Rare Dirndl Customer Spotlight: Karen Geist

Karen Geist
Chicago, IL

Karen Rare Dirndl

I love love love celebrating my German (Donauschwaben) Heritage. I am first generation American and nothing helps me celebrate my heritage better than wearing Dirndln. I have been wearing Dirndln my entire life but I love my Rare Dirndln because of how modern they are while still having a traditional feel. I now have 4 Rare Dirndln, some extra blouses, an extra apron, and accessories (incuding a winter hat and Edelweiss wrap bracelets).

Karen-Blackhawks DirndlMy first Rare Dirndl is my Blackhawks Dirndl which I got shortly after the Hawks won the 2010 Stanley Cup. I was born and raised in Chicago and am excited to combine my love of Chicago, sports, and German wear. I like to wear this Dirndl in other cities/states to show off my pride!

My second Rare Dirndl is my Sunflower Dirndl. This Dirndl is great for wearing in the Chicago Von Steuben German Day Parade. I recently also got the Weltmeister apron to wear with this Dirndl. I like to wear it at oktoberfests. It’s also perfect for Milwaukee German Fest with my black blouselette.

Germany DirndlKaren-Dirndl ChicagoDirndl Nummer Drei is one of my favorites. I feel so great when I wear this Dirndl. It’s the perfect length for dancing with the Nocheinmal Tanzgruppe of the American Aid Society of German Descendants. When it’s really hot in the summer, I wear my grey blouselette with it. Perfection!

And finally, my custom Dirndl. It’s the most flattering Dirndl I own. It’s elegant, classy, modern, and gorgeous! I often wear this Dirndl at the annual Landestrachtenfest der Donauschwaben. This Dirndl is very special to me because I know that Erika specially designed this piece just for me and it is one-of-a-kind.Karen Custom Dirndl

I’m looking forward to the next event where I can show off my Dirndln. I can’t wait for summer Dirndl wearing season!

Do you want to be the next Rare Dirndl Customer Spotlight? As the winner you will recieve a $50 Coupon Code for any online purchase, a feature on the Rare Dirndl Website and Blog, and a gift package worth approx $100!! Click here to get all the details!


How She Wore It: Luisa Martini – Miss German America of Philadelphia

Rare Dirndl PrincessRare Dirndl PrincessLuisa wore her new custom dirndl to proudly represent her year as Miss German America of Philadelphia/Kornblumen Königin! She picked all of the elements out herself including the subtle nod to her life long fondness of goats (born the year of the goat, capricorn, etc) for her custom dirndl. Here is what she had to say about it:

“This has been a great end to a wonderful year as Miss German America of Philadelphia/Kornblumen Königin. The custom dirndl was far more than I could have imagined. From the vibrant floral pattern to the sparkling goat on the back, it fit my personality perfectly. I am very active in my German community as a member of the Trenton Donauschwaben and the Philadelphia/Trenton Jugend Tanzgruppe and will be sure to bring the dirndl at the annual Landestreffen der Donauschwaben in Anaheim this August! Thank you again Rare Dirndl/Erika Neumayer for your creativity and craftsmanship!”

Rare Dirndl PrincessRare Dirndl Princess

If you are interested in your own custom Dirndl, CLICK HERE for more information.

Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now!

Rare Dirndl Customer Spotlight: Kathleen Martini


Kathleen Martini – Columbus, OH

I’m Kathleen Martini, a 20-year-old Schwob living in Columbus, Ohio and dancing for the Trenton Donauschwaben Jugendgruppe. I have four Rare dirndls, one of which is custom, and I’m a little more than obsessed.

The custom dirndl Erika made for me when she was moving locations is probably the most beautiful piece of clothing I own. It is a vision in white, and I love it, but I think another piece she did is even more beautiful…

I’m half-Schwob, half-Irish, with my mom being the only non-genetic Schwob in the family. She always comes to Labor Day and whatever other club events we drag her to, sporting a dirndl more often than most, and throughout the years, she’s always joked about getting a green dirndl to show off her Irish pride. When I discovered Erika a few years ago, she posed the perfect solution to my mom’s problem. I emailed her, and she drew up a design for a beautiful shamrock-themed dirndl that I gave my mom for a late Mother’s Day present. My mom loves it still, and I’ll be stealing it out of her closet one of these days.

Erika is an artist, and I love her visions for dirndls. I love the tradition of our Donauschwaben heritage, and I know she does, too. It’s beautiful to see her create modern pieces that are still tributes to our roots.

