When I was a little girl, my mother always wore an apron when she cleaned. It seemed so practical! Well here are a few forgotten practical smock-frocks and smock-aprons!
A smock-frock or smock is an outer garment traditionally worn by rural workers, especially shepherds in parts of England and Wales from the early eighteenth century. Today, the word smock refers to a loose overgarment worn to protect one's clothing, for instance by a painter.
The traditional smock-frock is made of heavy linen or wool and varies from thigh-length to mid-calf length. Characteristic features of the smock-frock are fullness across the back, breast, and sleeves folded into "tubes" (narrow unpressed pleats) held in place and decorated by smocking , a type of surface embroidery in a honeycomb pattern across the pleats that controls the fullness while allowing a degree of stretch. - Wikipedia
Here is a tutorial on how to sew a smock apron.