I have a secret. A passion for an article of clothing with no real world wearability, no useful features, historically steeped in silliness. You may be shocked (or you may not, since I've mentioned them twice in the past two blog entries), but I love dirndls. I remember watching the ladies in their beautiful dirndls passing by at Germanfest when I was a little girl (and when I went this past Friday), longing for their beauty. Every year I insisted that for next year, I would have a dirndl of my own, but I've never had one. I've never even tried one on (I'm afraid of those collapsible box-and-sheet dressing rooms they have on the festival grounds.). The trouble with them is, in fact, everything that makes them fabulous. A dirndl is an undeniable fashion statement. (This post may be a bit image light because most of the ones I'm finding are of actual people having fun in their dirndls [curses!], which are sort of creepy, costumes that are no doubt entitled "Sexy Barmaid," which are not really relevant, and Sims wearing dirndls, which is...sort of unexpected.)
Things I Love About Dirndls (A Brief List)
Bodice I considered writing about my love affair with corsets, but these days even the PTA seems to be all aboard the corset express (I'll share when I have a really great pile of pictures for you). I do love them, but I also enjoy bodices of many kinds! The dirndl bodice is festooned with laces, buttons, gorgeous embroidery--sometimes all three!
Color This applies pretty well to the photo above as well. Traditional German folk dress comes in a number of lovely colors, but dirndls for fashion and joy come in a veritable rainbow of colors! I lived fairly exclusively in black during high school (not in a cool Goth way, in a "black t-shirt and jeans + seasonal black hoodie" sort of style-challenged way) and still wear a lot of it--it's a go-to and a safety net for me, definitely, so really gorgeous colors are still alluring yet forbidden, like a rare bird or really expensive chocolate.
Accessorizing My last post was sort of an ode to my love of and utter failure to accessorize. As much as I love dirndls, I love all the pretty things that go with them: those pretty poofy blouses, socks (!), oftentimes little black kitten heels. I feel like it would be hard not to look cute in a dirndl--you can't just throw it on over a sports bra and some old Vans. The dirndl gives you so many options (should your blouse be more poofy, foofy, or lacy?) that some good old German style is unavoidable.
Statement Like I said before, a dirndl is pretty much unwearable in the "real world"...and that's why I love them. A lot of the styles that I love are over the top, perfectly crafted, and way more at home in photoshoots than in class or on the street. (Examples: Steampunk, pin-up/vintage, cyberpunk, Renfair, any number of gorgeous cosplays I see) I like dressing up. I wish I had the guts (and, in many cases, the gams) to pull off any of those looks in my every day life. It probably won't happen any time soon, if ever; I'll just have to wait until Germanfest next year.
Semi-related, but I'm listening to it and it's close enough it gets included: I highly recommend this Elvis-heavy duwop cover of "Hey There Delilah" by German band, The Baseballs.