Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Brrrrr! 3 Best Sweater Styles to Compliment Your Dirndl

I have spent many an Oktoberfest shivering and cranky because I was cold. Living in Chicago, I never know what the weather will bring, but I can always be sure that if its anytime between September and May... I'll need to bring a sweater just in case.

But most sweaters don't work well with most dirndls. I've been in the middle of the sweater vs dirndl battle for a long time and I've found the three best sweater styles to compliment your dirndl!

1) Loose, Light Weight and Relaxed Fit: Jersey knit draped style sweater works very well with dirndls. Sweaters like the Thrill Zone Cardigan, from Modcloth.com, work great because they are open in the front which doesn't hide the detailing. Many dirndls, including most Rare dirndl have lots of detail work on the front which is why you love it in the first place! Loose fitting sweaters are also more comfortable when wearing a puff sleeve blouse. Tight sleeves can leave your upper arm bumpy, lumpy, and just plain uncomfortable. That's why I like my loose fit, draped sweater.

2) A Black Cropped Sweater: Cropped sweaters are not always easy to find, so when I see one I grab it! I wear my black cropped sweater most often and it looks very similar to The Dream of the Crop Cardigan (also from Modcloth.com). The skirts on most dirndls and all Rare dirndls start at the natural waist, so the cropped style is a perfect fit because the bodice of the dirndl and this sweater stop at the waist, making it is a simple, classic look. Left unbuttoned allows you to show off the details of your dirndl as well.

3) Big and Bold: Big statement sweaters are typically my last resort, but its a great back up plan. When I wear my dirndls and I know that I'm going to be really chilly, I wear something like the Rare Dirndl Long Sweater. This is a larger sweater that has its own little German details. Sometimes you can't help having to cover up your dirndl... so my opinion is, if you have to cover it, cover it with something just as fabulous!

The toughest part about wearing sweaters with dirndls is getting a nice fit with the natural waist, not hiding the details of dirndl, or just staying warm! Thats why I love all three styles of sweaters to go with my dirndls. What is your favorite sweater to wear with your dirndls? Feel free to comment below, I'm always looking for more ways to stay warm!

If your looking for not only the perfect sweater, but also the perfect dirndl... take the quiz to find out which dirndl style fits your personality? "What Dirndl Style Are You?"

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Special Pre-production Pricing!

I'm going into production on the Last Kiss Vest next week Monday. This vest is black lace over black polyester poplin fabric with adorable edelweiss buttons. It goes great with just about any blouse and any skirt. I wear this vest all the time and its my go to when trying to mix in my regular clothes with my trachten.

Regularly $165, you can get the pre-production price of $99. Place your online order for this vest from now until Monday at 10pm. Keep in mind, this is pre-production... so your vest will be shipped in approximately 6-8 weeks.

This is the perfect time to get a brand new simple black vest that I guarantee you'll get tons of use out of!

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Shop In Studio!

Approximately 1 year ago, plans for the Rare Dirndl Design Studio started to come about. It took a lot of time, creativity and patience... and its still not finished! The bathroom still needs to finished and there are little things here and there to be done to the main space before I can have an official grand opening weekend.
The afternoon shadow in the studio highlighting the address, 5051 N. Lincoln Ave
But that doesn't mean you can come and visit! I'm open by appointment only because Rare Dirndl is still a one woman show. If I need to run to the store, meet with my pattern makers or take a break for lunch, I can't leave the doors open. Also, probably the greatest part of my job is have the flexibility to run out at any time to help a friend, take my grandparents to the doctor & grocery shopping, or take a day to refocus and regroup my scatterbrain.
Inside the studio... still stuff to do 
I'm super excited to announce that Rare Dirndl now has a phone number! You can call anytime to schedule an appointment to come to shop, schedule a fitting, or simply see the space. You can also e-mail erika@erikaneumayer.com

The number is (312) 806-5099.

Its not up on the website because I'm also working on a re-design of my website with designer Greg Bandy

This picture was from July... Its here now!!
I look forward to hearing from you on my new line!

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

3 Great German Inspired Christmas Gift Ideas under $100!

Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but finding the perfect gift for those who love all things German might be difficult at times. I've got three great gifts ideas (under $100 from a variety of online stores) for just those people! And you might find something for yourself along the way...

#1. Jewelry- love a little Deutsches bling!

