Chop Style: Grilling Aprons

Now that baseball season is officially underway, we’re about to see all the hallmarks of Summer in Baltimore unfold rapidly. We’re on the cusp of several months of crab feasts, Arabbers, festivals, open fire hydrants, stoop sitting, and all the other things that make Summer in the city such a wonderful time.

Last week wasn’t just the beginning of baseball season, it was also the de facto start of the grilling season. Whether you favor Esskay dogs or Ceriello steaks, charcoal or gas, it’s time to get cooking. If you’ve read this blog before you probably know that we’re very careful about choosing clothes and getting dressed, and we aim to keep the A1 and the Pickapeppa far away from our shirts this Summer. How? By being careful about choosing an apron.

Aprons still have a bit of a feminine connotation attached to them, and while there are plenty of patterns and designs available out there, few of them are suited to men. In choosing one for yourself, you should be guided by the same principles that inform the rest of your wardrobe. Pick something that’s made of quality cloth in a classic color or pattern that works for all occasions. Most importantly, stay away from stupid novelty aprons. Whatever it looks like, your apron should not distract from the rest of your outfit. Here are three choices for your Summer cookouts which are damn near foolproof.

The thing about aprons is this: even the fanciest ones you can possibly buy are under $30. This one from Dean and DeLuca is plain white and perfect for outdoor use. Even if you’re just serving up hot dogs and ketchup, the prominent label will lend you a little gourmet credibility and your cookout guests will come away thinking ‘Oh he shop at Dean and DeLuca. He think he fancy, huh?’

Williams Sonoma Marseille apron. $24.

The Marseille apron from Williams Sonoma does in fact have a bunch of flowers all over it, but we’d dare anyone to call it girly. The pattern is so tight and the color so muted that it falls squarely into the ‘classic’ category, and at $24 it might be the least expensive item in any Williams Sonoma store.

Sur la Table Black Muted Stripe apron. $19.95

Of course, there are few things more masculine than butchering, and if you’re the kind of backyard chef that literally likes to go whole-hog, then this butcher-striped apron from Sur La Table should be right up your alley. It may not have the prominent branding of the D & D apron, but if any of your guests should ask about it you have the added enjoyment of getting to pronounce Sur la Table which can be a launching pad to a five minute comedy routine complete with Julia Child impression if you’ve had a few Summer cocktails.

One final word: Although we fully endorse aprons, and even aprons from fancy-schmancy stores like the ones listed here, we would caution anyone against going the extra mile and wearing a chef’s coat at home. Nothing screams ‘I’m a pretentious asshole and am only cooking for you to feed my own ego’ like wearing a chef’s coat outside a commercial kitchen. Plus you’ll look like a sweaty jerk wearing a full coat in the middle of Summer. If you’re hosting a cookout, you can always fold an apron down to the waist, grab a beer and mingle while the grill is going. In a chef’s coat, you’ll look more like the help than the host, and be at a remove from your guests until you take the damn thing off.