The dirndl fell out of fashion after the 1940s but has enjoyed a revival since the 1990s, when designers began to produce contemporary, romantic-looking versions of the traditional outfits. They are now worn around the world and there’s a wide selection of styles to choose from, including high-end dresses and more affordable pieces.
When to Wear a Dirndl - Oktoberfest and More
When it comes the perfect occasion for wearing a dirndl Oktoberfest probably tops most people’s lists. Traditional Bavarian costume is worn by many attending this annual folk festival, the origins of which date back to the early nineteenth century but which is now celebrated around the world. However, Oktoberfest isn’t the only time when you can wear such a distinctive piece. Contemporary versions make stunning wedding dresses, bridesmaid or party dresses too.
Types of Dirndls – Finding the Perfect Cut and Length
When buying contemporary dirndls, you’ll usually find that the dress and apron come as a set. However, if you’re purchasing them as separates, it’s important to ensure that they're appropriate lengths. The apron should be slightly shorter than the dress, ending about three centimetres above the hemline.
Modern dirndls are available in several lengths. When choosing your ideal dress, consider which version is most likely to flatter your figure as well as the most appropriate skirt length for the occasion. There are three main options to choose from:
- The mini-dirndl – With a length of about 50cm, these dresses are ideally suited to women who are 1.7 metres tall or shorter, or for wearing in spring or summer when the weather’s warm. Sexy and sassy, this option is ideal for anyone who wants to show off their legs in style.
- The midi-dirndl – If you’d prefer something less revealing but which still displays a little leg, a midi version might be the perfect solution. Lying just below the knee, these chic dresses are long enough to be worn to many types of events.
- The maxi-dirndl – A fantastic choice for those who like their dresses to be more traditional, as well as taller women and those attending formal events, the maxi-dirndl falls above the ankle. Elegant enough for any occasion, this type of dress is particularly suited to bridalwear, and looks stunning when teamed with a shape-boosting petticoat.
Ensuring that your dress fits beautifully is essential, so pay attention to the bodice. This should fit snugly to create figure-flattering lines and emphasise your curves. You’ll also need to buy a specialist dirndl blouse to wear under your dress. This can be long-sleeved or short-sleeved. However, it needs to be comfortable while making your décolletage looks its best. These blouses are usually white.
How to Wear Dirndl Dresses – Bows, Shoes and Accessories
According to tradition, the apron features a bow indicating the wearer’s marital status and availability – so be careful where you place it! Wearing the bow on the right-hand side indicates that you’re already spoken for, while wearing it on the left means that you’re single and looking for love. If you don’t want to disclose that information or your situation’s complicated, don’t worry. All you need to do is place the bow centrally. Widows and those waitressing at events would usually wear their bows in the centre at the back.
Today, dirndl-wearers can combine their dresses with a range of different footwear styles and accessories, giving you the freedom to be creative with your look. Team your dress with some trainers for a casual appearance or with high heels for weddings and evening events. Add some gorgeous earrings, a statement necklace or an eye-catching handbag to individualise your ensemble.
Be Style-Conscious – 2021’s Top Looks
Delicacy and detail are the words that best sum up this year’s dirndl trends. In terms of fabrics, fashionistas should opt for dirndl dresses in sophisticated silks, lightweight tulle or elegant lace. Patterned fabrics are also still popular. Highly embellished pieces are in vogue, so consider buying dresses featuring aprons with detailed embroidery or embellishments such as lace, sequins and beads.
Pastel tones and shades that evoke the freshness of spring are currently on trend, so you’re sure to catch the eye in a sky blue, meadow green or pastel pink dress. Berry tones are also fashionable options, so sumptuous dark reds and purples are colours to consider.
When it comes to cuts, both traditional and contemporary style dresses are equally as popular. Each of these options will work beautifully with this year’s essential item – the high-necked dirndl blouse. Lace blouses are also all the rage, while simple and elegant alternatives with no embellishments remain a classy choice.
Must-have accessories in 2021 include floral wreaths to adorn the hair, as well as choker collars and costume chains.
How to Care for Your Dirndl
Whichever style of dirndl you opt for, it’s vital to take care of it properly if you want to keep it in pristine condition. Follow the instructions on the fabric care label carefully when cleaning it.
The key to cleaning most of our garments is to be gentle with them. Many of our pieces need to be washed at a low temperature (30°C) with the machine set on a slow spin speed. Ensure that you only use a mild detergent in order to minimise colour run and fade. Don’t leave your dirndl in the drum of your washing machine for too long after the cycle is complete or soaking in the sink, as this could affect the colours too.
Never put your Krüger dirndl in the tumble dryer either. Place it on a clothes hanger and allow it to dry naturally instead. By looking after your garment, you’ll be able to wear it to event after event, commanding attention every time.