My 1st pick is from German Import House. The Edelweiss 3pc set includes a necklace, earrings and a bracelet and is $39.00. I love this set because it can be worn altogether or one piece at a time. The antique finish gives the pieces a vintage look and would look great with any outfit!
Edelweiss 3pc set

My 2nd pick is from the Schnitzel Shop. The German Flag glass pendant is a fun little gift with Sprechen Sie Deutsch on it. Only $12.00, it's a more casual necklace that would look great with a t-shirt and jeans.
German Flag glass pendant

#2. Leather- Not just about the lederhosen anymore

My 1st pick in this category is a Rare lederhosen bracelet! The Lederhosen Bracelet with Buckle is an adjustable leather cuff style bracelet that goes easily with any outfit. Made from lederhosen, this piece is soft, comfortable and only $20.00. It's the most popular of the lederhosen bracelets and I can see why!
The Lederhosen Bracelet with Buckle

My 2nd pick is the Square Lederhosen Purse. This purse is made from goat skin lederhosen and is a fabulous way to give a nod to your love for Germany with an accessory. At $94.00, this purse has a braided and buckle strap, button closure and functional outside pockets. Measuring approximately 15in x 12in and fully lined, this item is one of my all time favorites.
Square Lederhosen Purse
#3. Beer Stein- Classic gift for the man in your life!

My 1st pick in this category is this Stein depicting the Oktoberfest Clydesdale and Beer Wagon from Northcote Imports. I love this one because it has an antique look to it and trimming on the top includes edelweiss, pretzels and wurst! It holds 0.4 liters of beer and is $79.95.
Oktoberfest Clydesdale and Beer Wagon
My last pick is a different style glass mug from 1001 Beer Steins.com. The Glass Deutschland Beer Stein is $88.99 and features the fabulous colors of the German flag and pewter embossed appliqué depicting the German eagle. It holds 0.4 liters and is a really unique stein for anyone!

Glass Deutschland Beer 

So there you have it... 3 Great German inspired gift ideas and my top 2 picks in each category! Fröhliche Weihnachten everyone!

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Monday, November 26, 2012

It's My Golden Birthday!

Today is November 26th. And on this day in 1986, I was born, so today I turn 26.

Happy Golden Birthday!! Oh why thank you!

So today... simple... 26% off everything! Order anything online today get 26% back as a paypal refund within 24 hours. Dirndls, Men's Shirts, Sweaters, Sale Items... EVERYTHING!

I'm going to go enjoy my birthday by seeing my fabric rep and shop for fabric, then cutting some dirndl bodices for inventory and then having dinner with my family. Crab Legs!!!!!! So Excited!

So 26% off everything online to celebrate my golden birthday... and oh ya, cyber monday blah blah.

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Day to Give Thanks

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. When I was little it was simply because we celebrated my birthday on Thanksgiving and so I got presents!
My 5th Birthday! Loved Thanksgiving and PJ Sparkles!
However, now that I'm older, I love Thanksgiving because its a holiday just about family and friends and not about gifts, religion, or anyone in particular (even though my grandparents still bring me a card).
Not my best look, but its one of my favorite pictures! 
I have a lot to be thankful for, especially this year. I've moved from my parents dining room to my own studio and my business has grown and flourished. I am truly thankful that my family and friends have been so supportive of my crazy business venture. But I'm even more grateful for all of my loyal customers, followers and supporters.
As a thank you gift, I am offering a Free Hobo Hat with any purchase of $80.00 or more on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday! I'm not trying to trick you into buying my clothes, I am just genuinely grateful for my customers and so I'm offering one of my favorite new pieces as a gift.

Happy Thanksgiving from Rare Dirndl!

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Making Lederhosen Mainstream!

Lederhosen are a staple at Munich's Oktoberfest and a fashion symbol of Bavaria. Last year I received multiple requests for some of the iconic leather pants, so I did my research and brought some in! I ordered black Bundhosen (longer... just below the knee) and grey/olive Lederhosen. I thought I'd get the bundhosen in mens sizes and and the shorts in women's... but they came in more of a unisex size. The sizing wasn't European, and it wasn't really US sizing either. It was a bit of a mess... not gunna lie.
Lederhosen with Suspenders
Even with all the little issues, they were still very nice quality goat skin pants with detailed suspenders and fully lined. I had them with me on the road for a year and found that even though many people asked for them, not many were interested in buying them. I've had them for a year now, sold 1 pair, and I wasn't about to sit on 50 pairs for another year. So I repurposed them! Making them into fabulous items that can easily blend into mainstream society.

I'm so happy with the way the new Lederhosen purses turned out and from the response I had last weekend lots of other ladies are also digging the new look!

Even more popular are my little leather bracelets. These are a cute way to bring a little "German-ness" to any outfit. Their wrap style look goes well with the current layered look and are a super light weight and easy way to wear.

Always trying to keep up with trends, but also making sure that I stay in business by coming up with new ideas and creative ways to turn what I already have into something fabulous!

