What your dirndl is telling the world

Soon after acquiring my dirndl, I was taught the rules for tying the apron. The strings are long, and usually you wrap them all the way around your waist and then tie them in a bow in the front. But not just anywhere in the front. No, no, no, this is important stuff, so listen up. If you tie the bow on the left, it means you’re available; on the right it means you’re taken. Beyond that the rules get a little hazy, depending on who you’re talking to. I’ve heard that a bow tied in the center means either you’re “open” or that you’re a virgin. But given that we’re in very Catholic Bavaria, being a virgin and being available should practically mean the same thing, right? (Snicker, snicker.) A bow in the back means you’re a widow, or possibly a waitress.

This whole apron-tying nonsense seems a little too middle school to be taken seriously. But, if tying my apron on the right means fewer sloppy drunk boys will try to hit on me at Oktoberfest, then by all means I’m following the rule. Which reminds me, it’s about time to tie on that apron and head out for our opening-day tent reservation. O’zapft is!

How do you tie your dirndl apron?

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9 thoughts on “What your dirndl is telling the world

  1. Interestingly enough, as a rightie I have instinctively been tying my Dirndl apron on the right. Looking around last night on the Wiesn, I didn’t see any at all tied on the left. That could mean everyone is taken, everyone is right handed, I didn’t see a big enough sample (although I love Dirndl watching), or that no one knows the rules. I’ll look again tonight.
    G recently posted..Well Used

  2. @Amy – Most dirndls wouldn’t look as good without the apron, in my opinion. Mine certainly wouldn’t. But hey, I’m not the fashion police, and I say you can wear whatever you want.

    @G – I love dirndl-watching, too. So many colors…

    @Tiffany – What if it’s the woman in the mirror’s right?

  3. Fashion Police here ;-). Some kinds of tracht (traditional Bavarian clothes) dresses don’t require an apron, but a dirndl does. I tie mine on the right and then sometimes I switch it if I run out of beer money. Then it doesn’t matter if the woman in the mirror is right because I can’t look at myself anyway.

  4. Glad I decided to check this. Now that I’m widowed, but absolutely NOT interested in men getting close to me, I thought I ought to check before I step out to church this morning. Interestingly, however, I just bought Maria A. von Trapp’s autobiography, which inspired ‘The Sound of Music’, and the photo on the cover, with all of the 10 children shows all the daughters with the bow tied on their right side. I’m guessing the current rules are parallel to the fact that Germans wear the wedding ring on the right hand.

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