I haven't, as a rule, been the kind of person to wear an apron while cooking. But that all changed once my daughter, now two-and-a-half, started getting involved. Whereas I know better than to wipe a batter-covered spoon directly onto my shirt, Aki has no compunctions about doing so. Rather than try to keep her from getting messy, or getting me messy (both losing causes, I'm pretty sure), I've started collecting mini aprons. My latest find is the sturdy linen "Lulu" apron from Washington, D.C.-based Marcy Butler Designs, which is so elegant, flattering, and well-made I bought one in my size, too.