GERMAN DIRNDL: Is any other traditional dress as feminine, elegant and downright sexy as the Bavarian Dirndl? Any man or woman alive who has visited the Munich Oktoberfest would have to answer with a resounding no! There’s even a song about the dress with the line “Whether he’s a doctor, farmer or a Sheikh – Dirndls can make any man turn weak”.
So what's the real story behind the dress that launched a thousand ships?
DIRNDLMANIA: Is there any dress as
beautiful as the Dirndl? Pic: WikiCommons
Some of the women in the Gallery of Beauties (Schönheitengalarie) at Munich’s Nymphenburg Palace were painted wearing Dirndls. One of the most famous beauties, Helene Sedlmayr, was painted in 1831 wearing an old Munich style Dirndl.
TRADITION:A woman in an
old-school German Dirndl
Munich fashion designers including Lola Peltinger are continuing to put new spins on the dress.
ELEGANCE: A young woman in a
modern, beautiful Dirndl
in Munich. Pic: grafzahlmd
THE BALCONY: A cleavage-magnifying bra
is part of the "Dirndl-effect". Pic: DMWyllie
Dirndls are worn with a special bra (in German: BH) to highlight and give extra support to the bust.
Locals here call cleavage the "Décolleté", or even the Balkon (balcony).
The apron is tied with a large knot (Schleife).
Two-piece dresses inspired by Dirndl design are termed Landhausmode, or Country House Fashion.
As said on the main Oktoberfest Munich page, the knot’s position reveals the wearer’s availability. If the knot is on the left the wearer is single, so that’s the green light to flirt city. If it’s tied on the right, she’s taken. If the knot is square on the front she’s probably a virgin. If it’s dead on the back the wearer is a widow or perhaps a waitress.
A fascinating video on what the Dirndl has become in today's Germany.
ACCESSORIZE: A woman
wearing a choker to
complement her German
Dirndl. Pic: nicholas macgowan
Jewellery– Necklaces, earrings and chains all commonly accompany the Dirndl.
Shoes and socks – Dirndls can be worn with pumps or flat, ballerina-type shoes.
Knee-length socks are common, but socks are often skipped altogether in favour of tights.
Coats – Women’s Trachten jackets (called Janker) are long-sleeved woollen numbers, usually without a collar.
Knitted shawls are another option if it’s a bit on the chilly side.
• See more pictures of beautiful women in German Dindls on the pages Oktoberfest Dirndl photos, Dirndl Girls and More Dirndl pics.
• Leather shorts more your thing? See the story on Traditional German Lederhosen.
• Getting ready for the Oktoberfest? You'l find a slew of other stories here at the Oktoberfest Index.
• Learn more about Bavaria's heritage at Munich Backstory.
• Jump from German Dirndl back to Destination Munich Home.