I have done a lot of difficult things in my day – stayed vegan for 5 years despite working in a delicious Italian bakery, gained and lost 70 lbs in an 18-month period, sat through Dracula 2000 without stabbing my own eyes out – but I don’t think I had as tough of a time doing any of those things as I had putting together this apron showcase**. Between the problems of finding too many amazing aprons for one little post, not finding anything I deemed cool in certain categories I hoped to write about, and the Etsy shops I was choosing running out of stock on the things I wanted to post before I posted about them, this post has been a real son-of-a-bitch from start to finish. And I shudder to think that I’m going to have to do another one because I missed a lot in this one and the same sellers I’m covering today are going to come out with even more stuff in the future. Not to mention all of the great apron ideas that will spawn from this post.

So let’s begin at the beginning. I’m not posting in any particular order, just the order in which I have things organized in my Flickr account. Please enjoy my selection of aprons I would be proud to wear or to give to people I like. Comments with links to additional aprons you love are welcome. Please refrain from posting about any ginormous apron companies I’ve repped in the past. This was a hunt for new blood.

First up is this apron which, if it had a back, could totally double as a cute summer dress. It’s called The Argyle Effect and it’s made by Cupcake Provocateur. Named for one of the seamstress’ favorite bands, I choose this apron for the showcase because argyle is a totally neglected pattern in the apron world. Polka dots? Sure. Plaid? Yes. But argyle? You just don’t see enough argyle aprons. Especially not any as beautifully constructed from a vintage pattern as this one. For $32.99 you have something you’ll be proud to wear for years to come – and thanks to a generous store coupon from Cupcake Provocateur made just for Bake and Destroy readers, you can save 10% just for being my friend on the Internets. Just enter BAKECP10 at checkout. Thank you, you’re welcome.

My mom (pictured here) is a big fan of aprons from Funktion, which I believe she discovered via Vintage June. Kinda hippy, kinda gypsy, kinda expensive… just like my mom! These aprons (and their other goods) have been featured basically in every magazine I read (um, and some I don’t… Everyday with Rachel Ray, for example.) According to my mom, these ruffly, layery, decidedly not “retro housewife” aprons are just as fun to wear while cooking and baking as they are to where whilst twirling around and entertaining your pugs. The fabric quality and construction answered any questions I had about the price tag, and the fact that they took a totally unique approach to aprons earned them a spot on the Deathmatch.

As a former waitress, I couldn’t do an apron post without a nod to the diner apron. I waited tables at a dump called Earwax Cafe, and sadly, never got to wear an adorable diner apron. Instead I stuck my notepad in the back pocket of my Dickies and spent more time ignoring the advances of aging hipsters and the occasional down-on-his-luck tattoo artist than I did snapping my gum and calling people “hon.” But enough about me, let’s talk about this cute cuteness from Modern June. Even if you’re not slanging hash to road-weary truckers, you need this apron. Use it to hold your paint brushes, your sewing stuff, even your cash at Renegade Craft Fair. It’s $24.99 and the seamstress is sweet as pie – I know, I’m a customer!

And now to go from one version of “sweet” to another – this I Love Lollypops apron from Living Thread is about as sugary and sweet as it gets. Dont’ be fooled by the pink and the ruffles, the seamstress behind this apron is just as sick and twisted as all of you are. Her other items include sweary dish towels, mustache coffee cup holders and zombie Christmas decorations. Her aprons are one-of-a-kind and they sell fast (especially when we feature them on All Things Cupcake,) so if you see one you like you better get it before some other bitch snatches it up. This one’s $35.00 and it ships from Australia- so there’s a chance someone who handles your package along the way has stared down a water buffalo or killed a crocodile with his or her bare hands.

To be honest, you could do a whole post on the aprons from Boojiboo – there are so many styles and so many fabrics just picking one was a group effort. (Thanks Hollie, Jenn, Leigh, and Jessica!) I love the fabrics she chooses- from the pin up-style polka dots and tattoo flash to the subdued birds and pears. I also love that she makes plus-size aprons and aprons for kids. An apron like the one shown here is under $30 and comes in a zillion different colors and patterns. And if that’s her vintage stove in the photos I totally hate her.

I have mixed emotions about half aprons, but my emotions are very clear that they love this red and white half apron from Momo’s Retro Fashions. I love the way half aprons look, but I get too much confectioner’s sugar on my boobs to find them practical. I suppose if I had the sort of friends who came over to have some wine and fondue once a month I could wear it while entertaining. But I have the kind of friends who come over to order pizza from Lou Malnati’s and watch UFC pay-per-views. They’re lucky I put pants on to entertain them. This style is called Over the Moon Everyday Housewife and it’ll run you $28.00.

