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November 11, 2009


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Its nice to see some attention focused on more humble garments!

Don't get me wrong! I love sighing over haute couture and high-end rtw just as much as the next person, but items such as home made aprons fascinate me just as much.

The way those (unknown) women used and exploited the print design of the scarves, with their prominent borders and graduated designs, was really ingenious.

Aprons seem to be enjoying a bit of a revival right now. There's a thriving collectors' scene for vintage originals, plus quite a few people/companies are producing modern replicas or reinterpretations. A cursory search on Etsy brought up hundreds of results!

FIDM Museum

Hi Sarah,

I've noticed the interest in aprons too. There are also many apron sewing patterns and pattern books available these days. I haven't noticed people wearing/using these aprons, so I've wondered if it's simply a new area of collecting. Or are they used for decorations?


Yeah, that's funny - I don't know anyone that wears them either! I must move in the wrong circles!

But then, they are an indoor garment so you're not likely to see them worn unless you're a house guest of an apron enthusiast. I'm guessing there's a strong crossover with the 40s/50s vintage style fans who wear those styles on a regular basis. And make lots of cupcakes!


Hello Sarah,
A lovely piece on the oft forgotton apron. Your observance about servants aprons as opposed to the "Ladys" aprons I found interesting. As a domestic worker,(maid), I wear an apron as part of my uniform. However, my day/housework apron is not white but pink/white gingahm check),my evening apron being white with ruffled hem and bib.
There seems to be a revival in the wearing of aprons. Googling "vintage aprons" brings up many sites. There are even groups devoted to discussing sewing and wearing aprons. I might be in the forefront of the next fashion craze.

Thanks for the information.

FIDM Museum

Thanks for adding your perspective! It's really interesting to hear about your evening apron, as it sounds very much like a 19th century maid's apron. So interesting to hear that there has been so little change. Other professions have undergone uniform updates to reflect changes in taste, cultural shifts or innovations in materials...I wonder why this hasn't been the case with aprons?


Hi Rachel,
You are correct in comparing my evening apron with a maids apron of 100years ago. My whole uniform is largly based on a victorian maids uniform, as it conformes with the surroundings and atmosphere where I work. However my "best" apron is so nice I need to don a work apron over it if I have to do kitchen work. I tried to find a likeness for you, the most alike is...
I do think the long vintage style pinafore apron is not widely worn now. The same could be said for the starched cap and apron worn by nurses not that long ago. I also wear a "Edwardian" style apron for sunday school as a helper..

FIDM Museum

So interesting! Thanks for taking the time to send the image link. It's interesting to think about the layers of aprons you wear for different types of work. Sounds like you actually have multiple uniforms! If you don't mind me asking, what country do you live in? I live on the West Coast of the US and it's hard to imagine this type of uniform anywhere here, as we are so focused on casual wear in all situations.


Send me an email I will get back to you.



Thank you, again another great resource for my research. FIDM is an asset to us all.

FIDM Museum

Linette, It's great to know that researchers find our blog useful!


I notice in old movies maids wearing strapless bib aprons, with no visible means of attachment to the uniform or dress.
Would you know how the bibs were held up?

FIDM Museum

Hi Penny,

Our Curator Kevin Jones informed me that this type of apron was known as a "pinner" - the top was held up by (you guessed it) pins!

Let us know if you have any other questions!

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