Tuesday, September 30, 2014

From the Runway to Oktoberfest to Every Day… Dirndls are Here to STAY!

Bridesmaid Dirndls from a Wedding in June
As an avid dirndl wearer, I find myself in situations where I can get some funny looks from people at times… like in the grocery store, filling my car up with gas, or walking down the street. However, every year, Americans are becoming more and more enamored with Okotberfest and all things German.  It's clear to me that with over 16 Oktoberfest celebrations in the city of Chicago alone, wearing dirndls is becoming more mainstream. (And that's very exciting!!)

Not only are dirndls being seen more at smaller local Oktoberfests, but also on the runway. The latest Spring 2015 Collection by Givenchy, recently seen on the runways in Paris, is very clearly inspired by the dirndl silhouette and style. One look at the collection and I'm instantly excited to start wearing some of my dirndls everyday! Looks like this spring (according to Givenchy) is going to be the time to start wearing your dirndl out on the town.
Givenchy Spring 2015 Collection
Me in my dirndl in the streets of Basel during Fasnacht.
I expect that if this trend continues, it could very well be that in the near future, all us dirndl loving folk will be able to wear our favorite pieces out to the store and out to dinner without anyone thinking twice about it!

I'm excited to wear my dirndl everywhere!! How about you? Do you have a funny story about when you wore your dirndl to an unexpected place and people had interesting reactions… like the time someone asked me if I worked at the Apple Pickery while I was driving home. Share them in the comments and the maybe next year we can all celebrate being able to avoid those silly comments, like, "Are you an irish dancer?"

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Who Wore it Best? Celebrities in Designer Dirndls

The website POPSUGAR Fashion put together a slideshow of 11 celebrities in dirndls and many of them are designed by Lola Paltinger. She is a couture dirndl designer and most of her pieces cost 2,900 Euros… That's $3,690.32! (that why when people send me pics of her dirndls and ask me to replicate it for under $300 I'm all like "Guuuuurrl! You Cra!")

Here is the link to the Slideshow "Starts Wearing Oktoberfest Dirndls"

But here are my top 3 "Who Wore it Best!"

#3 - Kim Kardashian This kinda hurts my soul, because I very much dislike the Kardashians, which I know is not nice to say considering I've never met them… but anyone who makes a coffee table book of their own selfies is a conceded whack-job in my book. That being said, she's rocking this Paltinger dirndl and the fishtail braids are a nice take on the unfortunately popular pigtail braids that everyone associate with German girls. So my #3 is going to KimK.

#2 - Hayden Panettiere Hayden has got the whole package in this pic! The modern, yet classic style dirndl, the matching hat, cute poofy petticoat and the sexy man in lederhosen to bring the whole look together. She is owning this outfit from head to toe and that's why she's my #2 pick.

#1 Katy Parry Simply put, she knows how to #RockTheDirndl! Love the colors that she chose because it feels very Katy but doesn't over do it. Sometimes she has a tendency to go a bit overboard with the cultural references, (remember that tribute to the Geisha in kimonos during the AMA performance… not cute) so this look makes me super happy. She's owning this girly yet edgy dirndl and thats why she's my #1 for Who Wore it Best!

Honorable Mention I have to give a shout out to my girl crush Emma Watson. In this picture, it is hard to tell who the designer of her dirndl is, but it looks like a pretty generic dirndl (hence why she didn't make the official list). However, she has to be mentioned on my blog because I love her. That's all.

Who do you think wore it best? I'd love to hear what you think… write it all the in comments section and lets get this conversation started! 

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Rare Dirndl Customer Spotlight: Caroline Dektas

Caroline Dektas - Cincinnati, Ohio

I have always been interested in dancing. When I was a kid I danced tap, ballet, jazz, and whatever else my mother would let me. Unfortunately, as I got older I didn’t have time for dancing anymore, but I still had the passion to dance.

In 2009, one of my friends introduced me to the Cincinnati Donauschwaben Society and I have been a member ever since. As a member of both the Youth Group and the Schuhplattlers, I perform traditional German dances at a variety of festivals throughout the Cincinnati area. One of the many perks of dancing with the Donauschwaben is that I get to wear a traditional Bavarian Dirndl.

