You’re joking, right? Aprons?
Nope, even the venerable Mitsukoshi department store has an extensive apron department. Aprons with ruffles. Aprons with bows. Little black cocktail aprons.
It wasn’t until I was invited to a friend’s house for a dinner party that I understood. Japanese entertaining has traditionally been done in restaurants, and it’s only recently that it’s become fashionable to throw Western-style dinner parties in one’s mansion apaato. But a Japanese meal is made up of lots of little dishes that must be served freshly made in order to be guest-worthy, so whoever’s doing the cooking (and let’s count on one finger the times out of a hundred that’s the husband) basically never sits down. After each course is served, the hostess disappears into the kitchen to prepare the next one. It’s pointless for the her to buy a new party dress, because all her guests ever see is her, yes, you guessed it, APRON.