If you are travelling to Germany, then your very first priority would be to sign up for their cultural events and parades. Many of which include beer drinking and socialising events which have been ongoing for over a century. Some events may unofficially require you to wear certain attires such as lederhosen for Oktoberfest.
These events represent the rich culture and heritage that the Bavarian community has to offer. Here you can socialise and get to know Germans better and enjoy beer drinking competitions and the variety of foods the event has to offer.
The two main outfits worn at these events are Lederhosen and German.
Lederhosen translates to ‘leather breeches’ in the German language. It was invented in the 18th century inspired by Austrian and French fashion at the time. They were more often worn by the working class of Bavaria and nearby communities. Lederhosen for Oktoberfest is worn for cultural reasons and to represent the contribution of farmers to the development of their community into modern-day Germany.
Use of Lederhosen
The material used for the earliest versions of lederhosen was pure leather which would help farmers withstand extreme conditions and harsh working conditions.
Evolution of Lederhosen
Lederhosen for Oktoberfest is a modern concept. It was originally worn for working especially by farmers living in the Alps. Eventually, it blended into French and neighbouring countries’ fashion. Soon, we had the royal family wearing lederhosen for outdoor activities. Hence, it became an athleisure sort of attire.
The German dirndl was not originally dirndl, but an outfit worn by Austrian servants working for the royal and noble class of Austria. The dress evolved into what we now know as dirndl.
Use of Dirndl
It was very useful to wear a dirndl for the female class. Not only did it allow freedom of mobility, but the embroidery on the skirt would be specific to the women’s native tribe.
Evolution of the German Dirndl
With dresses available in a range of colours and designs, dirndls were used during special occasions too. Darker shades of blues and greys were worn for special occasions such as weddings or funerals. Meanwhile, the dull colours were favoured to be worn on normal days during their day-to-day work.
Where to Find
You can look for a range of german dirndl and lederhosen online. Munich also has a rich variety of boutiques specifically meant for traditional german dresses. They also cost less than before due to variety and the use of much more economical material meant for dresses which are to be worn not more than a handful of times.
Wearing traditional outfits to their cultural events not only enlightens your experience but also gives you respect from German locals who have been preserving the tradition for years.