I decided to wear a dirndl everyday for 2 weeks to see how it made me feel and to see how other people reacted to my clothing. It was a fun experience and I learned a lot.  

Looking back I had a lot of thoughts about the challenge:

  • I need to design more vests
  • Interestingly the cultural mix match was the most popular outfit
  • I pretty much owe my business to the American Aid Society Jugendgruppe and I also would have no friends if it wasn’t for that club
  • Dirndls are really an all-seasons outfit
  • Chicago is super diverse and cultural dress is not uncommon
  • I need to make my samples bigger (some were a little tight)
  • Gingham and Off-the-Shoulder Blouses are very on trend right now


However, by biggest take away was that I learned that wearing a dirndl is more about pride and confidence than anything! Once I owned what I was wearing; allowed myself to be proud of my heritage and not think about it as out of the ordinary, I was overcome with confidence and no one noticed. Whether it was because I live in a big city, whether people are too self absorbed or whatever else… wearing a dirndl on a regular basis made me feel powerful and proud.  

Only 1 person said something to me about my outfit the entire 2 weeks. A guy at a bar came up to me and my girlfriends and after about 2 min he looked at me and said, “I like your outfit… very Game of Thrones”. I thought that was hilarious! I was wearing the Pit and the Pendulum Dirndl which has spikes and chains and I was also wearing the Ultimate Hirsch necklace. I would agree… that look was very Game of Thrones. He may have had something different to say if I was wearing a red dirndl with a white apron and white blouse, (like the comment I heard once, “Hey! Do you work at that apple pickery?” WTF… No… what’s an apple pickery!?) but it just further drove home the fact that if you love what your wearing, and you are proud of it, it doesn’t matter!  

A dirndl can be worn outside of Oktoberfest, German Fest, or Maifest just like a Sari, a Vyshyvanka, a Burka, or a Cowboy hat. If you love it… wear it!    



Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take our quiz and find out now! 

May 10, 2016 — Erika Neumayer

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