According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, an apron is: "a garment usually of cloth, plastic, or leather usually tied around the waist and used to protect clothing". But, as all bartenders know, it's much more than that!
It's a place to store the odd bar tool, somewhere to wipe your hands, and even to carry a pen. In fact, no bartender worth their salt would be without one.
With that in mind, here are is our guide to the top 9 bartending aprons, and some answers to your burning apron-related questions to finish...
First up on our list is this beautiful, high-quality luxury apron, and what an apron it is!
This bartender apron from Pear Tannery is made from the finest European leather, with durable buckles and straps. Such is the quality that you'll never have to worry about it falling apart mid service and embarrassing yourself.
Regarding its use, as a utility tool apron goes, this is right up there. Safely store any bar tools in the front pocket and fasten in yourself comfortably with the waist strap. But not only is the utility great, it's super stylish to wear! It won't matter what type of bartender you are.
For us, this is a safe choice and surely one of the best bartender aprons out there!
Looking for some denim? Maybe you dig double denim? In that case, you'll probably love this denim bartender apron...
Suiting those seeking a modern look and perhaps something a little more relaxed, this contrast denim number is sure to fulfill those needs. Its contrast aspect adds an industrial and slightly edgy vibe to the apron, sure to compliment informal bartender outfits.
Even though it's a unique apron style, it's still fully functional. Bartenders will have two different pockets to choose from with this apron (front and side), so no need to worry about space. It's a real all-rounder.
Go denim and never look back...
At number 3 is a beautifully crafted twill apron, complete with leather trim. If you're wondering what twill is, we'll save you from googling it. It's essentially fabric that has a diagonal pattern. This makes the material incredibly durable and tough. So, if you want an apron that can put up with the stresses of a bar service, this could be for you!
But it also comes with a dollop of style, too. The leather detailing, cotton straps and vintage brass buckles make this a stunner. What's more, it's a split apron, meaning it allows for a bit more movement during use. Excellent for those behind-the-bar lunges...
When it comes to bartender aprons, you can't go wrong with this bad boy.
This is our first wax covered canvas apron of the list, and it's another beauty!
Coloured honey green, the pattern on the apron is something we can only describe as similar to when light dances on a placid lake (seriously, it's a really nice pattern). This is contrasted well with the leather pockets, of which there are plenty to choose from!
What we like best about this bartender apron are its pockets. Yes, it has the standard front pocket and some side pockets but it's the smaller holds just above these pockets that are the game-changers. Shaped like a cylinder, it's perfect to store long-handled bar tools, like a bar spoon. It's these little added extras that really make the apron stand out.
Just to finish, it's worth noting that it can also be personalised! Whether it's your name or small design feature, Mental Syndicate are happy to accommodate your ideas!
For a bit of variety, we thought we'd add in an apron not made of leather, canvas or even denim. This one's for any linen lovers out there, or those of you working behind the bar in hot climates.
The artisan apron will look great on men or women, because of its chef shape design, so all you'll have to do is make sure you get the right size and the fit will take care of itself! The comfort and ease of wear is boosted with the linen adjustable strap and the option for a wider fit, if necessary.
Just like the last bartending apron, The Prancing Hare also offers custom aprons, giving it that little personal touch. Delightful!
Out of all the bartender aprons on our list, this could be the most unique.
Made from a resistant printed canvas, it's a good apron that can withstand almost all stains, making it perfect for bartending. It comes with some silver piping and adjustable rope straps that connect to the leather shoulder straps. As far as bartender aprons go, it's a really high quality, unique product.
It's also fitted out with a really nifty hoop where you can attach items like a bottle opener or even your key fob for the bar till. In terms of utility, comfort and style this one is very high up on our list of best bartender aprons.
As an added USP, this particular apron is eco-friendly and animal skin-free. Start an eco revolution in bartending by sporting this attire today!
As far as the leather aprons go, we've reached our last recommendation. Sad, but I'm sure the vegans will be happy.
A quality apron with a whole host of positive reviews left by happy customers, it's a smart, lightweight choice for bartenders working in mixology bars, we'd say. By using 100% leather in the straps, the fit is incredibly comfortable, as well as stylish.