Every year all the Donauschwaben Society’s throughout the U.S. and Canada meet in a city over Labor Day weekend. I first met Erika at one of our Labor Day Trips where Rare Dirndl had a booth set up. I flipped through her catalog and came across a dirndl that reminded me of Minnie Mouse’s dress and I got excited. Ever since I was a kid I always had a soft spot for Disney. Besides Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Minnie Mouse is my favorite Disney character. I talked to Erika and asked her about the possibility to create a Minnie Mouse Dirndl and she told me that she was up for the challenge. We talked back and forth through email during the design process and before I knew it, I received the finished product in the mail.

Ever since I received the Minnie Mouse Dirndl from Rare Dirndl, I have worn it out to many German events and festivals throughout the Cincinnati area including the Cincinnati Donauschwaben’s Oktoberfest and Schwabenfest. I also wore it during our recent trip to Disney World, where I received numerous complements. I especially love being able to pair it with my German Mickey ears when I wear it out.

Erika was a pleasure to work with. She was very professional and willing to think outside of the box. I love having a Dirndl that is fun and unique and fits my personality.

Do you want to be the next Rare Dirndl Customer Spotlight? As the winner you will recieve a $50 Coupon Code for any online purchase, a feature on the Rare Dirndl website and blog, and a gift package worth approx $100!! Click here to get all the details!

Ever wonder what dirndl style you are? 
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Monday, September 22, 2014

Dirndl 101: How to Put on a Dirndl

Megan from SCHNITZels & GIGGLES in her dirndl.
Photo courtesy of George Nagata

Never worn a traditional German Dirndl before? No problem, we understand that not everyone wears a dirndl once, maybe twice a week like us... but in all honestly there are a few things you should know. Here is a quick guide to getting dressed and ready for Oktoberfest in your Rare Dirndl!

#1 Undies- Wear a good bra. It doesn’t need to be a push-up bra, but it does need to put the girls in the right place.

#2 Bloomers- If you plan on getting your polka on, bloomers are a wise choice. Not everyone is going to be looking up your skirt, but there are sure to be some wandering eyes and some judging Oma’s should your skirt go a-flyin... better safe than sorry.

#3 Blouse- Whether is the classic off-the-shoulder, full puff-sleeve sweetheart blouse or our newest innovation the blouslette, that is what goes on next. (This step is not to be skipped!!!)

#4 Dirndl- Most Rare Dirndls have a center front zipper, so throw it over your head (or step into it if you’re floor is “nice und putz”) and zip that baby up. Some sucking it in may apply, but better to have a nice tight fit than a loosey-goosey dirndl

#5 Lace Up Front- If your dirndl has a lace up front, you’ll most likely find the corresponding ribbon and/or chain in the pocket (yes... there’s a pocket!) Start by putting the ribbon or chain trough the top to hooks and then crisscross and go down from there and tie it in a bow (or knot if its chain) at the bottom.

#6 Apron- The final touch is the apron (unless your dirndl comes with a belt in which case, just put on the belt). The apron gets tied at the natural waist, covering seam. You can either tie the apron in a bow in the back or bring the ties around the front and tie it in a bow. Put the bow on the left side if you are single and on the right side if you’re married.

#7 Accessorize!- To complete the look add the accessories of your choice 
  • Jewelry 
  • Tights or Socks
  • Purse
  • Edelweiss Hair Clip
  • Sweater if its chilly
  • A sexy man in Lederhosen 
  • und natürlich ein Bier Stein! 

So there you have it. The basic guide to getting dressed in your dirndl. Be sure to post pictures of you in your über chic dirndl on Instagram or Facebook using #RareDirndl and stop reading this and go have fun! Girls in dirndls always have more fun!

Ever wonder what dirndl style you are? 
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Where to go in NYC for a great Oktoberfest Beer

Looking for a good German beer in NYC this time of year? Check out this clip from PIX11! (and check out what news personality Lisa Mateo is wearing!) Click Here to get one for yourself

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

5 Ways to Rock the Dirndl this Season

This time of the year is the busiest because so many Rare Dirndl customers are preparing to leave for the Oktoberfest in Munich in the coming weeks! Many local Chicagoans come to my studio looking for a dirndl to wear and often ask, “What do I wear with it? Socks? What shoes? I've never worn a dirndl before… What is traditional?" To that I usually respond, "well, I'm not the 'stick to the rules kind of gal' I think you can wear whatever you want." But there are a few things that are stand out trends for 2014 so I've put together my top 5 tips to help you Rock your Dirndl this Oktoberfest season!

