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6 secrets of traditional German clothes

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    Germany is famous for its unique culture. For those who want to know more about this country, traditional costume is an indispensable part because these clothes are very beautiful and distinctive.


    Traditional German clothes have existed for centuries and vary from region to region. Nowadays, the word “Tracht” is used to describe traditional and historical fashion, including clothing, accessories, hairstyles, and jewelry. Some costumes may seem to be weird, but they are connected to tradition and culture.

    “Tracht” in original German means what can be worn and how to wear it. It can be a garment or an accessory. Usually, these clothes originate from work clothes and uniforms to show that wearers belong to a group or an organization, such as police or pilots.

    In Germany, “Tracht” is used to show the connection with a class, a religion or an ethnic group. However, traditional clothes are worn to highlight differences from other cultures. For example, Germans dress in a particular way to look different from Frenchs.

    If you have seen pictures of Oktoberfest festival, you probably have seen a German wearing “Lederhosen”. This clothing is also worn by men in every festival in Germany. It includes leather pants, shirts, knitted socks and leather shoes, and is usually worn with hats and other accessories.

    “Lederhosen” originates from mountainous areas in Bavaria and spreads to lowlands. There are at least six major variations and other minor variations.

    Dirndls - traditional German women’s clothes

    “Dirndl” is a traditional German clothing for women. It originated from Bavarian Alpine, but there are a lot of variations in many countries such as Austria, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland.

    The traditional “Dirndl” includes a dress with a tight bodice and a deep circular or rectangular neckline. Aprons are worn over wide skirts with high waists. There are some variations with a variety of designs and prices.

    traditional Dirndl

    A woman wearing traditional Dirndl

    While German men are keen on traditional clothes with stereotypical designs, women’s fashion is a mixture of many parts. The dress includes a light colored blouse, bodice, skirt, and apron. It was based on a kind of servant’s dress made from utilitarian fabrics. But in 1870, the nobility class adopted this style and used materials such as silk and satin to make it.

    Dirndl is still popular. If you travel to Germany, you will easily see it in many stores with a variety of prices. Women in Bavaria and South Tyrol usually wear Dirndl on special occasions. Moreover, some designers, such as Eva Violetta, have been making modern versions of Dirndl.

    Schuhplattler - one of traditional German men’s clothes

    Actually, Schuhplattler is not Tracht, but it is a traditional Bavarian folk dance. Dancers wear a garment which is a combination of Lederhosen and Dirndl. Male dancers stomp and smack their shoes to make distinctive sounds. Meanwhile, female dancers spin and move smoothly in colorful dresses.

    Bollenhut Hats

    Another form of traditional German costumes is Bollenhut which means onion-shaped hat. This flat hat is made from straw and decorated with 14 light bulbs with various sizes. It’s a traditional costume which is widely worn by Protestant women in Germany.

    Handmade hats can weigh up to 2 kilograms. It is worn together with a black dress and a white puffy blouse. Although Bollenhut is just a traditional custom in Gutach, Kirnbach and Hornberg-Reichenbach, it has become the symbol for the Black Forest region.

    Red Bollenhut hats for unmarried women are quite outstanding due to their color. They are often worn on traditional occasions as the symbol of local pride. It is rumored that Black Forest cake with cherry topping is based on the design of Bollenhut.

    Bollenhut Hats

    Bollenhut is the symbol of Black Forest region.

    Traditional German clothing in some regions

    Traditional clothing in Hesse State

    In Hesse, there are some oldest German Trachts. However, they are no longer worn anymore. They are traditional black dresses worn by women together with colorful accessories. In 1772, all clothing had to be made from local materials, but this changed when Frenchs settled in the area.

    traditional clothing in Hesse State

    Black is the main color of traditional clothing in Hesse State.

    Traditional clothing in Lower Saxony State

    In Lower Saxony State, many people designed traditional clothing in their own ways, making these clothes distinctive and unique. The contrast of black and white, natural colors and floral patterns are quite common and important. The women's clothing is quite complex, including traditional hats decorated with small flowers.

    Traditional clothing in Saarland region

    Traditional German clothing in the Saarland region has its origin in the 18th country. These clothing was based on the combination of traditions and popularity at that time, when farmers were aware of fashion and French influences.

    Women wore long dresses, scarves, and loose and puffy petticoats. Men’s clothing is vests, pants and knee-high breeches. A particularly noticeable feature is the three-corner hat. At present, it is out of fashion, and only exists in a German folk song.

    Traditional German clothing at festivals

    Carnival takes place in many regions of Germany, Switzerland, and Austria with different traditions. While traditional clothes worn on these occasions are regional and strongly influenced by local beliefs and customs, they are actually casual clothes, and not based on workwear and or history.

    Traditional clothing is an important part of German culture. If you have a chance of visiting this country, you should try wearing these clothes. That will be a great experience.

    Tags: Germany, German culture, traditional clothes in Germany, traditional German men’s clothes, traditional German women’s clothes, Bollenhut Hats, Tracht, Schuhplattler.

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