I've never owned one.
I'm not an exceptionally messy cook, but I usually get some foodstuffs on my person. But that's only one tiny reason to have an apron.
It's, I don't know, a symbol of sorts.
There was a time not so long ago when women probably scorned aprons. You know, like the bra. A symbol of oppression. But now, we have moved passed that. We appreciate that women can truly be whatever they want to be, including stay at home mothers. Cooking, baking, making jam, are activities which have been returned to their rightful place of importance. And if wearing corsets and stockings is now an acceptable way to express one aspect of our femininity, why shouldn't we express all aspects?
It represents house-keeping rather than chores. It's a symbol of hearth and home in the most cosiest way. And as we build our most permanent house, I am coming to appreciate that special roof over our heads that we all call Home. To me, the apron makes me think of simpler times.
It's a symbol of nurturing. The cooking and baking yes, but also it's place in a child's life. It is the Wiper Away of Tears, the Cleaner of Wounds, the Safety Net to Hide Behind from Strangers.
So it's symbolic but also absolutely practical. Quickly grab hot pans, wipe up a spill, carry in some eggs or a few apples for baking a pie, wipe sweat beads from our brow, do a quick dust, wipe and gather crumbs, an impromptu baby bib, wipe your hands after picking herbs from the garden, hold some wood for the stove, and leave you looking immaculate as you take it off seconds before company arrives. And then if you have pockets, why, you can hold all sorts of stuff, such as tissues for all occassions, a few nibbles for the chickens, or sweets/candy for when children visit.
DIY Dad's mother uses an apron. And whenever I see it on, I know something good is cooking.
But I've yet to come across an apron that suits me. They are all too prim, too 'grandma', too girly, too silly, too modern.
If I could sew, I would sew up all that symbolism and practicality and make me an apron.