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We admit it: We?re not the tidiest home cooks. We?re forever spattering oil or spice on our clothes, yet we never want to wear an apron, since they?re either boringly blah or embarrassingly frilly.

That?s all changed since we discovered a new selection of ultracool aprons from Los Angeles-based Hedley & Bennett. These aprons, which we first spotted at some of our city?s hottest restaurants (including Bäco Mercat and Animal), are as utilitarian as they are fashion-forward. That?s because they?re designed by kitchen professional Ellen Bennett, a line cook at Providence, whose aesthetic can be summed up as traditional with a twist.

Bennett says she?s as inspired by the colors of Kate Spade as she is by the input from her growing number of client restaurants, who custom-order extra pockets and other refinements. Honestly, we?re not sure how we could make the offerings on her website any better--bright linenJapanese, selvage and colored denimclassic stripes and more. Shapes are either waist-tied bistro or bib, and prices run from $50 to $98 depending on fabric cost. 

Now we?re extra-excited to cook, with yet another way to show off our good taste.

Hedley & Bennett aprons are available Mozza 2 Go, 6610 Melrose Ave.; 323-297-1130 or

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