Readers, as September winds down, I know many of you are eagerly anticipating Oktoberfest, the 16-day German beer festival that is celebrated in many parts of the world -- I am!
But to be honest, that's not what got me thinking about dirndls today.
I'm a nice person, and I never intentionally offend anyone, so imagine how embarrassed I felt when I chose the pattern immediately below, which I found on Etsy this morning, for my "Worst Women's Patterns Ever" board on Pinterest, not realizing it was being sold by my sewing friend, blogger Lisette, through her Etsy
shop, Sleuth Patterns.
I learned this when Lisette left a comment on my board, saying she thinks this pattern should be filed under "CUTEST Women's Patterns Ever" (With those palazzo pants, Lisette???)
Friends, I must ask: Do you have an opinion about dirndls, and if so, what is it?
If you are not Austrian or Bavarian, should you be wearing a dirndl at all? Isn't the mainstreaming of the dirndl one of those insensitive cultural appropriations, like pole dancers wearing American Indian feather headdresses or Miley Cyrus twerking? (And speaking of Miley, only the other day, she appropriated my cultural heritage: the faux fur shrug and sheer net mini dress.)
But let's get back to dirndls.
Readers, I know my frame of reference is a little lowbrow, but all I can think of when I see dirndl outfits is Heidi, The Sound of Music, and bosomy, beer-toting strippers.
You can read more about the origins of the dirndl here. Basically, it was the traditional garb of Alpine peasants. Like many traditional folkloric styles, it was popularized far beyond its area of origin, and has been revisited often by Western fashion designers, particularly in the late Thirties and Forties.
Dirndl patterns are easy to find -- I even own a few myself (the top two below):
Even Already Pretty's Sally McGraw sports a dirndl-inspired dress occasionally.
And late songbird Deanna Durbin looked born-to-the-dirndl in Spring Parade (1940).
Readers, what do you think of dirndls and dirndl-inspired styles?
Is this a look that can too easily turn costumey, making you look like a life-size, kitschy Hummel figurine?
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!