German national costume

Any national dress is a whole story about status, profession, marital status, age, place of residence, religious affiliation. In Germany, there are many historical areas, respectively, and costumes are diverse. The most characteristic and well-recognized Bavarian. It is he who is usually meant when talking about the German national costume.

These are trachten (costumes for women and men) and dirndl (only female). In the Schwabenland area, women wore, in addition to the standard suit of blouses, skirts, corsage and aprons, removable drape collars. Or a scarf with embroidery and fringe. The differences between the variants of the national costume are most easily traced on the headgear:

  1. Districts Kirnbach, Reichenbach, Gutach - straw hats Bollenhut with 14 pom-poms. They were worn from 14-15 years. Red pompons for Fraulein (unmarried girls), black ones for Frau.
  2. Hotzenwald District - fancy straw hats with shell-shaped fields.
  3. Elztäler and St. Märgen - flat straw hat caps with narrow margins, decorated with ribbons and decorative flowers. After marriage, they changed to a black cap with a cone-shaped detail on the top of the head. In the Titisee region, Fraulein wore the same black cap.
  4. In the area of ​​Titisee for adult, married ladies, gold caps of various shapes were adopted.
  5. Kinzigtal region - headgear ribbons were not tied under the chin, but intricately laid over the forehead, the nape was decorated with silver embroidery.
  6. Harmersbach - black cap ribbons rose high and fit in the form of loops, like the ears of a hare.


Fashion historians date the emergence of German national costume 16-17 centuries. Costume development was limited by numerous decrees (from city to state). Everything was regulated, down to the details: the type of clothing, its cost, the quality of the material, the ability to wear jewelry, cut, color. Each estate could wear only its own costume. Lace, embroidery, colorful ornaments - these are luxuries, they were allowed to wear only nobles. The restrictions were lifted only at the beginning of the 19th century, it was at this time that the German national costume began to take shape as it is known today.

INTERESTING. Bavarians still wear a national costume, and not only on holidays. It is considered very prestigious. Such a suit is not a cheap pleasure, one set is sewn only from natural fabrics and costs about 800 euros.

Tahten and Dirndl

Tachten or Tracht is a costume distributed throughout Germany. In Southern Germany and Austria, it is similar to Western style, common in North America. This style is called Landhausmode (Manor style). Frisian Tracht and Finkenwerder (Friesen Tracht and Finkenwerder Tracht) are common in northern Germany.

It should be understood that tracht is not one specific costume. Each tracht comes from a specific area and has its own appearance. An example of a lady’s fuck is the Mieder corset, which has become popular in Munich. This is a black vest with silver hooks. Initially, it was worn by waitresses, back in the 18th century. A monophonic one-piece dress was put on under the vest.

The most characteristic part of the men's national German costume is lederhosen. It consists of short leather pants (there is an option with a length of ¾), shirt, frock coat and vest. The hat is decorated with feathers or brushes - an imitation of a bear mustache, boots have a thick sole, complement the ensemble of leggings and a hunting knife, for which on the pants on the right there is a special pocket decorated with the same embroidery as the flap in front of the pants. Wear pants with suspenders with jumpers on the chest or on the belt. Suit “talking”: married men wear long frock coats, single - short.

NOTE. Leg warmers were once an attribute of a peasant and hunting suit, so boots were worn on a bare foot. Today, leggings have lost their applied functions and have become more comfortable golfs.

Dirndl is a women's set consisting of a fluffy bell skirt, a white or colored blouse, vest, and an apron. The vest imitates a corset, has a lacing or buttons. The apron is tied with a bow, the Fraulein is tied with it on the left, married or engaged - on the right, in the middle in the back - widows. The traditional length of the skirt is 27 cm from the ground. But today the dirndl skirt can be of any length.

Color compositions, drawings, ornament

Dirndl color schemes are diverse today. Sometimes you can see the blue and white costumes, designed in the tone of the Bavarian flag. The combination of a white blouse with bright red, green and blue colors is considered standard. The cell of vichy and peas is popular. However, very few modern dirndles are associated with history. It’s just stylized clothing for themed outings.

In fact, each principality has its own colors, local historians are engaged in the study of national traditions, today there are no generalized data. The Miesbach, Werdenfels and Kimgau costumes are best studied.

Among traditional colors, black is very popular. It was compromised by the National Socialists, and is now firmly associated with them, but in fact, many cultural traditions are associated with this color, not only widows were black. On the contrary, from the era of the Reformation, it was considered a symbol of solemnity.

Young girls, as a rule, dressed in light and bright colors, especially they highlighted red. Ladies in age wore dark suits: blue, green.

INTERESTING. Already at the choice of attire, one could understand whether the widow wants to marry again. If desired, a year after the death of her husband, she could change the black outfit to a brighter one.

Special attention was paid to wedding dresses; they invested sparingly. An example of a villager from Schaumburg-Lippe:

  1. Patterned bottom shirt.
  2. Colored stockings.
  3. The petticoat is lilac (possibly blue).
  4. Black fluffy skirt.
  5. Collar in two layers with patterns.
  6. Sleeves.
  7. The scarf is plain white and lace.
  8. Belt.
  9. A bandage consisting of ribbons - their number meant the number of skirts. Skirts were expensive - it was the bride’s dowry. The more skirts - the richer the bride.
  10. Black apron made of silk.
  11. Manishka decorated with gold embroidery.
  12. White mittens embroidered with pearls.
  13. Crown decorated with glass beads and sprigs of rosemary.

And the girls from Fer Island got married in dark dresses made of blue English cloth. A green silk scarf was thrown over his shoulders. On the bride’s head over the headscarf, the groom secured a crescent moon of bright red cloth - this sign later on indicated that the woman had already married.


Until the 19th century, exquisite patterns on fabrics, furs and precious jewelry were available only to the nobility and clergy. As for the specific costumes, the choice of fabric depended on the local economic situation. For example, a dress for a bride from Fer Island was made of expensive English cloth. Decor - silver buttons, 10 or 12 pieces (residents from the island of Amrum wore only 8 for material reasons and had every reason to envy). Cloth and jewelry were brought from England and Spain by the whalers, who inhabited the islands. Thus, it turned out that the "traditional" outfit.

The basis of the costumes of the peasants were natural coarse fabrics: wool, linen. With the removal of economic boundaries, the quality of fabrics also changed. For example, in Marbourg in the 19th century, women wore wool skirts and linen aprons. In the 20th century, thinner delicate fabrics were replaced from: cloth, silk.

What influenced the look of the costumes, modern looks

The appearance was influenced not so much by tradition as by economics. Not without the personal contribution of certain sections of society. For example, prosperous peasants, due to the requirements of numerous decrees, were squeezed by a tight framework, but they found ways to differ from their poorer counterparts. Modern variations of the national costume captivate the general public and outrage historians. In most cases, they are only created on the basis of national German costumes and retain their color, but the symbolic meaning of shades, materials and details is lost.

The modern dirndl is a short blouse, with magnificent sleeves, beautifully revealing shoulders and neck, more than any historical option. The vest emphasizes the figure, and the length of the skirt often deviates from the floor much more than the height of the beer mug. The lower skirts are not used to demonstrate wealth, but are either given pomp or are completely excluded. New dirndle variants appear, for example, glamorous. It is sewn from silk, decorated with lace and Swarovski rhinestones. Nobody limits the imagination of manufacturers, so today dirndli can be chosen for every taste.