I would still think these towels are terribly cute even if I couldn't say "owls on towels!" — although that does make me like them more. Finnish company Lapuan Kankurit has been making home textiles since 1917, all in a signature whimsical-folky Scandinavian style.
Alton Brown is a fan. So is chef and Top Chef judge Michael Cimarusti, along with a host of other famous chefs. They all love and wear Hedley & Bennett aprons, handmade in Los Angeles by 25-year-old Ellie Bennett.
Sometimes there are just no words. I mean, this is... I don't know. Amazing? Incredibly ingenious? Completely wacked out and hilarious? But hey, you have to admit it's practical. Why carry a lunch bag when you can just wear one? All kinds of questions arise, though: does she match her snacks to her clothes? Does she follow the rule of style to 'look in the mirror and take one thing off' and take out one snack instead? The mind boggles.
All of the aprons at Meyer Textile Co are the handiwork of Ashley Meyer, who runs her workshop out of a 100-year-old dairy barn in southern Minnesota. We really like the simplicity of her designs, and the fact that all her aprons are unisex and made of heavy duty materials like canvas and denim.
There's something I use every day in my kitchen that I sort of just stumbled upon: this dependable, old, blue terry cloth oven mitt. I didn't pick it out in a store, choose it carefully to match my kitchen decor, or research the very best one to purchase. No, I simply moved into one of my apartments and found it left behind by a previous tenant. Yeah, that's pretty gross. But at the time, I just had bare-bones kitchen things and I reasoned that it was in good condition and that a good laundering would have it ready for more use — at least until I got something "better." Little did I know it would stick around and remain my favorite years later:
I can't ever seem to locate my oven mitts. It seems like such a simple thing: I just used them two seconds ago, and now poof! Oh right, I left them by the sink. No, I must have put them on the chair. Argh! Enough. Clearly I need something like this apron. The bottom half is split into two oven mitts so the wearer always has gloves on hand when needed. Of course, if you misplace the apron...
Q: I'm looking to give a young relative an apron that is both practical and stylish — I'm thinking French bistro or patisserie style rather than frilly and vintage. As she's tall, it would have to be larger than the usual one-size-fits-all and she prefers one that wraps all the way around her hips.
In the last few years we've seen hostess aprons show up everywhere. (We can probably thank Mad Men for that.) Unlike the utilitarian workhorse aprons you wear in the kitchen, hostess aprons are all color, pattern, and detailing. Don't get us wrong—we like a cook who isn't afraid to dirty up her apron, but if you're less keen about showing that to your guests, then these pretty, polished aprons are for you.
In the old days, the greengrocer, the fishmonger, and baker could often be identified by what they wore — an apron, or smock, or jacket that was specific to that trade. More than just an uniform, these garments were often a badge of honor and reflected the pride people took in their work. They were also kind of cool, and they are having a comeback.