1. Motorcycle Boots and Dirndl Socks: The traditional dirndl sock is a great way to keep your legs warm (since it is fall and could get chilly) and then, pair them with motorcycle boots instead of mary-janes! This look is so unexpected and mixes hard rocker edge with a soft traditional look that I think is so new and fresh. It also helps keep any beer from spilling on your socks ;-) The best dirndl socks (in my opinion) come from Ernst Licht, here is the link - http://www.ernstlicht.com/12-ladies-clothing/105-ladies-socks/trachten-kneesocks.html

The Look: Motorcycle Boots
Jackie and her daughters rocking the Look!

2. Trachtenhüte: A decorated trachten hat with feathers, ribbon, flowers and pins is very on trend for 2014 and it takes every dirndl to the next level. The hats are so popular this year that we only have 2 Bavarian style hats left! One red and one green, so get yours before they're gone! Click here to see view them in the Rare Dirndl Online Store.

The Look: Trachtenhüte
Jill rocking the Look!

3. Floral Crowns: If you’re not into hats, a floral crown is super on trend this year! (design assistant Samantha says "that's what all the cool kids are wearing these days" - good enough for me!) For my latest collection I featured very large, over the top, avant-garde floral crowns, but a simple (not cheesy) crown is gorgeous for Okotberfest! There are lots of tutorials on YouTube to make your own, that way it can match your dirndl perfectly.

The Look: Floral Crown
Bride Mary-Claire rocking the Look

4. The Proper Undergarments: Underneath every great dirndl is a great foundation. I did a blog post a while back on the proper undies to wear with your dirndl, because there is not a woman on earth that can pull off a dirndl with a sports bra! Set yourself up for dirndl success and get your push-up bra and bloomers ready because wearing a dirndl is meant to accentuate only the best a woman’s body has to offer.

The Look: Proper Undergarments
Karen rocking the Look!

5. And last but not least…Bright Lipstick to Accent that Smile! No one likes a German girl with a frown and there is no better way to accent a gorgeous smile then with bright lipstick. I don’t listen to trends when it comes to lipstick color… play off of the colors in your dirndl and go with it. Hot Pink, Blush, Bright Red, Dark Plum – any color that accentuates your dirndl is the color to choose.

The Look: Bright Lipstick
Kat rocking the Look!

Those are my 5 ways to Rock the Dirndl this Oktoberfest Season. All season long we are going to be posting pics on Instagram (follow me at @raredirndl) featuring ladies that are rockin it! Like Megan!

She wore her custom Burberry inspired dirndl to the opening night of Oktoberfest at the Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas and she rocked her dirndl all the way down the aisles of the restaurant with Sigfried & Roy!! Use #RareDirndl and #RockTheDirndl all season long and maybe you'll see your pic on our account too! 

Ever wonder what dirndl style you are? 
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Monday, September 15, 2014

The Oktoberfest that Comes to You! - Backyard Oktoberfest

At the opening of Hofbräu-Chi
I met Scott at the Grand Opening of the Hofrbräuhaus Chicago in Rosemont, IL. We chatted briefly before he mentioned that his passion for Oktoberfest led him to create the website Backyard Oktoberfest which is a comprehensive guide to all things Okotberfest in America. I asked him to write a guest post for the Rare Dirndl blog because I think what he is doing is fabulous! So here is a quick story from Scott:

"Of all the ideas men toss around while throwing back a few beers, most are fairly inconsequential. But what happens when one idle thought turns into a mission? What happens when one man’s simple wish to attend a beer festival morphs into getting beer at Oktoberfest in Germany? That’s a life-changing idea. And that is exactly what happened to me.

Four years ago, I was talking with a buddy who jokingly suggested that we should go to Beerfest, like the guys in the 2006 movie of the same name. I told him Beerfest wasn’t real, but Oktoberfest was. We both agreed that it sounded like an awesome idea. At the time, I thought it was a passing thought, just one of the many intangible things that we have talked about over the years. But the next day he presented me with a full itinerary outlining our trip to the 200thanniversary of Oktoberfest in Munich, and my life has never been the same.

