Tag Archives: dirndl

26/9/11 – What would I be wearing this week in Munich?

Lea Tucker (centre) and friends, ready to blend in in the Augustiner Tent

This is the second week of the Oktoberfest (http://tinyurl.com/6kv38ym). Each year, I promise myself I’ll go – my last visit was 15 years ago when I was a student and we spent most of our time in the lairy Hofbrauhaus, slept in the car near the Englischer Garten and washed in McDonald’s. I’ve never ventured there as an ‘adult’.

See how versatile dirndls are?

Last week I kicked myself yet again that I wasn’t Munich-bound when I met Lea Tucker, from the marketing team at Aspen/Snowmass, who was heading there as part of a pre-winter European tour. I was impressed, most of all, that she planned to dress properly, in a dirndl.

This made me want to plan my outfit for my hoped-for return. I’m well prepared, as I spent most of my wages as an Inghams rep in the 1990s on dirndls and four of them are still going strong.

At an apres-ski party in Chiswick

Unlike Lea’s, and the ones I photographed at the Swiss Jodlerfest in Interlaken in June (http://tinyurl.com/6zhekyr and other June posts), mine don’t have a frilly undershirt. This makes them more wearable, extending their usability beyond beerfests and apres-ski parties.

My favourite, the cream one (label: Country Line), gets the most outings. It has been to the Tirolerhut restaurant in Bayswater, to the Battersea Beerfest, and it went well with cream ear-muffs at an apres-ski party a couple of years ago. It could get a little tight if you overdid the Bratwurst (not to mention the 1l Steins that the Oktoberfest revolves around).

With a ski-tan at Obergurgl's personnel ball. Resort manager Sarah Royston (right) was an expert dirndl buyer

Next in line is the green one (Sigi Scheiber) with a suede front and edelweiss stitching. It fits nearly everyone and is super-flattering, although the sleeves are quite puffy. You can even ski in it, as shown above.

Next up is the orange one (Sportalm, the priciest of my collection) – best worn with a tan and my sister’s favourite. It’s quite flowery, but it went down well at a wedding in Wiltshire. I like the decorative straps that dangle from the waist, and the buttons and buckle are made of bone.

Then there’s the black one (Berwin & Wolff), which is thick and heavy – I’d call on this in the unlikely event I needed a warm dirndl for proper alpine conditions.

The greatest dilemma is footwear. Lea went for little slip-ons, which I think look fine. I prefer those to boots – but boots might be more protective in Munich.

I’d aim for something in between. I used to have a tan suede pair with a decorative buckle, which were so good for normal use that I wore them out. With a dirndl, they went best with woven ankle socks with a metal edelweiss on the turn-over.

These are the shoes to aim for

The pair in the photo belonged to Sarah Royston, my boss in Obergurgl, who was my partner-in-dirndl-shopping on our days off. With their sturdy sole, sensible laces and dark colour, this would be my top choice of style for the Oktoberfest.

So, girls, no excuse for turning up ununiformed. Sorry, chaps, to leave you in the air on the subject of Lederhosen. All I know is that they are less flattering than dirndls, not as useful back home – and that unless you buy one a few sizes too large, rather easy to grow out of…

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Filed under Austria, Food and drink, Gear

30/6/11 – I have my eye on a new apres-ski hat

A lovely 'hood', but would it preserve a hairstyle in the rain?

As an owner of five Austrian dirndls I was fascinated by the female outfits on show at the recent Jodlerfest.

Dirndls are flattering and easy to wear: I’ve worn mine to weddings, parties, the Tirolerhut restaurant in Bayswater and the Battersea Bierfest. Swiss friends of ours wore brilliant ones to my sister’s wedding.

A happy Haube-wearer

Along with the dirndls, an amazing sight to behold in Interlaken was the headgear, usually in black or white lace.

I asked one lady what her particular design was called and she said it was a “Haube”.

This one would go well with my Armstulpen

It turns out all female traditional headgear is known as a haube, whatever the shape – the translation is hood or, more likely, bonnet. But there are lots of variations.

My favourite was probably the dual fans with ribbons hanging from them, but I’m not sure I have the right hair for wearing that sort of thing.

A fan at each ear - I wonder if it helps with the yodelling

I did do some shopping, though.

Stalls had many items for sale, from dirndls complete with white undershirt and long apron to knee-length, holy, white socks.

My purchase took the form of a pair of Armstulpen – sensible woollen forearm warmers designed to be worn with a dirndl.

Ladies in arm-warmers - and a flower stuffed down the front of the dirndl

They were steepish at 30 Euros but I think they’re rather stylish and I’ve used them twice already back in the UK.

However, the sight of them has so far provoked at least one mystified response, along the lines of, “What a funny garment. Why don’t you just wear a cardigan?”

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Filed under Austria, Gear, Music, Switzerland