Do you want to be the next Rare Dirndl Customer Spotlight? As the winner you will recieve a $50 Coupon Code for any online purchase, a feature on the Rare Dirndl website and blog, and a gift package worth approx $100!! Click here to get all the details!

Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now!

Rare Dirndl Customer Spotlight: Caroline Dektas

Caroline Dektas – Cincinnati, Ohio

I have always been interested in dancing. When I was a kid I danced tap, ballet, jazz, and whatever else my mother would let me. Unfortunately, as I got older I didn’t have time for dancing anymore, but I still had the passion to dance.
In 2009, one of my friends introduced me to the Cincinnati Donauschwaben Society and I have been a member ever since. As a member of both the Youth Group and the Schuhplattlers, I perform traditional German dances at a variety of festivals throughout the Cincinnati area. One of the many perks of dancing with the Donauschwaben is that I get to wear a traditional Bavarian Dirndl.
Every year all the Donauschwaben Society’s throughout the U.S. and Canada meet in a city over Labor Day weekend. I first met Erika at one of our Labor Day Trips where Rare Dirndl had a booth set up. I flipped through her catalog and came across a dirndl that reminded me of Minnie Mouse’s dressand I got excited. Ever since I was a kid I always had a soft spot for Disney. Besides Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Minnie Mouse is my favorite Disney character. I talked to Erika and asked her about the possibility to create a Minnie Mouse Dirndl and she told me that she was up for the challenge. We talked back and forth through email during the design process and before I knew it, I received the finished product in the mail.
Ever since I received the Minnie Mouse Dirndl from Rare Dirndl, I have worn it out to many German events and festivals throughout the Cincinnati area including the Cincinnati Donauschwaben’s Oktoberfest and Schwabenfest. I also wore it during our recent trip to Disney World, where I received numerous complements. I especially love being able to pair it with my German Mickey ears when I wear it out.

Erika was a pleasure to work with. She was very professional and willing to think outside of the box. I love having a Dirndl that is fun and unique and fits my personality.

Do you want to be the next Rare Dirndl Customer Spotlight? As the winner you will recieve a $50 Coupon Code for any online purchase, a feature on the Rare Dirndl website and blog, and a gift package worth approx $100!! Click here to get all the details!

Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now!

Rare Dirndl Customer Spotlight: Lena Bauman

Lena Bauman – Kitchener, Ontario

My name is Lena Bauman, I am 24 years old and newly married to my husband Bryan Bauman of a year and a half. We currently live in Kitchener, Ontario and I am a proud Donauschwaben and a member of the Kitchener Schwaben Dancers.

I first saw Erika Neumayer’s Rare dirndls at Tag Der Donauschwaben 2010 in Philadephia, PA and I instantly loved them. When I got home from the long weekend event, I immediately e-mailed her and asked her to draw me up a sketch with some ideas I had. She was so quick, helpful and I instantly loved her ideas.

Over the years I have purchased 4 Rare dirndls and many aprons and blouses from Erika on the side. I love mixing and matching them as well as accessorizing with different flower or feather hair pieces and different coloured shoes.

With all that being said, my favorite Rare Dirndl, and the one I hold dearest to my heart is my custom Germany soccer dirndl. I absolutely adore it and it’s the one I will get stopped constantly and complimented on! I could tell instantly when I received it how much hard work and time she put into it and it fit so perfect! As seen in the pictures I mostly wear it to Kitchener- Waterloo Oktoberfest yearly but, with being a part of the Kitchener Schwaben Club I have worn it to many other events as well. With my families German background I couldn’t have asked for a better dirndl or Oktoberfest accessory than my Germany Dirndl!

Do you want to be the next Rare Dirndl Customer Spotlight? As the winner you will recieve a $50 Coupon Code for any online purchase, a feature on the Rare Dirndl website and blog, and a gift package worth approx $100!! Click here to get all the details!

 Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now!  

When I saw this, I almost screamed! Rare Dirndl are ALWAYS made in the USA!

Well…. last week, it was brought to my attention by Debra from Trachten-Quelle in Canada, that there is a Rare Dirndl Impostor out there!

I guess I’ve really made it big because a Pakistani manufacturer is copying my designs. I was quite upset about the whole thing, not because they were copying my designs (it’s bound to happen in this industry) but because they are so blatantly using my photograph!

