Zapotec Fashionistas Know — It’s All in the Apron


Katie wrapped in apron and head scarf with market apron vendor

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.

Polly chooses hers, and ...

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!

Robin finds one that suits her at the local market in Teotitlan del Valle.

Helen loves this one with brown tones.

4 Responses to Zapotec Fashionistas Know — It’s All in the Apron

  1. I’ve been looking all over for these aprons. I live in California, can you believe I can’t find these here??? Please help me…

    Rebecca

    • Rebecca, it would be difficult for me to buy you an apron that you like without knowing exactly what you want and how much you would like to spend, and then how to get it to you from Oaxaca to California? Come to Oaxaca and go shopping!

  2. I love those aprons! I got four of them (two for friends’ kids) from various stalls at the Tlacolula market. Shopping for them even better-the ladies pulling various styles from the stacks and complimenting you on your choices. All that’s needed next is the ikat rebozo from the stall down the aisle.

    • Hi, Lindsay. Great testimonial to the Tlacolula market apron culture. Thank you. I love the rebozos, too, yet there is a dynamism and involvement that is unparalleled when trying on a dozen aprons to see which one will fit both in size and personality! Saludos y gracias. Norma

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