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Jäger dirndl worn as skirt under Carhartt gingham shirt (pocket removed), Dr. Scholl wedge sandals, Coach bag, Ray Ban sunglasses (all own), and green wood watch c/o Jord

Many people associate Bavaria with Germany and hence a dirndl. Read why I bought one and why I regret it. Read my wearing a dirndl in America story for entertainment.

  1. Party Chat on Dirndls
  2. Peer-pressure in Fashion and Style
  3. Why I Bought the Dirndl
  4. Getting a Dirndl Didn’t Do the Trick
  5. Now What?

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Party chat on dirndls

The Fairbanks community is very welcoming. When someone new arrives, the neighbors invite the newcomers to their next party. At these parties, the guests are excited to see a new face and try immediately to find out where you came from. When you tell them that you immigrated from Germany to Alaska, their next question will be

“Then why don’t you wear a dirndl?”

I always explained that in the area I come from, nobody wears dirndls. I also told them that dirndls are worn in the Alpine regions of Germany, Austria, Italy (South Tirol), and in Switzerland, but not allover Germany.

Peer-pressure in fashion and style

There are many Indians in Fairbanks. The women show up at parties always in saris, no matter how cold it is outside. Thus, people just expect female immigrants to wear ethnic clothes. This expectation is not about singling immigrants out, but about being curious about traditional clothes, cultural diversity, and interest in non-western fashion.


Why I Bought the Dirndl

After a while, I got tired about always having to explain the same thing over and over again. I first thought that the question and curiosity would just go away, but I misjudged or better did not know/expect that parties may have guests from as far s Juneau in the south to Barrow in the North with respect to family and friends from all over the Interior including Anchorage. I also felt like I have to excuse myself for not meeting their expectation of wearing the global trend of ethnic clothes.


fashion blogger wearing a dirndl in America

#matureaccessories striped Coach bag for summer and wood watch


#maturestyle woman in blue and white skirt and shirt

stylist in dirndl styled as skirt
Karl Jäger dirndl worn as skirt under Carhartt gingham shirt (pocket removed), Dr. Scholl wedge sandals, Ray Ban wayfarer, Hermes collier de chien cuff, Coach bag (all own), and green wood watch c/o Jord


Getting a Dirndl Didn’t Do the Trick

Thus, the next time I visited my parents in Germany, I made a trip to Bavaria and bought a dirndl, the one shown in this post. When I started wearing it at parties and wore the same dirndl the second time around, two ladies got upset that I wore the same dress again. Why? Because Indian women never ever do that, and hence, guests were expecting that I would not do it either. If I only had know that before, I would have stayed with educating about dirndls. Unfortunately, I hadn’t checked my photos from Diwali parties. Otherwise I would have realized, they never wore the same sari twice.

Clothes tell people who you are without you having to say a word, but sometimes they can't get it right. Click To Tweet

Now what?

Whoever visited the Münchner Oktoberfest, knows that dirndls are expensive. To get the price-per-wear down to below a dollar I decided to find ways to wear the dirndl beyond parties as summer weekend looks. Well, I also wear it when there is an  Oktoberfest in Alaska.


Have you once worn the “wrong” outfit to a party? Do you wear the same dress to different parties? Do you repeat your outfits? Let me know, I am curious.

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Photos: G. Kramm

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