Sartorial Saturday–A Year of Dirndl-Wearing

In 2021, I received my first (and second) dirndls. Throughout the course of the year, I added two more, and now in addition to the four dirndls, I have a total of nine aprons, four dirndl blouses, and a whole bunch of fun accessories. I didn’t get them to just have them hang in my closet, though, so I made a point of dirndl-ing up at least once a month this year. I’ve worn Heiligen Tracht for Easter and Christmas, I’ve traveled to Chicago in one, and I was able to wear a dirndl to Oktoberfest and Grant’s Farm for the first time (among other places). Here’s a look back at my year of dirndl-wearing.

And a closer look at some of my favorite dirndl accessories (including lots of edelweiss!):

I’m looking forward to wearing my dirndls to even more places this year!

Sartorial Saturday…On a Sunday–Festive Fashion in the Deep Freeze

Merry Christmas!

Time for a look at this year’s festive fashion, heavily influenced by the Arctic weather we’ve been having. The chill made warm clothing a must on Christmas Eve, so I added a cape and beret (and red tights), to my usual Christmas dress. I also added a Christmas Splendette stack, my favorite sparkly Christmas brooch, and equally sparkly silver shoes.

Even at home, I had to dress with the cold in mind, so I threw a cardigan on over my Miss Candyfloss dressing gown:

The faux fur collar on my cape is removable, so I changed up its look on Christmas Day. This time I wore a Rare Dirndl and my new Christmas apron, plus a flower crown that arrived just in time for Christmas. I accessorized with edelweiss, a brand-new Homes bracelet, and some Erstwilder brooches:

I kind of enjoyed having truly cold weather for Christmas, especially since it allowed me to dress a little differently this year!

Sartorial Saturday–Snowbound

It’s time to think about festive fashion!

I spent much of the fall eagerly anticipating the preview of the new holiday apron from Rare Dirndl, and I was not disappointed…the reindeer apron is perfect for not just Christmastime, but all winter! I love that farmhouses and bunnies join the reindeer on the snowy background:

I chose edelweiss accessories, as I usually do when I wear a dirndl, but made sure to cover the Christmas colors of red and green as much as possible:

Here’s a closer look at my necklace duo, both from Rare Dirndl:

I chose to pair the apron with “Die Heimat” dirndl for these pictures, but I’m also looking forward to wearing it with the Herbology dirndl in the (not too distant) future:

I love the red ties on the apron, and I added a red ribbon to lace up the front of the dirndl, too:

I love how the pops of red stand out!

Red tights and sparkly silver shoes complete the look:

This just screams “Christmas in Germany,” don’t you think?

Frohe Weihnachten!

Oktoberfest (Finally!)

It’s a little later in the month than I would have preferred, but today we finally had our annual Markel Family Oktoberfest! It was a beautiful day, and I thought it was very fitting that we sung a hymn in church this morning that I remember my dad singing in German while I played the piano when I was a child.

I was excited to have a dirndl and lots of edelweiss accessories to wear this year:

When we got home from church, we had our traditional Oktoberfest lunch of fondue with brats, German pickles, and homemade pretzels:

I made most our dinner of schnitzel, spaetzle, rotkohl, and sauerkraut from scratch (the sauerkraut was the only store-bought item).

For dessert I made our favorite Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte:

Oktoberfest is a lot of work…like an actual holiday’s amount of work. But it is a holiday for us, and I love having a way share my heritage with my family!

Sartorial Saturday–Oktoberfest

For the first time, I had national dress to wear to Oktoberfest! I went with my newest piece from Rare Dirndl, the Herbology dirndl, and I dressed it up with my fanciest apron:

I planned my outfit carefully, including some lovely Edelweiss accessories and a not-quite-Alpine hat:

I even painted my nails in lovely fall colors for the occasion!

I decided to try something different when it came to footwear…I went with ankle boots, and I love how they went with the outfit!

I’m really happy with how this look came together!

Here’s a pair of photos from the event:

And some pictures of the event itself:

It was so much fun to be able to dress for the occasion!

Sartorial Saturday–My Favorite Things

“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things.”

The Herbology Dirndl from Rare Dirndl is my fourth dress from them, and it’s the one that most makes me feel like I’ve stepped right out of a scene in The Sound of Music. There’s something about the blue and brown dirndl combined with the plaid apron that just screams frolicking through the Alps to me!