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Friday, November 2, 2012

International Fair and Wine Tasting

I'm so excited about next Sunday's (November 11th) International Fair and Wine Tasting! Sponsored by the American Aid Society's Frauengruppe, the event is sure to be a great one! They've got a great line up of vendors including SODA by Amy, Stella and Dot, Schumacher Imports, Thirty One gifts, Jewelry by Mary Beth, caro__ by caroline borucki (my good friend from college), and Me! But thats not all... I've only listed a few here and the Oma's are baking Christmas cookies!
Stella and Dot
SODA by Amy

I'm bringing lots of great things that would be the perfect Christmas gift for the German fashionista! Hats, gloves, sweaters and my new favorites the lederhosen purses and the Edelweiss Cardigan. The purses are selling quickly and I hope and I can keep up with the demand... and the cardigan, well if I don't keep them for myself, I foresee those being the "gotta have it" new item for winter and spring.
Small Lederhosen Purse
I've kinda been tooting my own horn here, huh? Well thats just because I am genuinely excited to offer these new items which I love and believe in to my favorite customers and hopefully some new ones!  Get your girlfriends together and make a day out of the International Fair. I promise you won't be disappointed, you'll get some Christmas shopping out of the way and I'm sure you'll find a gift or two for yourself as well.
Sweater Shawl (oldie but a goodie)
Each vendor is going to be donating an item for a raffle, so you could even win items from the vendors!   The item you can win from Rare... you'll have to come and see for yourself! Check out the Facebook event for more details. See you there!!!!

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

For the Fashionista and the Foodie

I'm very excited to announce that Rare and My Best German Recipes are teaming up this season to bring you the best of German fashion and food! Gabrielle, creator of the site, featured a great article about me and one of my favorite recipes that I learned from my Grandpa, Palatschinken! Among my friends there is always the constant debate... Palatschinken vs Palatschinka. Whatever you call it they are just plain yum-o!

What are Palatschinken? Crepes! or really zin pancakes. Since I was a little girl, we had them at home for breakfast with marmalade, syrup, or plain. But as an adult I've learned to enjoy them ALL DAY! And I just had them with Nutella and bananas and then Nutella and strawberries... o my... so good!

Am I making you hungry yet?
The key is keeping the pan super duper hot and lightly oiled. I actually use olive oil and I add a tiny bit before each one I make. I like mine really thin and crispy on the ends. I've gotten quite good at them if I do say so myself, but it never fails the first one always sucks... it breaks, its too thick, etc.

My Mom and the Palatschinken Master... Grandpa Jacob

For more yummy foods be sure to follow our Yummy board on Pinterest! Bis Spater... I'm hungry now, think some Frühstück is in order after all this Palatschinken talk!
Never a dull moment when I'm cooking!

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Calling all Rare Dirndl Lovers!

I'm putting together a special page on my website that will be a collection of photos of my fabulous customers showing off their own Rare Dirndls!

So heres how it works. In an e-mail to info@raredirndl.com answer these simple questions:

How many dirndls do you have?
What about your Rare Dirndl is different from your other dirndls?
What do you like most about your dirndl? (Fit, Style, Color etc)
How does your Rare Dirndl make you feel?
Other comments?

Then send a jpg photo of just yourself in your favorite Rare dirndl as well, like Karen did!

I'll only be able to choose a few photos for the website and to be posted on Facebook, so get your submissions in asap!

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Fall/Winter is Here!

After the photo shoot a few weeks back, I knew the shots were going to be great because I had such a fabulous team working with me! My lil' sis took her knowledge of fashion (from her personal style and her new job at Buckle) and mixed with her vast collection of jewelry to help accessorize the amazing Claire Shillingburg and Dylan Solon who modeled that day. Katherine Rally did, hands down, the most amazing hair and make-up! She always does good work, but this one took the cake. (took the cake... takes the cake... whatever, it was outstanding).
Kat's amazing work!

My boyfriend scoped out the perfect location, my dad set the stage and my mom kept us fed! Lets not forget about Mark Bappert who was busy taking video and last, but not least, (because without her it there would be nothing) Vanessa Buholzer of VKB Photography! We've worked together on many shoots and she is always amazing. Her editing after the shoot made the pics even more dramatic.
Monika, Kat, Vanessa and I working behind the scenes

Inspired by the Grunge Music movement that started in Seattle in the early 90s, I was going for a more melancholy, dramatic, "I don't give a flying f*ck" kind of look. We achieved that in spades and I couldn't be more proud to show my new collection, 'Beautiful, Dark Days' to the world!

Come as You Are sweater and Flannel Skirt with Brown Flannel Trachtenhemd

The pieces are titled after 90s grunge songs and its a mix of plaid, winter wear, lace and edge. Along with the dirndls, trachten shirts and skirts you'll find pieces like the "Come as You Are" sweater and "Deep Refection" pants that bring a great mix of ready-to-wear with the German style garments. 

Deep Reflection pants with Warrior vest and lace blouse
I seriously could look at the website home page with the rotating pics for days. I hope you enjoy this new collection as much as I loved creating it! All of the pieces are available online and (for sure after thanksgiving) you can make an appointment to come stop by the studio and see the garments in person.

