My mother sent me an email of the below, and I thought it was so nice that I'd share it here.
"Remember making an apron in Home-Ec?
I don't think our kids know what an apron is. The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few--it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven. It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears. From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven. When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids. And when the weather was cold grandma wrapped it around her arms. Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow bent over the hot wood stove. Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron. From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls. In autumn, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees. When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds. When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the menfolk knew it was time to come in from the paddocks for dinner. It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes. They would go crazy today trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron. I never caught anything from an apron but love."
Caroline Ingalls, Olivia and Grandma Walton, Lucy Ricardo, and Alice--these ladies were rarely without that essential accessory.
I'm not sure what you'd wear these for nowadays unless it was part of a costume (for sale at Artfire).
These hostess aprons are actually kind of sexy and dressy looking (if those terms can indeed be used in the same sentence as the word apron)--these are also for sale at Artfire.
Today's aprons are used by crafters and gardeners to keep the essentials close at hand. They're not the nose-wiping egg carriers they used to be (again--Artfire).
I'm not too young to remember the apron. My mother used to tie one around us kids to use as a huuuuuuuuge bib (that we didn't really recognize as being one because babies wore bibs). I remember a dark denim and red bandana fabric apron with little pockets that I wore when I played "waitress." My brother had one that he wore when he was "helping" my dad in his workroom. And when we were allowed to help in the kitchen, it was a symbol that we were being taken seriously as the chef's assistant (never mind that the chef never wore one). My mother still has a few aprons that my grandmother made long ago. They're simple little affairs, and pretty threadbare at this point. But she keeps them tucked away in a drawer, just in case aprons make a comeback. Everything old becomes new again at some point; maybe one day the beloved old apron will fall into that category.
** Title comes from Everything but the Girl's song "Apron Strings."