Blog: Chris Brook-CarterThe death of the dirndl?

Chris Brook-Carter | 5 August 2005

You see, we here in the UK don’t spend much of our year worrying about the sun. Our summer started and finished in the same week about a month ago. So, the European Union’s proposal to ensure employers of staff who work outdoors must ensure they cover up against the risk of sunburn wouldn't normally bother us. Until someone pointed out one little thing…

Bar keepers in Bavaria are up in arms over the Optical Radiation Directive, as they will be forced to cover up their barmaids. These beer servers traditionally wear a low-cut figure-hugging outfit called a dirndl. The bar owners have been told that the somewhat revealing dirndl will have to be replaced as it offers insufficient protection from sunlight.

“This is European law-making at its most pedantic,” Munich’s mayor, Christian Ude, said. “A waitress is no longer allowed to wander round a beer garden with a plunging neckline. I would not want to enter a beer garden under these conditions.”

He’s lucky to have had the pleasure, as it were, in the past. We don’t get such situations here – not for any moral reason, you understand, more that it’s bloody cold all the time.


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