Thanks for reading... here's my fav shot from the whole shoot for you to enjoy!

Black Hole Sun

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Friday, September 7, 2012

A Dash of Morning Perspective

Lets back track to last night... I got an online order from Germany for a dirndl that I just sold last weekend, so I was a bit frustrated because now I didn't have the dirndl in stock. Christian then looks over at me and says "can't you make another one?" "well, ya... but". Then he says to me "Isn't getting online orders a good thing? You should be super excited!" He was right!!! DUH!! I've got this dirndl going to Germany, so I guess I'm going back to the sewing machine next week!

Red Piranha Dirndl
Now on to this morning, as I drive from my apartment to work (at my parents house) I'm listening to the Eric and Kathy 36hr Radiothon and I heard a story about a little boy with a malignant brain tumor who passed away in 1995. He would have been 19 this year. This story hit me because... I am 25, a designer and business owner, and I am having a Grand (ish) Opening this weekend of my own studio space, and in 1996, it could have been over.

In December of 1996 my parents called 911 during the night because I was having a seizure. After 2 MRIs and finding nothing, my pediatrician pushed for one more MRI... and there it was, a brain tumor. Only about the size of a marble, but when your 10yr old has a brain tumor, for my parents it didn't matter how big it was... only that it was there. After surgery in January of 1997, Dr. Ruge took out the tumor and it turned out to be benign. Besides some anti seizure meds and regular MRIs... that tumor had met its match. 
Playing Dr a few weeks after surgery
Listening to the stories on the radio this morning just got me thinking about how lucky I was and still am. I have worked so hard for what I have, but at the same time... those around me have supported me from the time I was (somewhat hairless) and making rocks into dolls with my hot glue gun, to today making modern edgy dirndls for people all over the world. People thought I was crazy then... well I haven't changed!
My latest crazy idea... from start to finish
This isn't about making you support the radiothon, this isn't to try and make you feel bad for me that I had a tumor, this is just me writing because I thought it was important for me to put it out into the universe that I am happy to be alive and so excited to invite everyone to see the studio this weekend. 

Happy German Day Weekend!!!

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Grand (ish) Opening

This weekend is... GERMAN DAY!! German Day weekend in Chicago is 4 fabulous days of celebrating being German in Chicago and if you haven't noticed, I love being German! So this weekend I decided its about dang time we get some people over to see the new Studio/Boutique. However... you guessed it... its not finished.

So I'm calling it, The Rare Studio/Boutique Grand (ish) Opening. We are going to pop-up shop in the space on the sub-floor with photos of the transformation (so far) and some great products. You'll get to see a sneak peak at the Fall/Winter 2012 Collection, find out whats coming up for Rare and hang out amidst the construction! The address is 5051 N. Lincoln Ave. which is two doors north of Winnemac. From the fest grounds at Lincoln, Leland and Western, you would walk north on Western towards the McDonalds and turn onto Lincoln Ave. Its about another 5 minute walk from there and we are on the east side of the street (your right if you are walking up Lincoln from the fest). We will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 11am-8pm.
Fall 2012!
It'll will be a fun way to see whats going on and then you'll still be surprised on the actual Grand Opening Weekend. "When's that?" - ya... good question! I have no idea. At this point I firmly believe that I need to take my time to ensure that its done right, I can't rush it.

Trying to "un-squeekify" the floor
Thank you all so very much for your support and patience. I look forward to seeing you all this weekend!!! P.S. We have a/c!

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Back in January I bought flooring for the studio space because Lumber Liquidators was having a big new years sale... had I known that it would be august before we would lay the floor I would have waited, but oh well! Anyway... its that time! Walls are painted so its time to lay the floor... right? Wrong! First we need to level the floor, then cut out the area for the tiles (since the ceramic tiles are 1/4" and the other flooring is about 1/16") Thanks to my handy dandy daddy, we got it done!

Cutting out a section for the ceramic tile
Next we needed to put in more screws to the creaky squeaky sections. After that it was time to lay the subfloor. This will insure that there will be a very level, nice and clean surface to stick on the laminate tiles. So last night my dad and I cleaned the floor, glued the sheets and stapled it down! 
Yes, I am now the staple gun master!
We only got about half way through before it was 8:30 and time for some dinner. So my dad headed home, I cleaned up a bit and proceeded to have a nice bowl of cereal, Gotta have my Pops! Tonight, while I get my hair cut my dad said that he is going to bring my grandma over to "see the space" (and or help him finish the floor.)

Half way there!
I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful family and support system that is willing to help me with this project. I don't know where I would be without them and I can't wait until its finished and I can have a very special Friends and Family night for all of them to show my appreciation.

but until then, I always provide my helpers with the key ingredient to success,  a cold beer!

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