Walking around the crowded streets of Oktoberfest and many other Bavarian festivals, special gatherings, or weddings, you are bound to find many people sporting traditional German clothing known as “Tracht,” the most popular being the lederhosen and the dirndl. While today the German “tracht” is associated with festivals and parties, they used to be the everyday clothes of peasants and working class farmers, dating back to the 18th century.
Originally a simple and plain dress, the dirndl can now be found in a wide range of styles, materials, colors, and embroideries. It was made to be practical, comfy, and easy to work in by Bavarian maids, servants, and farmers. The dress consists of a long or short sleeve blouse, bodice, full skirt, and an apron. A ribbon is usually tied around the waist, but be aware of the way you tie it! A bow tied on the left means you’re single and ready to mingle, to the right you’re married or in a relationship, in the center is for children and younger single girls, and in the back says you are a widow or a waitress.
Lederhosen, commonly made out of brown, gray, black, or tan leather, were first designed by Bavarian farmers to be hardy, easy to move around in, easy to clean off, and affordable. They can be found in two lengths, at or above knee length and below the knees known as “bundhosen.” No matter the length, the traditional men’s clothing will sport matching suspenders joined together on the chest resembling an “H.” Intricate embroidery can be found on the chest pieces of the suspenders as well as on the shorts themselves, including the front flap. A plain, plaid, or checkered long or short sleeve button down shirt is worn underneath. To finish the look a pair of knee-high socks or calf warmers known as Loferl and a wool or felt hat is added.
Start putting together your best “Tracht” for BreyerFest: Prost! You are bound to see inspiration drawn from this iconic German symbol!
Keep your eyes on the BreyerFest Blog for more German inspiration!
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