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The Margetta Apron

The Modern Margetta

For nearly two centuries butchers in Brechinne have been noted for their distinctive aprons. Though they have hardly been standardized, and one may find numerous variations in the details, one layout has become iconic in its ubiquity: a brown leather vest, fastened along the right side with a series of brass buckles (four on the side, two on the shoulder,) with a front panel which falls to the wearer's shins, and and three stalks of lavender painted upon the right shoulder, just below the buckles.

Of Arnish Origin

Despite it's current name and reputation, the Margetta apron predated its namesake by over a hundred years, and wasn't even invented in Brechinne, rather the apron derived from the naval uniforms of the late Arnish Empire which featured both a sharply cut waist and side fastenings (though at the time these were buttons.) Sailors would often supplement their food supplies with fresh caught fish, the larger of which would be strung up on deck to be cleaned, with the one handling the knife, rather understandably, removing their uniform coat before setting to work. While unable to stop this practice in its entirety, the admiralty felt that it reflected poorly on the navy to have sailors on deck in anything less than full uniform, and so had each ship equipped with three special coats modified to be leather, sleeveless, and with an built-in apron, so as to be easier too wash.   It was from this point that the apron came to Brechinne, and, in fact, most of the eastern coast of the mainland, when the remnants of the navy fled to their former colonies following the destruction of Arne. Those who settled along the coast brought their traditions with them and for a few decades it was not uncommon to see fishmongers wearing Margettas, though they began to fall out of favor with the second and third generations of Arnish refugees.  

The Princess

It is quite likely that if it were not for Princess Margetta, the apron which bears her name would have been forgotten entirely. Similarly, if it weren't for the apron Margetta would likely also be lost to history. She was the Brechinne King's eighth child, and so she was not bound for the throne without a great amount of either ill fortune on her sibling's part or treachery on hers, so instead of engaging with politics at all, Margetta took up a life of idleness. It was in a seaside villa that she first came across the apron and fell in love with it, some 75 years after the fall of Arne. The princess immediately had her own commissioned for use after one of her many hunts, although, being far wealthier and flashier than whichever ancient fishmonger she had originally seen the the apron on, hers was dyed purple, with gold painted trim, buttons replaced with much trendier buckles, and a small loop on the right shoulder where she would keep a small bunch of flowers or pleasant smelling herbs. Over the years there were many hunts and many friends and imitators across Brechinne with their own version of Margetta's apron, until the fashion passed from nobles to gamekeepers, and then finally back to the peasantry, though now more associated with land animals than sea. Very little of the aprons design has changed since then, save for Margetta's flower loop being replaced with a painted image of flowers (most commonly Brechinne lavender) as well as most butchers being content to stick to brown leather.   While this is the end of the historical aspects to the Margetta apron, it should be noted that at the moment the fashion is currently spreading beyond Brechinne due, in large part, to the popularity of M. Garrant's novel The Seven Heirs of Sonne in which the hero is dressed as a butcher during the climactic duel. Only time will tell whether or not this surge in popularity will last; if it does the Margetta apron may be facing its next iteration, maybe even once again being removed from its national identity.
Item type
Clothing / Accessory

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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
7 May, 2021 17:14

Very interesting history :D So the princess was the one who butcher the animal she killed during the hunt?

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13 May, 2021 14:34

Interesting read! A really well thought out history and nice story as to how it was revived by the princess. I also like the idea how the original lavendel became painted later on.

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26 May, 2021 22:49

Lovely article! I love the history behind this one article of clothing. It develops very nicely.

30 May, 2021 16:20

Nice origin story, a fun way to leave a legacy.

4 Jun, 2021 14:24

This is a very nice article, I find the history of it to be very nice and in depth. I like how it comes from the apron of a naval uniform, that’s a very interesting way for an outfit involving a butcher’s apron to evolve. Then, for it to go to a princess was great as well, and it spreading thanks to a novel is really interesting as well.

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6 Jun, 2021 21:47

Very interesting evolution of the garment and its movement through the classes, as well as its current expansion

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