aren’t you? As an afterthought, you return the kitchen and reach for a big spoon to crush the whole tomatoes that are floating in the broth. And that’s when it happens. Splat! Your favorite summer dress, ruined in a flash of stupidity.

I have a drawer full of pretty aprons. Why didn’t it occur to me to tie one around my neck last Thursday before I divided myself between Crystal The Hurried Homemaker and Crystal The Home-Based Employee? It’s a habit I’ve never fully adopted, mainly because I seldom cook in good clothes.

And partly, it’s a family thing. Until recently, my mother never wore an apron, but she’s getting more careful now that she is a senior citizen. Sometimes she’ll hand one to me when I’m working in her kitchen. My mother-in-law is nearly a decade older than Mom and she is almost never without an apron. Is it a generational thing or a trend that goes in and out of style?

I dearly love the idea of an apron. Today, these trusty protective garments, especially the vintage variety, seem to be hot, hot, hot. And sewing your own is one of the most popular crafting projects around. (May I add that one of my most recent sewing catastrophes was an apron?) I know of two books that are wonderful resources for apron lovers.

Did you know, for example,  that the first known reference to an apron was in the Bible? See Genesis 3:7. “Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.” Oh, dear.

This is one of the many gems shared in EllynAnne Geisel’s book, The Apron Book: Making, Wearing and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort. Geisel acquired her first apron in 1999 when she purchased one as inspiration for an article about this old-fashioned symbol. Her passion eventually carried forth in this book, which is peppered with instructions, photographs, illustrations and even a few cooking tips. I savored one of the book’s recurring features, Every Apron Tells a Story, where someone shares a memory of a particular apron. I so love that idea because it’s exactly what we love about this blog space—sharing the meaning and memories that fashion stirs inside all of us.

If you love coffee table books, you might also enjoy Aprons: Icons of the American Home, by Joyce Cheney.  It’s a nostalgic look at a surprisingly complex symbol that can be so remarkably crafted and beautiful. You may think you know aprons, but you may never have seen them quite like this. Such artful objects! The photographs are accompanied by assorted quotes like this one by Emily Bronte’s Ellen in Wuthering Heights:

For those of you who don’t want to make your own aprons or search for the handmade or vintage variety, FlirtyAprons.com has three of their most popular styles on sale for 50 percent off, now through Thursday while supplies last. I can’t decide which is my favorite, Sugar ‘n Spice, Sassy Black, or Original Frosted Cupcake.

Here’s the Sugar ‘N Spice Apron. The photo is a link to the flash sale on through Thursday while supplies last. Use coupon code: FLASH

What’s your favorite apron story? Stay tuned. Tomorrow, we’ll announce the latest giveaway winner!

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.