Let’s Talk About Traditional German Costume

Let’s Talk About Traditional German Costume

Clothes have a purpose. The German things we wear reveal who we are and what we value. These could provide hints about our background or profession. They may make us feel a part of the community. Both for ourselves and for our ancestors, these things are true.

Did you have ancestors who came from Germany or other German-speaking regions? Learn more about the German dirndl that your ancestors would have worn by continuing to read.

Trachten: German Costume

Tracht and trachten (the plural of tracht) are likely to be used while discussing German clothes. Trachten originally meant “anything that is worn.” Yet nowadays, it’s mostly connected to vintage attire from bygone eras. It can also be used to describe headgear, jewels, hairstyles, and even emblems and insignia that go with them.

In the past, trachten was used to categorize wearers as belonging to a particular social class, doing a specific job, or practising a particular faith. Trachten were occasionally worn as a representation of a united country. An important approach to staying connected to one’s cultural background today is through trachten.

Dirndls and Lederhosen: German Costume

Lederhosen and dirndls are often the first German clothing items that come to mind. Although they were invented in Bavaria, these garments are now commonplace elsewhere.

A German costume called a dirndl consists of an apron, a bodice, a skirt, and a shirt. Originally, servants or peasants wore dirndl dress. Usually, they were composed of tough fabric that could withstand heavy labour and numerous items of washing. But, other people eventually became aware of these distinctive clothes and produced their own adaptations. For instance, aristocratic women in the 18th century embellished their dirndls with embroidery and other decorative elements while wearing richer textiles like silk.

Men generally wear breeches called lederhosen for men, which are typically made of leather from cows, goats, or deer. These consist of suspenders with a beautiful crosspiece at the front that is worn over the shoulders. Knee-high socks, leather shoes, a checkered shirt, and a jacket are frequently worn with lederhosen.

While dirndls and lederhosen are well-known trachten, many other places have less well-known—yet just as stunning—traditional attire.

This blog post offers a visual overview of the traditional attire used in a variety of locations, including Hesse and Baden-Württemberg.

Traditional Oktoberfest Fashions Of The Dirndl Dress

You may have seen or read of a dirndl, but what exactly is it, and how did women start wearing them as part of the traditional attire for Oktoberfest? A woman’s traditional clothing known as a dirndl is worn in southern Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and the Italian Alpine areas. The dirndl, or “tracht” in German, is a traditional clothing that is still worn by women and girls in the Alps today. Originally worn as work attire by Alpine peasants while they cleaned, worked on farms, and laboured in the fields, it evolved during the 19th century.

Currently, a garment with a tight bodice, a deep, round or rectangular neckline, a wide, high-waisted skirt, and an apron is referred to as a “dirndl dress.” Designs and styles range from basic to high-end.

Classic Hairdo is Crown Braids

The blouse highlights the dirndl’s style; it can be plain with straight sleeves, or it can have elaborate ruffles and lace. Certain blouse types are beautifully hand-embroidered. It is only a few inches long and ends just below the bust. The majority of blouses are white and are made of cambric, linen, or lace. Although long and short narrow sleeves are equally frequent, short puff sleeves are the most popular. High, V-shaped, balconette, heart-shaped, or other necklines are all possible.

Although they were separate until the 1930s, the bodice and skirt are now attached via sewing. Both are constructed of a material that is coloured or printed, typically cotton, linen, velvet, or silk. The connect at the front centre of the dirndl dress is often constructed of one piece and fastened by lacing, buttons, hook-and-eye closures, or zips.

Any lady looks stunning in a dirndl because of the wide skirt and folds that highlight the waist. Originally ankle-length, it is now mid-length with an apron in more contemporary patterns.

It is customary to wear white, knee-length stockings. If you plan to be on your feet all day at Fest, we might advise wearing traditional German costume footwear that is also comfy.


The origins of dirndl dresses can be traced to the frolicsome attire worn in Austria and Bavaria throughout the 19th century. Yet, Bavarian maids also wore this style of Dirndl outfit to work. Yet over time, upper-class people who liked Dirndl’s elegance embraced it. That is how the dirndl made it into the mainstream of fashion, where it is today acknowledged as a daring statement of status and style for women. Lederhosen is thought to have originated in Germany. However, it’s a common misconception that this is the country’s traditional attire. These clothes are essentially classic leisure or work attire, which was traditionally connected to the working class for men. In fact, men’s traditional German costume for Oktoberfest is this, which is one of the reasons why it holds value for it.

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