Saturday 12 April 2014

Dirndl shopping

As a Munich resident there was an important item missing from my wardrobe - a dirndl! So one Saturday it was time to acquire this traditional German dress.
A friend and I headed to Angermaier, an authentic retailer, as apparently it’s not acceptable to wear a ‘tourist’ dirndl - a much shorter / sexier version of this historical Alpine peasant outfit.  I was blown away by the massive selection - hundreds of different colour combinations for all sizes and lengths!

There are three main elements to a dirndl - the dress (with bodice and full skirt), blouse and apron. There are also many accessories to choose from, including scarves, shawls, jewellery, hats, waistcoats and jackets.

Whilst originally a hardy servant outfit, the Austrian upper classes adopted the dirndl as a high fashion item and today they can be very expensive if tailored and cut from handprinted or silk materials.

The dirndl is often worn at formal occasions (such as weddings) and at festivals (such as Munich’s infamous Oktoberfest), plus many waitresses in traditional-style restaurants and beer gardens. There is also a rule about where you tie your apron knot - it’s like a traffic light. A knot on the left means you’re single, a knot on the right means you’re married/engaged etc and a knot at the back means you are widowed.

I got to work trying on a number of dirndls.

Some nice ones…

Some far to ‘girly’ or over-the-top for me…

Of course, I always wanted to wear a moose!

Christmas colours!

The shop assistant kept squeezing me into smaller and smaller dirndls…apparently the inability to breathe/eat/do up your own outfit is only a secondary consideration to it’s ability to push ‘everything’ up or down!

Having settled on a lovely green number (in fact the first one I tried on!), I then needed to select a suitable blouse. The blouses are funny because they are cropped - finishing just under your (special dirndl) bra. I assume to reduce any ‘bulk’ to the waistline.

Worn out from shopping and being squeezed into increasingly small bodices, it was time for a reward! We headed to Sushi & Soul, a local Japanese restaurant.  We celebrated our dirndl-buying success with a bottle of wine…

…then a delicious array of Japanese foods. Including a tofu soup, edamame beans and a sushi platter - a well-deserved tasty treat and perfect way to spend a Saturday night.


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