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Even if your kitchen is stocked with classic cast iron pans, the latest smart appliances, and a trusty set of knives, there’s a kitchen essential that you might very well be overlooking — an apron. Many home cooks eschew the apron because it seems too old-fashioned or unnecessarily professional for a casual home cook. But just like the best kitchen gear, a reliable apron will make cooking easier.
An apron serves the obvious benefit of protecting your clothes while you cook. You might be cooking in a casual t-shirt, but there’s no reason to splatter tomato sauce on it. Aprons also make it easy to quickly wipe off cooking oil or flour from your hands without needing to reach for a paper towel or turn on the sink.
What To Look for In an Apron
Aprons are relatively simple garments, but there’s a lot that separates a decent apron from a great one, and you also have to consider what kind of cooking you’ll be doing. For example, you might want something thick and durable like waxed canvas if you’re manning the grill. Or, opt for something lightweight like chambray or linen if you’re baking in a hot kitchen and don’t want to overheat. If you like to keep your towel, tongs and meat thermometer close by, you might want to look at an apron with plenty of pockets. Another key feature is the straps. Aprons should be adjustable, but not so complicated you spend 10 minutes fussing with buckles while your food burns.
And yeah, you might want an apron that looks cool. At the very least, a stylish apron will make you more excited to cook. Even if your signature dish is a bowl of packet ramen with a poached egg (which is the best, by the way) a chef’s apron will make you look (and feel!) more professional. Aprons also make a great gift for the home cook. Even if they already have an apron, they can probably always use an upgrade, or at least a spare while their usual is in the wash. These are some of the best aprons to buy for yourself or the home cook in your life.
1. Hedley & Bennett Carryall Apron
If you’re looking for an ultra-modern yet dapper apron to conquer all your cooking and serving, you’ve found your option. The Carryall apron from Hedley & Bennett is made to dress any and all fashionable guys taking on a hefty meal in the kitchen. When they say “Carryall,” Hedley & Bennett truly means it. This baby has a number of pockets to hold any kitchen must-haves when stirring up the pot. Colors range out the wazoo here and feature some eclectic yellows (like the one pictured), ashy pinks, deep maroons, foamy greens and more. The apron is made from 100% cotton canvas so it’s ready to take on whatever you’re cooking.
2. Five Two Ultimate Apron
This apron from Food52’s in-house brand has everything you could need in an apron, and then some. It comes in five stylish muted pastel colors, each of which has a contrasting row of stripes down the front. There are two pockets at the hip, plus a segmented chest pocket that’s perfect for your pen or thermometer. The hip pocket even has a conversion chart sewn into it. The bottom of the apron has built-in pot holders, so you can pull up the apron and grab any hot pans from the oven. The waist straps are extra-long for easy tying and the neck strap is adjustable.
3. Flint and Tinder Brad Leone Waxed Apron
Alright, so you want a good-looking apron, but you want to ensure any and all stains that come in contact with it aren’t there to stay. What do you do? Easy, you get yourself a waxed apron. Keep your clothes and your apron safe from any explosions in the kitchen with this waxed canvas apron from Flint and Tinder. It comes in three neutral colors, but for extra protection, we suggest black. Even if a plop of vicious red marinara bubbles up and sprays your entire stovetop, this baby will keep you safe and never stain. The material is also made in New Jersey, so if the material is as tough as the people there, you’re sure to be fine.
4. Crate & Barrel Chambray Grey Apron
BEST LIGHTWEIGHT APRON
Crate & Barrel’s take on the apron is made from a blend of cotton and linen, making it a great breathable option for hot days spent in the kitchen. It also has a pocket for keeping recipes and thermometers close by. It has stylish leather straps which can be removed when you need to wash the apron.