From the moment we arrived at the Wiesn in 2010, I knew I was experiencing something special. This was not a simple festival. It was the Six Flags of beer. The “tents” were massive structures, there was a midway that seemed to run for miles, and they even had rides like roller coasters, a log flume, and a Ferris wheel. The sights, sounds, and smells were familiar, but Oktoberfest wasn’t like anything I have ever experienced in America. Sitting in the Schottenhamel biergarten and the Paulaner Festzelt just felt right. Inside the tents, it's just you and your closest 10,000 friends drinking beer, dancing, and singing along with the band. Despite language barriers and different nationalities, Oktoberfest brings everyone together.

On a post-vacation high and nostalgic for the wonder I just experienced at the Wiesn, I sought out Oktoberfest events stateside. I was disappointed to find that most local celebrations were missing that Munich magic. Sure, they all had pretzels, bratwursts, and beer aplenty. Some had German bands that played the sweet sounds of Ein Prosit. There were even a few local enthusiasts sporting lederhosen and dirndls. But overall, I found myself missing the more authentic touches like beer from the top Munich breweries, elaborately decorated tents, and the welcoming laughter of thousands of my new best friends as they climbed on top of the beer hall benches to raise their glass Maß in song.

That’s when I knew I had to throw my own authentic Oktoberfest party, and thus, Backyard Oktoberfest was born.

Scott in his Rare Dirndl trachtenshirt

Backyard Oktoberfest is a website designed to help Oktoberfest enthusiasts like you and me replicate the Wiesn in our own backyards. We strive to be the most comprehensive resource for all of your Oktoberfest needs. While we provide some information about the official Oktoberfest in Munich, the site is geared toward giving you the inspiration and assistance you'll need to host your own Oktoberfest. It also offers reviews of local Oktoberfest events and Oktoberfest beers. Visitors to the site, including you, are encouraged to add your own expertise to our database by writing reviews and providing feedback that will help others have the best Oktoberfest season possible. We may not be able to share a bier in the Paulaner Festzelt ever year, but Backyard Oktoberfest will help you feel like you're there. Prost!"

For more about Backyard Oktoberfest including a FREE Oktoberfest Checklist, click here to check out their website and be sure to follow Backyard Oktoberfest on Facebook and twitter.

Ever wonder what dirndl style you are? 
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How to Tie the Perfect Bow

With the Oktoberfest Season upon us, I thought this would be the perfect time to share some information that people request all the time... and that is: How to Tie the Perfect Apron Bow!

I made a quick video to demonstrate the tricks I use to make a perfect little bow. But keep in mind, I tie a lot of bows... and you know what they say, "practice makes perfect." So don't be frustrated if it takes you a few times to get it just right, but like I said, there are a few tricks that will help and I explain them all here!

I hope you like the video and you find it helpful! And on a side note, 'tis the season for dirndls... so the Rare Dirndl Design Studio will be open for a few hours on the weekends in September and October. This weekend I'll be here on Saturday from 10-4 and Sunday from 10-1. If you want to come by another time, simply reply to the e-mail and request to make an appointment, or call anytime and we can set something up that works with your busy schedule.

Ever wonder what dirndl style you are? 
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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Vintage Deutsch & Rare Dirndl Open Studio Weekend

This weekend is full of fun events to accompany the German-American Days here in Lincoln Square!

First is Thursday's event, Vintage Deutsch! The DANK Haus - German American Cultural Center is staging an upscale fashion and wine event celebrating the emergence of Berlin as a "City of Design" and the panoply of German wines. Guests will enjoy mingling with fashion and accessory designers, glass in hand in the gilded Skyline Lounge. Sommeliers from Knightsbridge Wine Shoppe will enlighten guests on the broad spectrum of German wines. Ingrid Kaltenbach, longtime fashion importer with a discerning eye for quality, will exhibit an array of Old World fabrics and trims while I finish up the show with Rare Dirndls that "turns traditional dress into a Saturday night option" Jewelry designer Kristin Hunger offers finishing touches and twists to the Rare Dirndls and all three of us will have a space set up where you can check out the clothes up close! Space is limited, reserve today. So Click HERE to get your tickets today!

Then Saturday and Sunday, I'll have the studio doors open and you can come on in and shop the newest styles, fresh accessories and snatch up the last of our Bavarian Style Hats! 

Plus you'll save 10% when you buy a dirndl and a blouse!

Ever wonder what dirndl style you are? 
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