Visit the full recap of the festival in my next post!
We took this festival as an opportunity to get dressed up and wear authentic outfits, which is not only a cool cultural experience, it helped us blend right in! Feb-Mar of this year, we spent 6 weeks in Europe, and during our time in Germany we saw a surprising number of people wearing Dirndl (traditional German dresses) or Lederhosen (literally “leather pants” in German). A number of people assumed I was a waitress in the restaurants we visited during our stay (some establishments do have their waitstaff dress traditionally, although my dresses were different colors), which was both amusing and it led to us making some new friends!
Traditional German male attire includes a pair of LederHosen, which can be mid thigh-knee length and any color from greens and browns to blacks and blues, paired with some sort of button down dress shirt. On the first day of the festival Robin wore a blue plaid shirt, and on the second day he chose a solid white dress shirt. Guys typically wear either calf-high knit socks, or socks that only cover their calves, along with dress shoes of some sort. Vests, hats, and suspenders (as shown above) may also be worn by guys looking to dress up. Robin brought his own stein because the servers at the festival will fill it with beer for roughly $4, which is an awesome deal if you like drinking!
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You can shop similar lederhosen below! My husband recommends sizing up one size because lederhosen are very stiff the first few wears.
For the first evening of the festival, I wore a hunter green, embroidered dirndl with a black skirt and bric-a-brac trim. In general, dirndls are below the knee or longer dresses, and can very in materials, trims, and colors/patterns, but they share many common features such as front lacing tie, an apron, and an undershirt. This lovely ruffled undershirt was something I picked up in the Black Forest region in Germany, and I made the apron myself. In Germany, I saw a majority of people wearing dirndls with either pocket watches connected to their dresses, pouches connected to their aprons (one woman had a loaf of bread stuffed in her apron pocket!), or what looked like necklaces around their waists, so I took a leaf out of their books and added a bit of sparkle to my wardrobe with this gemstone belt. Despite wearing dark colors in 90 degree heat, this dress was really comfortable and kept me from getting too hot!
As an aside, the location of the knot on aprons indicates the wearer’s relationship status in Germany. I tied mine on the right side to show that I’m married, being tied in the back-center symbolizes being a widow or a waitress, tying to the left means you’re single, and tying in the front middle means you’re too young to flirt and should be left alone haha.
For the second day of the festival, I wore a pink and white gingham dirndl with green embroidered flowers that we purchased in Germany. I kept my jewelry minimal and wore a necklace and watch, and I wore cream colored flats with my dress. The flower crowns pictured above were all handmade, and are the perfect way to top off a German dirndl! We encountered people completely decked out in German attire to people wearing tee shirts and shorts, and everything in between, so you can’t go wrong! I’ve linked a number of lovely dirndl & birndl undershirts below so you can get an idea of the different styles athat are out there, and order one for the upcoming Sep 14th-17th Oktoberfest in Frankenmuth (or your nearest German festival!).
Thank you so much for reading! Check out my “Travel” category to see more of the incredible events and festivals in my beautiful state of Michigan!