In other half apron news, I adore this one from Red Velvet Art. Back when the Apron Deathmatch what but a glimmer in my eye I caught this one in their Flickr stream and bookmarked it for a rainy day. I truly believe in my heart that pom-poms are the new ric-rac and if you take a look at the ladies behind this shop I believe their fashionability and my general bossiness will make you a believer too. It’s $32, handmade, and the color combo is unlike anything I’ve seen in Apron Land.

Dear ric-rac, I know what I said back there, baby, and see- you took it the wrong way. Sure, pom-poms are the future of apron fashions, but you’re a classic, girl. You’re the best and you know it. No fluffy little ball could ever take your place. Now tie yourself around my neck and hush your mouth. You know you’re the one for me.

Oh- and also, this stripey cupcake apron, or Cupcapron, from Glue and Glitter is eternally cute for $25. She makes all different flavors and is happy to put together a custom combo just for you.

Ok break time. I had the HARDEST time finding aprons for kids and men. Why? Well, too many aprons for kids were “Mommy’s Little This” or “Lil That.” Bleh! Who is dressing their children like this? Teno loves to bake with me! He is not my “lil mess-maker” he just like to sift the god damn flour. Must I humiliate him with a retarded apron? On the same note, not all men deserve an apron proclaiming their love of BBQ, beer or other stereotypes. Camo and flames do not a man’s apron make, in my opinion – and to be honest, I’m still looking for a Tony-approved apron. According to him, he would wear something solid-colored, butcher apron-style, preferably in grey or orange rip-stop with loops to hold grilling tools. Or, he would wer camo but only in rip-stop with orange accents. Well, until Diamond or Anti-Hero makes an apron I’m afraid Tony will go without. And now, back to the show!

I had a much easier time finding aprons I would actually buy for my niece than I did finding any I would buy for Teno. I decided to post about the aprons I found by Gagie Pagie Pudding Pie because they’re simple and lovely and the photography was great. (Seriously, I know my photography skills are for crap, but I’m a million times more likely to buy something from a person who ironed it and shot a nice photo of it first.) There are dozens and dozens of adorable aprons in this shop, for mom and the little one alike and each one is made from the seller’s original patterns. This one in particular is called Cupcake See Jane Play and it’s $18.50.

Tony likes zombies, but not so much cannibals – whereas, despite my constant chatter and zombie blog, I actually am much more fascinated by cannibals than I am with the living dead. For one thing, cannibals are real. And for another… you don’t need another reason when the first reason is that there are people who eat other people. One of the most famous cannibals of our time, of course, is old Jeff here. A fellow Midwesterner and well, I hope that’s where the similarities end. I don’t think I could get Tony to wear this apron, but he did say “that’s awesome” when I showed it to him. You can get the apron from Satan’s Side Show for $19.69, along with lots of other things that will make people not want to come to your house anymore.

Ok, so boys. I know there are a lot of people who think it’s weird to put an apron on a little boy. But perhaps those people should Google such names as Claude Escamilla and Sebastien Canonne. These are men who wear aprons, and they f’n rule. (Sebastien Canonne is way, way cute. I interviewed him last year and I’m pretty sure he hated me because he’s a famous French pastry chef and I have corn tattooed on my finger, but either way, he looks good in an apron.) I suppose to be fair pastry chefs tend to wear chef’s jackets, and bakers tend to wear aprons – but I have a hard enough time getting Teno’s coat on in the winter, I’m not going to try and shove him into a jacket every time we make cupcakes. I scoured the Internet and I didn’t find one single apron (that I haven’t already posted about) that I liked for Teno. Teno doesn’t like stupid baseball and he’s not “gone fishin’.” But I did find an alternative- lots and lots of free patterns online with which I can make my own apron for Teno. And by that, of course, I mean – with which his grandma Jo can make him an apron!

I also found loads of cute, non-embarrassing fabric at Crafty Planet which I will purchase because Jo will crap herself when she sees the prices. But you know what? Someday when he’s a famous chef he’ll tell people that his mother spared no expense for his aprons as a child and the world will be like, “dang, you have an awesome mom,” and he’ll be like, “yeah, dude.”

And now, my friends I must leave you because I think this is all the apron anyone can handle at one time, and also because my butt is asleep. You can find loads of patterns that will make you want to buy a sewing machine even though you have no where to put it and you know damn well you aren’t going to sew anything in Nathalie Mornu’s book A is for Apron, and lots more apron porn at Tie One On. Um, not actual apron porn, although I’m sure it’s out there somewhere.

Please comment about your favorite aprons and send me your submissions for Round Two at CisForCupcake@gmail.com!

** Lots of people have asked me if they should be voting on their favorites. Feel free, but there’s no need. But I do have an incentive for you to comment about your favorite apron either in this post or elsewhere in the world – or even just about what you’re looking for in an apron. I’ll pick one random comment and award the author with a brand-new apron from one of the makers featured in this post. Yeah, I’m good like that. This give-away has ended! Thanks for playing!