5. Levi’s Rigid Denim Apron
It is safe to safe that denim will never, ever go out of style. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles, baby. But, if the cookie’s crumbling onto your clothes, we suggest using this denim apron from Levi’s to ensure your clothes don’t get stained. This handsome multi-gender choice is ready for the kitchen and the grill and features some of the same designs your favorite pair of jeans have. For Levi’s, it’s also relatively priced, too. All in all, this is the perfect pick for anyone that is never seen without a pair of jeans.
6. OONI Pizzaiolo Apron
Pulling a wet, sauce-splattered apron over your head after you’re done cooking can be a messy proposition, but this apron from OONI has metal buckles on the straps that make the apron easy to take off. There’s an oversized pocket, plus a dishtowel holder. The apron is made from cotton canvas with leather straps, which can all be unbuckled and removed when it’s laundry time.
7. GEFU BBQ Apron
BEST FOR GRILLING
Looking for an option for the pitmaster in your life? This apron will make any BBQer look every bit the pro. It’s made from durable waxed cotton canvas, making it moisture resistant and easy to wipe off when it inevitably gets splattered in sauce. Leather details add a stylish and rugged touch. There are pockets at the waist, a metal towel loop, and the neck strap has clips for easy removal.
8. Everlane The Chore Apron
This apron comes from Everlane, of all places. We’re not complaining; they’re one of our favorite purveyors of stylish, well-priced basics. As expected, this apron is stylish, well-priced and basic (in a good way). This apron has a chest pocket with a pen slot, plus two waist pockets and a handy towel loop. The neck strap is adjustable as well.
9. Puebco Vintage Tent Fabric Apron
Leave it to Huckberry to find an apron that’s as stylishly rugged as it is unique. This apron is made from upcycled tents, meaning that every apron will vary by color and distressing. The apron has one large pocket, long straps for tying it around the waist, and a neck strap with a metal grommet to retie it and adjust the length as needed.
10. Carrotez Chef Apron
An effortless, adjustable cross-back apron that doesn’t skimp out on style? We’ll take 10. This lint-free, soft-as-hell chef’s apron is a stylish addition for any dude cooking up a storm. It’s totally adjustable and can fit both smaller and bigger dudes easily. It comes with a number of pockets to hold your phone, some spoons, a whisk — whatever. You choose. It is promised to provide chest to knee coverage for most guys, even if you’re like, really, really tall. Use this from the kitchen to the grill to when it’s time to serve the table because, in your house, you’re the jack of all trades. Hate the brown? No worries, this apron’s available in a number of colors.
11. Chef Works Bib Apron
Strut your stipes with this bib apron from Chef Works. It’s decked in a handsome black and white fabric that is extra slimming and easy to match with just about anything. This adjustable apron also comes with two front pockets divided at the center to help easily separate your kitchen gadgets.
12. PricelessKids Personalized Apron
No single list of men’s aprons is complete without a personalized option. We don’t make the rules. This iconic apron throws your name right on the chest to show who the real chef in the house is because you don’t want anybody to get that twisted. For partners looking to snag their favorite dude the gift of all gifts this holiday season, this is a killer option to choose. It’s also available in a number of colors to choose from.
13. Hudson Durable Goods Professional Grade Chef Apron
If you’ve never owned a men’s apron before, this will be the first and last you’ll ever have to purchase. When it comes to durability, no other option can beat the structure of this professional chef’s apron. We love this option for dudes who cook for a living. Whether you’re the head chef at a local restaurant or you’ve created a meal-based business from the comfort of your own home, this apron is made for all-day wear. It’s tremendously breathable, has four pockets and even a towel loop to kick it up a notch.
14. BBQ Butler BBQ Grill Apron
Okay, this one’s not fully made from leather, but who would want that in an apron anyway? This apron is made from a mix of canvas and leather, and is built to withstand just about anything you put it through. It’s easy to put on and looks effortlessly dapper on just about any guy willing to rock it. With five different pockets in total, this apron can hold just about anything you might need by yourself when grilling outside or cooking in the kitchen. We’re specifically obsessed with the patchwork on this one, too.