How to wear: aprons

Aprons have been worn for practical and fashionable reasons for centuries, originally taking their name from the old French word for a small piece of cloth, ‘napron’.


They are the ultimate symbol of hospitality; from our early childhood memories of mums and grannies lovingly preparing the family roast to being a staple part of the workwear uniform in cafes, bars, restaurants and food outlets the world over.


The history of aprons

It may be a simple, everyday garment but it has a fascinating history.

They’re said to have been used in age-old ceremonial rituals, used to decorate ancient gods and worn by the Egyptians and Native Americans.

But they’ve also been worn by those within the trades for hundreds of years too.

In fact, they were such a common item of workwear tradesmen were known as ‘apron men’.

It led to the development of different styles for different trades – barbers wore checked aprons, cobblers wore black, butchers wore stripes and butlers wore green.

Aprons may have fallen out of favour among ‘housewives’ during the rise of the feminist movement in the 60s and 70s - due to its association with domestication - but today they’re enjoying a modern resurgence in the home as a professional accessory thanks to the foodie culture of cooking for pleasure.

They’ve long been a staple garment in the workplace only now - due to a desire to blend functionality with fashion and extend branding beyond décor and stationary – they’re working harder than ever! 


Types of apron

Aprons are one of the most versatile items of catering clothes, available in different styles and fabric depending on the role or profession.


Bib aprons:

Also known as the ‘French chef’s apron’, bib aprons have very humble beginnings and were originally made from scraps of fabric to create a full coverage garment that slipped over the head and tied at the back.

The bib style is favoured for commercial quality catering aprons which are designed specifically to fulfil health and safety requirements when it comes to food preparation and service.

canvas bib apron

Their full coverage functionality helps to reduce the risk of cross contamination between raw ingredients and cooked food as well as protect the work clothes underneath from dirt and bacteria.

The beauty of these catering aprons is that they can easily be removed, replaced with a clean apron and washed – at Harveys we recommend washing our aprons at 60 degrees.

From traditional butchers stripe to denim aprons, the bib apron may have humble roots dating back hundreds of years but it’s certainly been upping itself in the style stakes in recent times. An embroidered name and logo elevates it even further.


Waist apron:

The waist or half apron is a popular choice both in the kitchen and front of house. As restaurant aprons go it’s the style which is most adaptable in the design stakes.

waist apron

Short chino-styles with stitched pocket details, a jeans button and rivet embellishments are not only practical – the pockets are so handy for pens and ordering pads and devices – they look great too and work well with a casual and contemporary workwear dress code.

The heavy cotton canvas mid length waist apron is incredibly durable and is available in a wide range of colours. The clean and simple nature of this design provides the perfect canvas for personalised embroidery.


Bar aprons:

Among the thrills of serving up an ever-increasing range of beverages from coffees to cocktails, there’s the spills.

Bar aprons offer practical protection and are now used right across front of house roles in many restaurants, bistros, cafes and trendy eateries, worn by both bar and serving staff.

Replicating the waist apron design, they offer functional style in the bustling and busy environment of hospitality.

long bar apron

The three pocket bar apron features well-sized open pockets to store and easily access items such as pens, order pads and straws. Its shorter length ensures comfort for servers on the go.

The long continental style bar apron offers more coverage and protection with the convenience of a large pocket with pen pocket combined.


Tabard apron:

Offering coverage at the front and back tabard aprons are widely used by both serving and cleaning staff across many sectors including hospitality, retail and health and social care.

They often include a front patch pocket and are fastened by adjustable side tabs.


From restaurant aprons to styles for teams working right across hospitality both in the kitchen and front of house we cater for all.

You can also personalise your aprons with Harveys bespoke embroidery service.