|Turquoise Plaid Trachtenhemd|
After my first 2 collections were released, the most commonly asked questions was, “are you going to design men’s clothes too?” So in 2011, I started making menswear… primarily trachtenhemden, or traditionally inspired shirts. Lets dive right in and see how a shirt comes together.
One of the things about men’s shirts that’s funny, is that it takes just as much fabric to make a man’s shirt (if not more) as it does to make a dirndl. The difference is the time it takes to sew. Men’s shirts take approximately 1.75 yards of fabric, more if it’s a plaid. Plaids need to be placed very strategically in order to create the right look so the stripes line up and match! Sometimes, I incorporate two fabrics to create a very unique look that has a bit of contrast to it, like the black accents on the Turquoise Plaid Trachtenhemd.
|Laying out the pattern for a new shirt|
Then its time to add the fusible interfacing. Fusible is a reinforcement fabric that is fused or melted to the shirt fabric. It makes it stiffer and more durable. The fusible is added to areas of the shirt that need more structure like the collar and under collar as well as places where there are buttons, like the pockets, center front, and cuffs.
Then its time to sew it up! Some of the details in my menswear, like the roll up sleeves, front button flaps or shoulder accents are what take extra time and make Rare Menswear special. Its also about the design. When designing a menswear piece I always keep in mind certain things that I know my customer is looking for. What does the average American tracht-wearing man want in a shirt? Comfort, ease, tradition and individuality.
|Almost finished sewing a new sample|
I am very aware that my menswear is expensive, but there are details in them that you simply won’t find on other trachtenshirts. I’m most proud of the fact that while they are indeed trachtenshirts, sporting edelweiss buttons, traditional embroideries and classic cuts, they are completely wearable outside of an Oktoberfest. Most of my shirts wouldn’t look out of place at a concert, cousin Stefan’s birthday or out running errands.
Designing Trachten menswear can be a challenge, but it pushes me to think more creatively. I’m also very proud to say that at the Münchener Trachtentage, Rare Dirndl, hands down, had the most interesting menswear.
Thats all folks… If you are interested in seeing all my menswear designs, click here and see what I’ve got!