I blame June Cleaver. Or maybe 1950s advertising in general, with their perfect housewives doing laundry in freshly-done hair and high heels. Or perhaps sunspots. All I know is, somebody has to pay for putting out the idea that doing housework in a housedress is ludicrous. In fact, I think that if you have to do something messy, unrewarding, and unpleasant, you might as well do it in a loose, airy, comfortable cotton housedress, which has plenty of extra fabric to wipe your hands on, dries faster than a pair of old jeans, and still looks neat and tidy if you have to answer the door mid-task or run to the hardware store for another essential doohickey. And you won't feel like changing when the job is over and it's time to put your feet up and drink lemonade.
There are still a couple of places where you can buy old-fashioned housedresses, like the ads in the back of Parade magazine and the Vermont Country Store, but they tend to be, at best, half-polyester, skimpy, and with inadequate pockets, nothing like this adorable example. Click on the image (from Klassic Line Vintage Clothing and Costume) to see more pictures, so you can ooh and aah over the positioning of the stripes and the rickrack trim. It's B40/W30 and is $75 … I'm not recommending you spend $75 on a dress to do dishes in, but if you see one in a thrift store for a couple of bucks (and you ever have occasion to do a bit of light housework) you might consider picking one up and trying it out.