Dirndl and Lederhosen – The Oktoberfest Dress Code

When our Oktoberfest is in full swing many of you will be seeing (or wearing!) the traditional garments known as Lederhosen and Dirndl – or ‘Lederhosn’ and ‘Diandl’ as Bavarian dialect calls them. 

That brings me to the first important fact – they are NOT the German national clothing – Lederhosen and Dirndl are traditional Bavarian dress and can be traced as far back as the 1600s. They were worn by farmers, shepherds, carpenters and peasants for outdoor work (for the men) and indoor housework (for the women).

What does a Dirndl dress include? 

  1. A white blouse (with a bodice) which is generally very short (ends above the waist), with long, short or puffed sleeves. It can have many different necklines and is usually made of white cotton or linen-

  2. A full skirt – The most traditional form of the dirndl is a long dress skirt which goes to the ankle. The modern version is often shorter.

  3. An apron

Important to note: Knowing on which side of your waste to tie the knot of the ribbon of your apron can reveal a whole lot about your marital status: 

To the left: means you are single
To the right: means you are married or promised to someone
In the middle: this is for young girls/children
In the back: means you are widowed or for waitresses 

How to dress up with a Lederhose (translates to leather pants)? 

  1. Traditionally they are worn with high socks which can go up to the knees.

  2. Naturally there is a shirt to also go with the Lederhosen. Typically it is a plain shirt or a white plaid shirt of any colour.

  3. In full costumes, the Lederhosen also have suspenders.

  4. True traditional Lederhosen might have certain colour embroidery or insignia on the Lederhosen to signify from which region you come from.

Now that you know the inner workings of the traditional Oktoberfest wear we are looking forward to seeing many of you strutting your stuff in a Lederhose or Dirndl!


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