What does the stylish Zapotec woman wear? Why, an apron, of course! Aprons with ruffles, embroidery, scalloped detailing, lace, deep pockets and a secure button closure with waist tie are the ubiquitous fashion statement in the Tlacolula valley of Oaxaca. The center of apron fashionistas is the Sunday Tlacolula Market. There, an entire aisle is devoted to the apron and accompanying colorful headscarves. Aprons come in all variations on the theme of checkered, gingham-like, cotton or cotton/poly blend fabric. They can be simple straight edge or more complicated, heavily scalloped at the hemline and bodice. Price depends upon complexity of style and amount of embroidery. Aprons can be magical, embroidered with figures of birds, flowers, animals, and fruit. The fancier the apron, the more it costs.
Gringas like aprons, too. After we buy ours and wear them, we get big smiles from the locals. The fun is in the fashion show for each other, shopkeepers and passers-by. Almost like dress-up when we were girls What’s amazing is that you can be wear any plain ‘ole thing underneath, and a great apron from Tlacolula just adds color, fun and spark to life. When you come to a village in Oaxaca you will see that the apron is just part of everyday dressing. For us, it’s a way to enjoy another dimension of Oaxaca. Now, we are ready for cooking class!