A recent book (The Butterfly Hours) gave a list of memoir prompts to assist in the writing of a memoir.
Wearing aprons for housework is no longer in vogue however back in the 1960s and ’70s when I was growing up most of my friends mums, and my own, wore some sort of apron or housecoat style covering when doing the housework.
My own mother had 2 distinct styles of apron which were used for very different purposes:
The ‘overalls’ were the ones she wore in my Dad’s shop and basically covered everything. In fact it was some sort of coat affair made out of nylon which was pretty much ubiquitous at that time or so it seemed. This sort of overall was routinely seen on women working in factories, cleaning or in fact doing any kind of labour that might cause clothing damage or mishaps. Most of the women in the grocers and the butchers shops, for example, wore these outfits.
The ‘indoors’ apron was a completely different style: this one tended to be
either a half moon design which stopped at the waist or one that had some sort of strange bib arrangement similar to dungarees. I never actually saw her wear these, I can always remember watching her folding the top down and wondering why she just didn’t buy the one without the bib. This apron was multi purpose: It stopped you messing up your clothes but I also saw it used in lieu of oven gloves on multiple occasions. These ones were always much more fancy – floral with plenty of frilly bits. Often the pockets were sewn on at jaunty angles or were shaped to accentuate the theme of the apron ie, a flower or a heart. This was high fashion cleaning wear!
The thing that these aprons all had in common was the pockets – or more specifically, the contents thereof. In every single pocket in every single apron or overall you were guaranteed to find some tissue – kitchen roll to be exact – and a packet of mints (Trebor in the 1960s and 1970s, replaced in the 1980s by Tic Tacs mainly I believe, because she loved the adverts).
I can kind of see why …