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Kitchen Couture: Aprons

In San Francisco, aprons are so much more than they seem.

1. State Bird Provisions (1529 Fillmore St., 415-795-1272)
Made by: Small Trade Company
Details: Reverse-side selvedge denim from Cone Mills; center-stitch detail done with Union Special flat-fell sewing maching (used on the inseam of the original 501s)

2. Réveille Coffee Co. (200 Columbus Ave., 415-789-6258)
Made by: Levi's
Details: Heavy, 15-ounce Japanes selvedge denim that's meant to fade; U.S. military solid brass grommets; waist loop for towels; deep pocket for stowing brushes used to sweep up wayward coffee grounds

3. Four Barrell Coffee (375 Valencia St., 415-252-0800)
Made by: Taylor Stitch
Details: Large grommets; 21-ounce waxed cotton; high chest; cross-back straps; suede patch for hand-wiping; loops on either side for ambidextrous towel-hanging

4. Tyler Florence Shop (59 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley, 415-380-9200)
Made by: Cayson Designs
Details: Japanese denim; wide straps; no tie; shorter length ($46)

 

It's no longer enough for an apron to serve simply as a shield from grease spatters. With thehelp of local designers, chefs and baristas are now sweating over every last grommet of their custom-designed, almost exclusively jean aprons. The kitchen's most practical piece o clothing has become a true fashion statement. Except for the one from Ty-Flo, though, they're not for sale—yet.