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  • Topic: How to Dress for The Christmas Market

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    • November 27, 2013 5:02 PM GMT
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      As any of you who have been to Germany or Austria will know there is a strong fashion for "high on hill side" clothing - by which I mean dirndls and their accoutrements. Dresses that are loosely based on the dirndl are known as Landhausmode ("country-inspired fashion").
      A dirndl skirt generally describes a light circular cut dress, gathered at the waist, that falls below the knee.


      The dirndl consists of a bodice, blouse, full skirt and apron. While appearing to be simple and plain, a properly made modern dirndl may be quite expensive as it is tailored and sometimes cut from costly hand-printed or silk fabrics. In the South German dialects (Bairisch), Dirndl originally referred to a young woman or a girl, and Dirndlgewand to the dress. Nowadays, Dirndl may equally refer to either a young woman or to the dress.
      The winter style dirndl has heavy, warm skirts and aprons made of thick cotton, linen, velvet or wool, and long sleeves. The colors are usually rich and dark. The summer style is lighter and more frivolous, has short sleeves, and is often made of lightweight cotton.
      Accessories may include a long apron tied round the waist, a waistcoat or a wool shawl. In many regions, especially the Ausseerland, vibrantly-colored, hand-printed silk scarfs and silk aprons are worn. As far as jewelry is concerned, women often sport necklaces, earrings and brooches made of silver, the antlers of deer or even animals' teeth. For colder weather there are heavy dirndl coats in the same cut as the dresses, with a high neck and front buttons, thick mittens and wool hats.


      The dirndl originated as a more hardy form of the costume worn today; the uniform of Austrian servants in the 19th century (Dirndlgewand means "maid's dress"). Simple forms were also worn commonly by working women in plain colors or a simple check. The Austrian upper classes adopted the dirndl as high fashion in the 1870s. Today, dirndls vary from simple styles to exquisitely crafted, very expensive models.


      The dirndl is mostly worn in Austria and Bavaria. It is used as an everyday dress primarily by older women in rural areas. Other women may wear it at formal occasions (much like a Scotsman wearing a kilt) and during certain traditional events. It is hugely popular also among young women at the time of a Volksfest, such as the Oktoberfest in Munich (and similar festivals), although many women will only wear dirndl-style dresses, called Landhausmode, which may deviate in numerous ways and are often much cheaper.
      In Austria and Bavaria, the dirndl may often be seen on women working in tourism-related businesses, and sometimes waitresses in traditional-style restaurants or beer gardens. It is also seen in these regions on women in the Volksmusik business.

      In popular culture it is sometimes reported that the placement of the knot on the apron is an indicator of the woman's marital status. A knot tied on the woman's left side indicates that she is single, a knot tied on the right means that she is married, engaged or otherwise "taken", a knot tied in the front centre means that she is a virgin and a knot tied at the back indicates that the woman is widowed.

      Sonja Still, a Munich-based journalist, says: "Today people look more closely at this than ever."


      What has this got to do with The Christmas Market? Well in Manchester, Birmingham and other cities across the UK there are now "German"markets, which to be fair are similar to those held in Germany at this time of the year. One of the several catalogue companies that I subscibe to - Curvissa - has a blog with a range of "landhausmode" clothing for sale - and its not cheap ( see below).

      What do you think? Could you go to the Christmas Market dressed in a dirndl - or would you prefer to just observe women with trays of beer dressed like that?


      Pauline xxxx

      http://www.curvissa.co.uk/blog/announcements/dress-christmas-german-market/?cm_mmc=MarketingEmail-_-A13C47_GermanMarket_P%20remainder-_-Prospect-_-blogheroleft_image&utm_source=MarketingMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=A13C47_GermanMarket_P%20remainder&utm_content=blogheroleft_image
      How to Dress for The Christmas Market
    • November 27, 2013 7:16 PM GMT
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      I don't think i'd wear a dirndl - but i'd love a afternoon or evening dressed quite casual in the markets xxx lol

    • November 27, 2013 7:33 PM GMT
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      Im off too Amsterdam - which is completely not Germany or Austria but has some xmas markets! - at the weekend for a flying visit - unfortunately in drab but ill keep an eye out for any dirndl dressed peeps who have travelled up to holland, i love that style of dress (oh and trays of beer!) X
    • November 27, 2013 7:47 PM GMT
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      Went to Birmingham German Market last year Dressed, and loved it, going gain this Friday, just deciding what to wear XX
    • November 27, 2013 8:08 PM GMT
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      Well i will be in the Markets in Hamburg next week sadly not in a dirndl...but will be enjoy some of the lovely Glhwein as well as the wise beer and possibly a Bratwurst x x x
    • November 28, 2013 7:50 PM GMT
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      I wouldn't mind being served beer by girls (preferably t-girls lol) dressed like that but I would be wearing something warm because at my age I feel the cold. :D
    • November 28, 2013 9:04 PM GMT
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      I went to the market saturday just gone, it was unbelievable,
      packed to the gills, uncomfortably crowded,
      had to pick a lady up off the floor that couldnt get up
      because there wasnt enough room to stand!!!
      waited 15 minutes to get a bratwurst and a drink!
      expensive? two bratwurst and two drinks which were less than a pint,
      £19.00!
      two very thin undercooked pancakes £8.00!
      honestly? never again
    • December 1, 2013 10:51 AM GMT
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      Went to Birmingham German Market as Lesley 29/11 had a lovley time, pics in my new album
    • January 14, 2014 11:27 PM GMT
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      I love dirndls!!!!

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