How to Wear the Apron



Should the Apron be worn on the outside or the inside of the jacket?

In the Grand Lodge of New York,

The Masonic Apron should be fully visible and unobscured by clothing. In the Grand Lodge of New York, it is therefore worn outside a fastened jacket in all circumstances, unless worn with a cutaway such as a black formal tailcoat for full evening dress. The strings are tied at the front under the flap. Sartorially, we note that the jacket must be unfastened if the Apron is worn inside, and that a suit jacket, blazer, or odd jacket is meant to be worn fastened when standing (unless worn with a vest). A Brother whose unbuttoned jacket hangs open with the front panels flopping around looks untidy and/or inappropriately casual for our settings. While it’s true that Masons depicted in old paintings and photographs have their Aprons inside their jackets, one may note that they are dressed in open cutaways. Some Lodges and jurisdictions require Aprons to be worn inside the jacket in an attempt to preserve what they regard as the “traditional way of wearing the Apron,” but men haven’t worn cutaways unless in full formal dress for over a hundred years. As sartorial styles and traditions have evolved over the centuries, the manner of wearing the Apron should accommodate that evolution. Otherwise, let’s get out the shoe buckles and knee breeches for our meetings.

The answers provided here reflect GLNY customs, rules, and ritual. We welcome discussion about how these may differ in your jurisdiction.

Response provided by RW Samuel Lloyd Kinsey
Chairman, Custodians of the Work, Grand Lodge of New York

Note: This site is an excellent source of information about Freemasonry. While every effort has been made to provide accurate and up-to-date information about Masonic Ritual, please remember that a website is not a substitute for your jurisdiction’s Standard Work or Approved Ritual.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey