The humble apron has got to be one of the most toyed with and embellished pieces of protective gear in human history. With classics like the 'kiss the cook' apron, to elaborate floral numbers complete with frills, to the old plastic boobs apron for Halloween and special family gatherings, it's easy to forget that aprons actually serve an important purpose in protection and utility. Indeed, it's these sorts of apron-offences that tend to give this hardworking garment such a dubious reputation.

But for everyone from your nan to nurses, painters to carpenters and farriers to chefs, the apron is an essential day-to-day bit of gear for those who live and work in a more hands-on sort of way.

Swedish bag brand Sandqvist decided to acknowledge and elevate the unassuming apron by joining forces with Swedish chef, restaurateur and television star Niklas Ekstedt to create the next level in aprons: the Ekstedt. Endowed with 18oz of cotton canvas, leather straps, appliance/tool/utensil holders, brass rivets, and even a nametag pocket, the Ekstedt is beautifully crafted for heavy-duty work in the kitchen, patio or great outdoors. Even though Sandqvist has always drawn inspiration from their Nordic surrounds in the mountains, lakes and icy, uninhabited plains, the Ekstedt apron is obviously ideal for one of Australia's favourite pastimes – the barbecue.

Perfect for prepping that slab of meat for the roast, chopping up some wood for the fire and getting a perfect sear on the produce, the Ekstedt will have you covered in understated, non-frilly, non-floral and slickly utilitarian style. A proper, grown-up apron, fit for all of you barbecue kings and queens.

Ekstedt aprons are available at The Standard Store and come with a live-fire cooking recipe booklet by Niklas Ekstedt.

sandqvist.net