More and more often, especially among international visitors, are women’s shorts (LAY-der-hozen). This high-cut version of traditional leather shorts comes with suspenders and can look very sexy if you have the legs to achieve this. Lederhosen for women tend to have a slightly softer texture compared to those for men. The size is not very flexible with leather pants, so you need to try them on before you buy them. To dress up your dirndl yourself, the coolest accessory is to add traditional necklaces filled with hanging coins to the front of your bodice.
Of course, dirndls can be expensive, but you don’t really have to spend a lot of money on a good dirndl. You can find excellent ones that are still affordable and don’t make fun of the local culture. The apron makes the dirndl, because sometimes the fashion gods throw a bone at us.
Men in northern Germany wear white coats with a red lining, accompanied by knee-length breeches (büxen) and blue stockings for traditional ceremonies and processions. In the late 1800s, around 1870, dirndl became very popular among the higher echelons of society. Suddenly, simple dresses made of practical fabrics were transformed into very elegant and colorful dresses, often made of silk, satin and other expensive fabrics. The bodice (German – Mieder or Leiberl) is sewn into the skirt, although the two were separated before the 1930s. Both are made of colored or printed material, usually cotton, linen, velvet or silk. The bodice is usually made of one piece, with the joint in the middle in the front, secured by laces, buttons or a hook and eye closure or a zipper.
Modern materials and patterns and a large number of new and young designers breathe new life into the garment. While this won’t kick you out, I’d definitely think twice before wearing a cheesy lederhosen t-shirt Moser Dirndl or a dirndl t-shirt. Unless your goal is really to look like a completely ignorant tourist, that is. You might be able to arrive at the Wiesn in a “Take me to Oktoberfest” costume or even dressed as Jesus.
The state of Hesse has some of the oldest Trachten in Germany, although they are often no longer used. The women wore traditional black clothing with colorful appliqués. The German word Tracht today describes traditional, historical or regional fashion, including clothing, hairstyle, accessories and jewelry, as well as symbols and badges. In Schleswig-Holstein, traditional costumes are mainly bred by traditional costume clubs and folk dance groups, which are organized in the state association of folk costumes and dance. A particularly interesting and lively hat was, and sometimes still is, worn by Protestant women in the Villages of Kirnbach, Gutach and Hornberg-Reichenbach in the Black Forest.
At the end of the 19th century, the dirndl was adapted by the upper and middle classes as a fashion mode and then spread as a mode outside the area of origin. There are many types of customizations to the original popular designs. The dirndl is also worn as an ethnic costume by the population of the German diaspora in other countries. Over the past 10 years, the dirndl has experienced something of a renaissance. It is not uncommon in Bavaria to see young women wearing one on weekends, at a wedding or at a family birthday party.
Men used to choose the haferl shoe, a thick leather or rubber sole that was invented in Bavaria for agriculture. The shoemaker Franz Schratt based the design on that of the hooves of animals, and the word heferl, freely translated, means “half shoe”. These were also easy on the feet, and the men prided themselves on the care that went into the artisanal elaboration of their haferl. In the past, Tracht was complemented by an elegant hat, which had the double advantage of protecting the face from the sun and at the same time displaying a sense of fashion. Especially for men in southern Germany, this was usually a traditional alpine hat made of felt or wool, with a border around the head. For a long time it fell out of favor, but more recently it has begun to be picked up again, especially in Bavaria, not only as a new item, but also as a symbol of German and Bavarian pride.