History of the German National Costume

Every country has its own cultural values and these are reflected through its language, food and cultural dress.

Clothing plays an important role in German national identity, and although fashion moves quickly, the traditional national costume still has an important place in cultural celebrations. Wearing ethnic clothing is a way to celebrate all of the things that make Germany great.


The History of Traditional Bavarian Clothing

‘Tracht’ is a traditional national costume in German-speaking countries. It translates to ‘what is carried/worn/borne’.

Dating back to the 16th century, certain styles of Tracht belong to a region, an occupation (such as farmers, shepherds or maids) or a social status. These authentic German outfits came in a practical workday style and a Sunday best which would be worn for celebrations.

While fashions have changed over the centuries, the Bavarian cultural dress is still a special way for us to celebrate our ethnic heritage and reconnect with Germany’s cultural values.


Traditional German Outfits and How They Have Evolved

The German national costume for women is the Dirndl: a ruffled apron dress that consists of a bodice, or blouse, and a full skirt with an apron.

The Dirndl was originally an Austrian maid’s uniform in the 19th-century, with its name coming from ‘Dirndl-gwand’, meaning: maid’s dress. Starting out plain and practical in nature, Bavarian high society changed all of that in the 1870s by adapting it to suit their expensive taste and their desire for exquisite, hand-crafted fashion. The outfit moved from its rural origins onto the streets of the fashionable cities.

Traditional Lederhosen are leather shorts worn by men. Like the Dirndl, they were originally workwear, designed for practicality as leather could withstand strenuous labour. The shorts can be worn above the knee – know as  ‘Plattler’ - or ¾ length Lederhosen finishing just below the knee called Kniebundhosen or Seppl.


Modern German Outfits: Australia-branded Lederhosen and Dirndls

Today, Dirndl and Lederhosen are eye-catching leisurewear that you can wear every day, to special events and celebrations or on a visit to the local Biergarten.

Schnucki has created its own brand of Dirndl and Lederhosen that fuse our national heritage with a fun yet classy style. They come in designs to suit all ages and occasions and are essential attire if you’re planning on attending Oktoberfest Brisbane or another cultural celebration.

Shop from our range of Dirndl and Lederhosen now.