With pockets to spare, there's no risk of you losing vital pieces of equipment during a busy happy hour. It's these exact features (the pockets, weight and utility) that make it great for mixologists, who don't need any unnecessary distractions when creating the next masterpiece!
Stay smart and sensible with this canvas and leather apron.
This bartender apron is yet another very durable and functional number, thanks to its thick material. Made with a leather cross back design, it's also going to meet your style needs. We can see the at-home bartender wearing this design, but one who still likes to experiment a little. Sounds like you? This could be your perfect match.
What's even better is that is can be customised, which quite frankly makes it look really smart on the wearer.
Those lucky guys at Under NY Sky get a second mention on the list. We'll wait for our cheque, thanks...
Jokes aside, it's another top bartender apron from them. Fit with some extra large pockets, this handcrafted apron provides you with all the endurance you expect and need from an apron! Throw in some style, with a stitched outline pattern and you've got yourself a decent product, fulfilling multiple needs.
Everything is designed with ease in mind. The lower side pockets are neither too low nor high, meaning they're great for easy reach. The same can be said for the set of four pockets on the chest, which can safely store any smaller, easily-lost items.
Bartend with style (and sense) with this final recommendation!
The final verdict
It's a tough, tough question but we'd probably say the winner is number 1 - the luxury leather apron by Pear Tannery.
It's the best of all the leather aprons on our list with its high-quality craftmanship in both the main apron body and straps. It's also a comfy fit with adjustable straps to fasten yourself in for that long evening shift. Lastly, (and most importantly) this apron is super stylish and professional looking. It's fair to say that this apron succeeds in just about every job it needs to do!
Honourable mentions go to number 4 and 6, respectively!
FAQs about bartending aprons
What are the best qualities in a bartending apron?
The best qualities in bartender aprons are: durability, comfort, style and utility.
If you take all of these qualities into account then you'll be able to find the best bartender apron for you. But why are these important?
Durability: You want an apron to last and not fall apart after one shift. A lot can happen behind that bar, so having the tools to deal with it is key. This quality is a must-have!
Comfort: Being a bartender can be exhausting. You're sweating and on your feet for the whole shift. You need some comfort! If you're wearing an apron that doesn't quite fit or is itchy, then this is no good. So, make sure to try before you buy.
Want to feel even more comfy when bartending? Find out which are the best bartender shoes...
Style: Whether you like it or not, being a bartender requires you to look good. Don't choose an apron that's totally off brand for you or the bar. Bartenders' aprons are actually quite stylish these days, so get inspired!
Utility: What's the point of an apron, if it doesn't have use? Aprons can have all manner of pockets to store every bar tool imaginable. Choosing an apron with good utility means never losing your muddler again!
Why do bartenders wear aprons?
There are three reasons behind why bartenders wear aprons.
The first is because bartending can get messy. You're working with spirits, liqueurs, syrups, soft drinks and food, to name just a few ingredients. Having that apron protects your clothes and keeps all the mess in one area.
The second reason is for storage. Most bartending aprons come with pockets, meaning bar tools can be easily stored. Instead of reaching around for tools on the bar and forgetting where you've left them, everything is on your person. Wearing an apron makes bartending much easier!
The last reason is style. Aprons these days have style and fashion in mind when making them. There's an apron out there for every style of bartender. This can give some form of uniformity for the bar staff and present a professional look.
Do bartenders wear aprons?
Not all bartenders do, but nowadays, wearing an apron is definitely back in fashion within the bartending world. It must be said that you're more likely to see one at a concept or high-class bar, rather than an old man's bar down the street. Nevertheless, most bartenders do wear aprons.
What kind of aprons do bartenders wear?
Bartenders wear many different types of apron, the likes of which are included in our list above. The most popular apron styles are leather and canvas, however denim is making a comeback. Many bartenders also choose custom aprons to add their own personal touch.
Designs can come in many forms with different materials. It could be a wax-coated canvas or a standard canvas material accompanied by leather straps and pockets. If it's denim, you could go for a rescue denim or, again, the standard denim material. Bartender aprons are usually made from multiple materials, so shop around and you'll find your the perfect one...
Learn about our bartending courses and how we can help kickstart your bartending career... You'll be wearing an apron in no time.