I had fire running through my veins! What if people start thinking that Rare Dirndls come from a sweatshop in Pakistan?! Debra also did a little investigating for me and asked for pricing on my designs, and at the price that they are offering, there is no way that the quality can be there! It’s impossible… their wholesale cost is less than the cost of just the fabrics! (not to mention that fabric is sold out… so it must be a “similar fabric”) Anywooooo… before I get all riled up again about this, let’s get to the good stuff!

I want to show you some details that go into a Rare Dirndl that you can’t see and I’m sure that the Pakistani manufacturer is not including in their dirndls. The details that we put inside Rare Dirndls is just as important as what is on the outside. Without the inner structure: extra fusible, boning, and pressings… the dirndls wouldn’t last very long, look as nice, or fit as well.

All of the dirndls have an extra layer of fabric that is fused to the center front to make it more durable. This way, when we add the extra weight of the hardware, hooks, spikes, chain etc… the center of your dirndl doesn’t start tearing, ripping, or buckling under the pressure!

Another SUPER important detail that we include in our dirndls is the boning (or stays) at the center front. Along the front zipper is a type of boning that is stitched to the inside and keeps the front from collapsing.

This particular style of boning is expensive, (probably why you don’t find it in cheaper dirndls) but this boning is my favorite. Sometimes after lots of wear and tear, small pieces of it may start to poke out the top, but a quick trim with scissors or filing with a nail file can fix the problem. Cheaper boning can poke out completely and once it breaks through the fabric, it creates a hole that is very difficult, if not impossible to fix.

Rare Dirndls are also pressed frequently throughout the sewing process. This is more time consuming, but really makes the final product look much more polished and more likely to stay looking fresh.

Another thing that is very important to me is that anyone who is working for Rare Dirndl, whether it be the seamstresses, the pattern makers or the window washer, is paid properly. Rare dirndls, menswear, blouses etc are all created in ethical conditions, NOT in sweatshops! (I mean the studio does get hot in the summer, but that doesn’t count 😉 haha!)

The details that are inside Rare Dirndls that you can’t see are what make them really great. Also, they are sewn with care! If I don’t sew them myself, they are made by a local Chicago manufacturer (5 miles from the Rare Dirndl Design Studio) and these ladies are awesome! They can sew circles around me and their attention to detail is beyond impressive… that’s why they’re the only people I trust to make Rare Dirndls!

So there you have it, what makes a Rare Dirndl… well… RARE! If you ever have any questions about Rare Dirndls, feel free to send an e-mail or give the studio a call and we’ll answer your questions as best we can. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get an inside look at the daily goings on!

 Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now! 

World Cup Dirndls?! Actually just "In Bloom" Dirndls!

With the World Cup in full swing, the Rare Dirndl Design Studio windows are all set up with dirndls representing Group G: Germany, Portugal, USA, and Ghana! How did I have time to make 4 dirndls to represent each country? I used the In Bloom Dirndls and Vest and it was super easy!

Germany vs Portugal

The first game on Monday had Germany playing Portugal! 

Our German representative in the window is wearing the In Bloom Dirndl with an Off-the-Shoulder Blouse with gathers, Yellow Semi-Circle Skirt and a German Flag themed custom apron!

Our Portuguese representative is wearing the In Bloom Vest with the Sweetheart Blouse with Lace, a Black Semi-Circle Skirt and Portuguese Flag themed one-of-a-kind apron!

USA vs Ghana

The next game was the USA versus Ghana!

Our American representative in the window is wearing the In Bloom Vest with the Sparkle Organza Blouse, Royal Blue Semi-Circle Skirt, Modern Bavarian Scarf, and an American Flag themed custom apron! 

Our Ghanaian representative is wearing the In Bloom Dirndl with a Black Blouslette, Red Semi-Circle Skirt and one-of-a-kind apron (the fabric I used celebrates 50 years of independence… I bought the fabric in Ghana when I was studying abroad in 2007!)

All of these pieces are available online! [except the Portugal apron… which is just pinned for the window and the Ghana apron… which is mine 😉 ]

Click Here to get stared building your own In Bloom Dirndl look to represent your country! But if you are a little confused as to how this dirndl works… why its so versatile and what makes it the perfect dirndl for Oktoberfest or any other occasion, watch this video!

This weekend I’ll be keeping a close eye on the games in order to update the scores in the Design Studio Window. If you have any questions or would like more details about the In Bloom Dirndl, simply reply to this e-mail.

Happy World Cup!!

 Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now!