Bring Back the Half Apron!

Over the years, I’ve collected dozens of bib aprons and chefs aprons, but lately, I’m feeling a new-found appreciation for the half apron.

First of all, they’re very French. Here’s my friend Martine, in the South of France, wearing her cute little half-apron in her kitchen as she fixed dinner for my husband and me.


Don’t you love how chic her blouse is? And that was after she changed out of her work clothes for the day. Sigh.

Next, there’s the nostalgia aspect. My mother—and women of her generation—wore half aprons. Here’s a photo of my mother (in green) and one of her dearest friends, Wini Thurston (whom I was named after) on New Year’s Eve sometime in the late 1960s. Wini is wearing a half-apron.


Then, there’s the fact that there are so many cute half-aprons now available that it’s easy to find one to suit your style. These are from Carefree Patisserie, a darling little cupcake shop in Des Moines, Iowa. But I’m sure that wherever you live, you’ll find a cooking shop or kitchen shop that sells half-aprons these days. They’re making a comeback!


Photo by Richard Swearinger

Here’s me, wearing one that I bought from Carefree Patisserie to wear at a local restaurant, Baru 66, when they showcased my recipes for Chef and Bonne Femme night. I thought this apron totally tapped into the bonne femme spirit.

Loved wearing the half-apron at Baru 66. It says “I’m not a chef! I’m just a good home cook trying to keep my trousers clean!”













Two more great things about the half-apron (besides the fact that they’re so darn cute):

Jennifer Strauss of Carefree Patisserie, who is bringing the half apron back to Amerique Profonde!

• You don’t mess up your hair when you take it off.

• You can wear it right to the table when entertaining; when you sit down, no one will know you’re still wearing it. That means you’ll look relaxed and ready to have a great time (yet covertly, you’ll still be ready to pop up and get that dessert on the table). Wearing bib aprons to the table says something like “I’ve cooked all day and now I have a sink full of dishes. Thanks alot.”

• Half aprons have a certain unpretentiousness about them. They say, “Look, I’m not trying to be a chef. I’m just a good home cook who’s trying to keep her dress clean.”

Or, perhaps Jennifer Strauss at Carefree Patisserie said it best. She mentioned that she wears half-aprons in homage to her grandmother, who adored cooking and baking for other people. For Jennifer—a professional chef and baker—there’s something about the half-apron that reminds her to enjoy the pleasures of cooking every time she put one of these cuties on.

PS: If you’re interested in half-aprons, check out my faves from Amazon. And if you buy one through clicking on the links below, you’ll help support my site (without adding to your own costs in any way). Thanks!




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10 comments to Bring Back the Half Apron!

  • Greg

    any for men? Or is this for women only? I bet some styles for men could be created….

  • Terry

    For all you men out there, here’s the solution for a half-apron. I’ve used this technique, as I don’t like the feel of a bib apron around my neck (hair is not the problem).

    Fold the top half of a white bib apron inside the bottom half. Tie it off around your waist. Voila.

  • jacqueline

    They do look cute and chic but all I see is my chic white blouse w/ spots of tomatoes or worse, oil. Am I the only one who risks wearing what she cooks? Hélas…

    • Wini

      Oh you do make a good point. I must say that I would never wear a white blouse, like my friend Martine. Yes, I’d be wearing dinner, too.

      When entertaining at home, I do the major make-ahead cooking wearing a grotty old knock-around shirt. Right before guests come over, I slip into my entertaining clothes and the half-apron works just fine.

  • Di

    Lots of chefs wear those kind of wrap-around aprons with the long ties at the waist – those are great at home too. Actually, our 20-something son wears one like that every time he cooks.

    • Wini

      Yes, the Chef (at Baru 66) that I’ve been working with always wears a long waist apron. But he has the advantage of the chef’s jacket, too.

  • Merce

    Apron lovers unite–or is that untie??! every now and then, at an estate sale or flea market, a lovely, gently used well-loved cotton apron calls out to me and for some reason I simply can’t resist. The wrick wrack, the pocket, the print…I’d like to know the stories of cooking and serving and being….tucked into the folds of those worn aprons…some are works of art indeed and others works of heart. thanks for honoring the often-overlooked apron 🙂

  • Wini

    Merce! Exactly–the half-apron is a moving tribute to the cooks who came before us, and they hint at the wonder/mystery of their lives….Thanks so much for this.

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