Home Today Is Men Were First To Wear Aprons Starting In the 12th Century

Men Were First To Wear Aprons Starting In the 12th Century


National Tie One on Day might confuse people with its name. However, it is not at all about going out, getting crazy and drinking too much while others are at home, working hard preparing for tomorrow’s big Thanksgiving Day meal.

National Tie One on Day celebrates the apron as well as the past generations of women who wore them and it was also created as a day to bring joy to the life of someone in need and celebrate the spirit of giving.

“Women clad in aprons have traditionally prepared the Thanksgiving meal, and it is within our historical linkage to share our bounty.” EllynAnne Geisel

As part of National Tie One on Day, buy an apron, bake something, tuck a note of encouragement in the pocket of the apron (or pin it on it), wrap the baked good in the apron and give it to someone in need on Thanksgiving Eve. Use #NationalTieOneOnDay to post on social media.

Facts about aprons, past and present

For Judy Vetrovec, the history of aprons is as important as their beauty and practicality.

The longtime collector says people attending her lectures and displays of aprons always are surprised to learn of their longevity.

Here’s a brief rundown of the “Age of Aprons,” as compiled by Vetrovec:


-Origin: The English word “apron” came from “naperon,” the old French word for napkin or small tablecloth.

-12th century: Guess who wore aprons first? Men, as hygienic, protective wear.

-14th century: Dark-colored aprons started to be worn tied at the waist.

-16th and 17th centuries: Colors denoted the trade of the wearer. English barbers wore a checked pattern; butchers and porters, green; and masons, white.

-17th century: Romantic notions began to blossom. Your beau is thinking of you if the apron becomes untied and drops off.

-18th century: The pinafore apron was “pinned” to clothing.

-19th century: Cooks began turning the apron only once before washing. Any more, and the stains aren’t hidden.

-1900-1920: Long aprons cover and protect clothing.

-1920: Straight-line aprons are the style.

-1930: Beautiful prints with bright sashes, along with crocheted aprons, make an appearance.

-1940: Printed half-aprons tied around the waist, and aprons made of handkerchiefs, are popular.

-1950: Full-skirted plastic aprons, and ones with cross-stitch designs, gain U.S. popularity.

-1960: Half-aprons with attached hand towels are sure-fire hits, along with aprons sewn with plastic hoops or valance material.

-1970 to 2000: Barbecue, anyone? Grilling is a popular design or theme for modern-day aprons.


National Day Calendar

East Bay Times