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Elegant, minimal, understated.

I don't know if Alice Waters of Chez Panisse fame wears an apron, but I can totally see her in one of these, conveniently made in San Francisco, so as to not interfere with her locavoritude.

As for the rest of us, who could resist the refined, heritage-y linen-cotton blend, clean lines, and infinitely adjustable cotton twill straps? They're designed with input from chefs and food stylists who wear aprons all day long, and specially crafted to sit on one's shoulders and cross in the back, so as to not strain one's neck as one labors over one's radicchio and dandelion salad with anchovy, walnuts, and pecorino. Or possibly just some spaghetti.

Rugged yet French!
Reasons to go this route: 1) Julia Child wore this style, 2) waiters look impossibly hot in them (in other words, these are a good option for guys), and 3) perhaps you don't want to cover up your top. Made from heavy-duty, cotton duck sourced and sewn in the USA, these are generously cut, guaranteed to last for years, have that cute red edging, and feature a fabric loop to hold a dishtowel. Done.
For Those Who Want to Go Naked Under Their Apron
OK, you can't really go naked under this because the back is open and truly, this apron is not remotely scandalous and exhbitionistic. It is the polar opposite of that: adorable, girlish, demure, a summer dress-y sort of option made out of superfine Lithuanian linen.
Retro, not Ridiculous
Anthropologie has aprons galore but to my mind, this is the best. Why? Because it's cute but not cutesy, vintage-y but not kitschy-cartoon-y. Also, it's hard to resist the classic jaunty blue-and-white color combo and flattering contrast tie. This is an apron to entertain in, to serve cocktails in, to look sexy in.
For the Chef Who Doesn't Mess Around
Perhaps you deep-fry your turkey, raise your own chickens, pickle your own everything. Perhaps you just like a no-nonsense apron, made of quality selvage duck cloth spun at the beloved Cone Mills mill in North Carolina. Perhaps you are a bespoke snob, I mean enthusiast, who appreciates that these aprons are handmade to order (in Brooklyn, naturally!) and are patient enough to wait or smart enough to anticipate that you'll be cooking for a good long time to come. Perhaps you're just a fan of stripey denim and classic, no-nonsense design. Then get this one.
For the Sports Fan
Why give up shouting your team loyalty from the rooftops just because you're cooking? This team logo apron from Williams-Sonoma is generously sized—a good thing if you're an actual football player—and made of sturdy cotton twill (I should know; I own two of their aprons and they have served me well). Emblazon it with your favorite NFL team logo and feel the strength of two linebackers as you whisk your gravy into submission, the precision and grace of a wide receiver as you delicately mandoline your zucchini.
For the Mad Men Fetishist
Retro-chic to the max, this apron is over-the-top girly. It has pleats, a gathered waist, a scalloped hem and it's gingham. Playful and absurd, it's the jellybean of aprons. Obviously, this apron is extra-perfect if your name is Lauren but Williams-Sonoma will, upon request, emblazon this with any name you like. Incredible! Comes in four colors but we especially like the namby pink and pale green; the black and blue seem weirdly out of tune. If you're going to dress in costume, dress in costume!
We Can't Understand You, but You're So Cute!

The apron: adorable; the text accompanying it on Just Scandinavian's website? Inscrutable. And yet, it's just makes us love it more, like an adorable foreign exchange student who speaks terrible English. "Parrot with flower urn is a tribute to the county of Torna's herb garden and displays the love of fragrant flowers, parrots and singing birds. Inside the garden walk men and women in 1700s costumes."

What? Huh? Whatever, the pattern is from 1792 and still totally awesome, as they like to say in Torna's herb garden. The colors are just so bright and cheery. Nobody else you know has this apron, we're willing to bet. Also, it's made of linen, which I quite enjoy in the kitchen as it's very absorbent and yet quick to dry. "This fabric reproduction is a free translation from a bench seating pillow." Wait, what?

DIY Adorableness!

I do not sew but if I did—how cute is this?? Very. And so flattering, right? An empire-waist apron. An empron, let's call it. With that shirred top and waist-flattering ties that can be fastened in the front or back?

And yes, that's right, it's reversible. We highly recommend doing it in two different prints. Not to be gross but a reversible apron is very practical because if, while you're cooking, one side gets too grubby, you can just take it off, flip it over, put it back on and look perfectly respectable again. This pattern is for advanced beginners, say the good people at Emmeline, who also sell kits for this very pattern, featuring some pretty adorable polka-dot and modern floral prints. 

European Country Baker Realness
Can you smell the bread baking? Hear the cows mooing? We can. Made of high-quality Lithuanian linen, classic and unassuming, it's hard to argue with the bright blue and natural linen of this apron; it would be like arguing with your great-grandmother from the old country: you know she'd win. Ties can be made to order to fit you perfectly. Now, go make some biscuits.
The Cocktail Dress You Can Wipe Your Hands On
Super sweet and made to order, this may be the most ­­out-and-out prettiest apron of the bunch. Understated, yet a little sexy, each of these linen aprons comes packaged in an old-timey preserves jar.
The Super-Jolly Happy Vegetable Technicolor Nonstop Fun Apron
Cute, cute, cute! Shiny, happy, bright, jollitude! If you can't stand the fun, stay out of the kitchen. Or at least do not put this apron on. From the graphic geniuses at Marimekko, this apron is guaranteed to ruin your bad mood. Also recommended for crafts with kids and you can see why: this apron says playtime like nobody's business. And it's surprisingly well priced.
Who Knew American Apparel Made Aprons?
You may not have seen this AA item featured in one of the store's typically NC-17 window displays. But just like the brand's tees, undies, hoodies, socks, etc. etc. etc. these aprons come in a huge range of colors, exhibit classic sporty style, are of course made in L.A., and are way, way well priced. Get two.