I love the foliage print apron ties!

I also love that this particular style takes some inspiration from Professor Sprout…that makes my Hufflepuff heart happy!

I accessorized with lots of edelweiss (hair clip, earrings, and necklace), plus some beaded bracelets:

I think this will be a great look for fall!

But wait there’s more! When I placed my order, Rare Dirndl was running a special that included a bonus lace apron. According to my middle daughter, this particular pairing makes me look like Cinderella!

There’s such a lovely elegance to a lace apron.

It has the same beautiful foliage print ties as the plaid apron:

But I couldn’t just leave it at that, right? As soon as I saw the colors of the dirndl in person, I knew I had to pair it with my deer print apron from “Die Heimat” dirndl:

That, of course, meant a slight change in accessories, because a deer print apron calls for a bold Hirsch necklace!

This look is just as great as the first two…I love having the ability to mix and match aprons (I have a total of eight of them for my four dirndls).

The best thing about this dirndl is how absolutely versatile it is, and I have yet another styling in mind that I’m planning on trying out for Oktoberfest!

Sartorial Saturday–The Rare Dirndl Design Studio

Last week, Bunny and I got to visit Erika Neumayer’s Rare Dirndl Design Studio in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago!

It’s a small studio, which is why you need an appointment to visit, but they pack a lot of great items into the space, including jewelry and other accessories, dirndls, blouses, and even their denim lederhosen! You also get a look at the design space, plus some of the special items they’re working on.

While we were there, Erika showed me a poster she had on display at German Fest in Milwaukee at the end of July. You can imagine how tickled I was to see myself featured front and center!

Bunny was searching for a necklace to go with her dirndl (she found a great one that’s just her style!), but I didn’t have anything too specific I was shopping for. I did have something in mind that I wanted but I wasn’t even sure it existed…a fancy zipper pull to add a little extra bling to my dirndls. I was thrilled to discover Rare Dirndl had just what I had imagined! I picked up a beautiful heart and flower design that I can add to any of my dirndls (but I especially like the way it looks with my periwinkle Everyday Dirndl!):

It was so great to tour the studio (we even got to peek in the basement!), do a little shopping, learn about more about the design process, and especially meet Erika, her adorable children who were helping out that day, and Maria, the studio manager, who kindly took our picture:

I’m so glad we got to stop at the studio when we were in the city!

Sartorial Saturday–An Apron with a Conscience

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

When I first saw the Rare Dirndl Lemonade Stand apron, I thought it was pretty. But when I learned that the proceeds from the aprons were going to Alex’s Lemonade Stand to benefit pediatric cancer research, I knew that it wasn’t just pretty, it was also a piece of clothing with a conscience!

I actually didn’t have my purple dirndl in mind when I ordered the apron…at least not for my first styling. But when I saw the lovely color in the flowers, a faint pinkish-purple, I knew that it would be perfect…and I really love purple and yellow together, too!

I went with lots of edelweiss accessories:

It’s such a summery look!

I’d love to see Rare Dirndl do more charity aprons in the future…it’s a great way for me to support both a small business and a good cause!

Hoppy Bunny Day!

Today was a Very Special Day, because it’s Bunny’s 18th birthday! I can’t believe I have another adult “child!”

We waited until this afternoon for present opening:

I was so excited for her to open her present from us, because we bought her her very first dirndl!

As she has for the last few years, she requested Stromboli for her birthday dinner:

And this year’s bunny cake was decorated to look like the March Hare from Alice in Wonderland (the frosting was way more brown than it photographed).

We had a great time celebrating her today…I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store!

Sartorial Saturday…on a Monday?–International Flair for Pentecost

On Easter, I wondered which holiday would be my next dirndl holiday. Well, I didn’t have to wait long…50 days, to be exact! I decided there is no better church holiday for dirndl-wearing than Pentecost, the day when the Holy Spirit came to Jesus’ disciples, and the Word came to people of all backgrounds who spoke many different languages. I even managed to work red, the traditional liturgical color for Pentecost, into my look for the day!

Now that we’re entering the endless green season of the church year, I won’t have church holidays for dirndl-wearing for a bit, but I’m still planning on finding at least one opportunity each month to wear a dirndl!