I made this cute smock from an XXL men’s shirt from the thrift store. I have a tutorial for a different version of recycling a men’s shirt into a smock. This time I did something more complicated and I’m really excited about the results.
Smocks are an essential part of a post apocalyptic wardrobe. They were also an essential part of most pre-80′s wardrobes. Back when clothes were more precious, they were made better, and people had this idea that they should be protected from the grime of creativity and work. Who wears smocks and aprons? Painters, cooks, welders, butchers, food preservers, gardeners, farmers (sometimes), woodworkers, fish mongers, housekeepers, and me.
Any person of action and/or creativity needs to protect their clothes and do it in the most stylish manner possible. I believe in putting on lipstick to clean the house. I believe in playing folk songs on my accordion to serenade bread dough (to make it rise higher). I believe in blasting opera while gardening or making jam. I believe in blasting Laibach’s cover of “I Me Mine” while scrubbing the floor. I believe in looking natty while foraging mushrooms near the misty forest floor.
When I was 17 years old I went to a standing room only opera dressed to the nines in a 1940′s inspired outfit, gloves and ALL, and ended up standing next to this really old man who was dressed in a pressed western shirt and slacks with his hair pomaded in place. This man was easily 90 years old and leaning on a cane. He told me he gave his seat to a young girl who was at the opera for the first time in standing room only. He said no one should see their first opera standing up. He told me he loved that I dressed up like people used to do. Watching the opera standing next to this old gent was the best opera experience I ever had.
I’m a casual person. I tend not to do what’s “proper” or expected unless it makes good sense to me. Tradition means very little to me as an institution. It’s only meaningful to me if it’s worthy in a modern setting to keep it alive. Dressing up for the opera is something I GET. You probably do too. Most modern people don’t get dressing up to do chores. Why wear a smock over a dress to cook in or clean house in?
If you can’t blast music because you live in an apartment or a super stuffy neighborhood – you can stash an MP3 player in your smock pocket and listen on headphones. So I suggest if you don’t have a smock – make one or buy one of mine!
You can buy this smock at my Etsy shop:
Wanna know what my cleaning playlist is these days? Here’s what’s on it right now:
Respect – Aretha Franklin
I Want To Hold Your Hand – The Beatles
Help! – The Beatles
I Want You – Bob Dylan
The Quest – Bryn Christopher
Rie Y Llora – Celia Cruz
Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps – Doris Day
Rocket Man – Elton John
Like a Prayer – Madonna
Fairytale of New York – The Pogues
Bella Biao – from the album “Italia; A Festival of Music”
I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
Dancing Queen – ABBA
Volare – Dean Martin
Mambo Italiano – Rosemary Clooney
And a new addition just for scrubbing the toilet to:
Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi – Carl Orff