The End of Summer Blow-Out

On Thursday, we chased one last wild hair of mine for the summer, and drove up to Chicago for the day. We had a few goals, starting with visiting Buckingham Fountain, which we didn’t get to do in May…it was just as grand as I remembered it!

The place we really wanted to spend time at, though, was Navy Pier, the last really big thing on my list of Chicago things to share with the Fab Five. We walked all the way around it, and we couldn’t have asked for a nicer day to do it…it was in the 70s with a beautiful lake breeze!

Seeing the anchor from the USS Chicago is kind of amazing…you just don’t realize the scale of the size of one until you see it for yourself!

The views from the Pier are amazing!

I also finally got to reunite some of my Homes Bracelets with the place they represent…Lake Michigan!

There was no way we could do all of the things, so I picked one big attraction…the Centennial Wheel. It is very similar in size to the Ferris wheel in St. Louis, but the views of the skyline and Lake Michigan are a lot more impressive than anything we have here in the Lou!

We stopped for Rainbow Cones after our ride. I really prefer the original Beverly location, because it has so much character, but the scenery made the five flavors taste even better!

We walked over to Polk Bros. Park just across the street:

We also shared a burger from the Billy Goat Tavern, just so we could say we had one:

And then we walked back through the mall and to the end of the Pier again:

I will never tire of the view!

The other big reason for our trip north was so that Bunny and I could visit the Rare Dirndl design studio, located in the Lincoln Square neighborhood, which is a really cool place! We toured the studio, did some shopping, and most importantly of all, got to meet and talk to the designer, Erika Neumayer!

On the way home, we stopped at Portillo’s, as is our tradition:

I’m not going to lie…it was a lot of time to spend in the car in one day (although we certainly had days that were longer on our vacation!), but it was worth it to get to see Chicago one more time before the end of the summer!

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!

Sartorial Saturday–Dirndl Blouses

As I’ve been collecting dirndls from Rare Dirndl to add to my wardrobe, I’ve also been collecting dirndl blouses. If you’ve never worn a dirndl blouse before, they’re kind of a unique item…they’re (usually) an extreme form of a crop top, often with a drawstring at the bottom so you can decide how much coverage you want.

I now have four blouses…three white and one black. Two of my white blouses are lace, and I think they’re my very favorite, because they have such a traditional look. The other two blouses both have puff sleeves, which is really fun! I love how switching out the blouse can give a dirndl a totally different look…it allows for so many more styling options!

Sartorial Saturday–The Crystal Apron

Last year, I ordered a fun, whimsical apron from Rare Dirndl to change up the look of one of my dirndls for Christmas. I’ve added a second special apron to my wardrobe, but instead of being bright and fun, this one is glamorous and elegant, words I didn’t know could be used to describe an apron!

Here’s a close-up of the beautiful beading…it really sparkles in the sunlight!

When I first saw this apron, I thought that it wouldn’t go with anything in my wardrobe…until I thought about the color scheme of “Die Heimat,” which is the perfect backdrop for this stunning separate!

I love having a way to really dress up one of my dirndls!

Sartorial Saturday–The Everyday Dirndl

I’ve already shared my experiences with shopping for unique and beautiful dirndls with Rare Dirndl…now it’s time for a look at something a little more subtle from their shop, but still a form of National Dress that reflects my heritage!

Rare Dirndl offers an “Everyday Dirndl,” which has the same great structure and design as all of their dresses, but in a a solid color palette, where the apron matches the dress. There are also no hooks or ribbons on the front of the dress (although there is an option to add those for an additional fee), so at first glance, anyone who sees you out and about in your dirndl will think it’s a simple sundress…perfect for the first-time dirndl wearer!

I kept my accessories simple for this look, with some Homes Bracelets and a RockLove Nightmare Before Christmas necklace.

Oh, and my Docs, which are the perfect footwear for this dress!

I clearly have no qualms about wearing a full dirndl in public, but I had to get this more simple one because it’s my very favorite color, Pantone’s Color of the Year, periwinkle. The Everyday Dirndl is also available in a multitude of other colors, too, which vary by season.

Because the Everyday Dirndl is made in an easy-to-care-for fabric, you don’t have to worry as much about getting it dirty, since you can throw it in the washing machine!

The Everyday Dirndl is a made-to-order item, which means you have to be patient while it’s created, but that also means that it’s customizable which makes it feel even more one-of-a-kind! I’m looking forward to seeing what colors are available in the future, because you never know when you just need to add another dirndl to your closet!

Sartorial Saturday…On a Sunday–Heiligen Tracht For Easter

This Easter, I decided to go with something completely different, fashion-wise!

As I understand it, the Tyrol region of Austria has a tradition of “Heiligen Tracht,” holy folk-costume, which is traditional dress like this dirndl that is worn only for church holidays, not secular drinking days. As I have worn this dirndl almost exclusively to church, and never to a drinking festival, I thought it fit the bill perfectly for Easter!

Instead of my traditional “Easter bonnet,” I paired it with a flower crown, as well as an edelweiss necklace and wrap bracelet. All these flowers are perfect for spring!

I love how the whole look came together…the lace dirndl blouse is perfect for spring!

I’ve now worn a dirndl for Christmas and Easter…which holiday will be my next dirndl holiday?

Sartorial Saturday–My Three Styles

I have come to realize that my personal style falls into three categories (when I’m not bumming around the house in my jammies, that is!).

There’s the “Let me grab my hat and gloves. Is my petticoat full enough? Pearls go with everything!” 1950s style.

Then there’s the somewhat related, because it’s also a fashion flashback, “I’m still living in the 90s in my overalls” style.

And finally, the newest look I’ve been sporting, the “Does this dirndl make me look Austrian/German enough?” national dress style.

I think it’s interesting that my personal fashion falls into such distinct categories, and that those categories are such a great reflection of who I am!

Sartorial Saturday–My Favorite Festive Fashions

Now that even Epiphany has come and gone, I’m taking a look back at my favorite festive fashions of the 2021 Christmas season. I picked my favorite styling of each Christmas piece I have in my wardrobe (four skirts, a dress, and a dirndl apron), plus a photo of how I accessorized each:

Also, two bonus pictures that don’t really fit anywhere else…the dressing gown I wore on Christmas Eve, and a playful shot of one of my new Christmas brooches on my overalls against a candy cane-inspired background:

As much as I’m looking forward to mixing up my fashion a bit more in the coming weeks, I’m really going to miss my Christmas prints until it’s time to pull them out again!