How to Buy a Dirndl

Here in Germany, the fest season is all through Summer with many big and little festivals, culminating with the big blowout of Oktoberfest which is usually the last two weeks in September throughout the first week in October.  There are plenty of opportunities to wear a dirndl.  What is a dirndl?  It is traditionally the garb of choice for festivals and special occasions specifically in Bavaria, Germany and Austria.  They were originally worn by peasants and maids and began to be picked up by nobles and high class people as a fashion statement around 1870.  Eventually, they became renown for being worn by everyone in these regions and this trachten of a dirndl for the females and lederhosen for males is what foreigners generally think of when they think of Germany.

When I moved to Bavaria almost a year ago, two weeks after my arrival was Oktoberfest.  There was no way I was missing out on the event even though we had just arrived so I promptly went out and bought a dirndl (and lederhosen for my husband) and headed to Oktoberfest.  I learned a lot in the process of finding and buying the dirndl for me and with Oktoberfest fast approaching again, I wanted to let others in on everything I know.

There are generally three different lengths of a dirndl to choose from:


There's the mini, the medium length, and the long dirndl.  Granted, you can also find everything in between, but these are the general lengths.  I initially thought that I would want a mini dirndl, the obvious sexy choice.  But after trying one on, it was obvious that I looked like I was trying to celebrate Halloween and it just felt too juvenile especially on my frame.  Some people look great in the mini style, but it wasn't for me.  I put on a medium style dirndl and I loved it.  Plus it would provide a little more coverage to shield from the cold because let's face it, it's already cold in Germany by September/October.

Here is my Dirndl from last Oktoberfest and you can read about it here:



I chose a deep purple dirndl with green accents, a corset stringed front, and a village scene for my apron.  I loved it and I still do!  I chose a shoulderless blouse and black flats.  But I missed a crucial part of how to wear the dirndl.  Can you guess what that is?  I didn't have my boobs out.  Think I'm joking?  The dirndls are made to be worn this way and they are very flattering for pushing the girls out and cinching at the waste and being flowy in all the right places.  Since Oktoberfest is all about the beer, this is a flattering outfit to be wearing.

Here are some of the options of blouses you can choose:


While there are many awesome online shops that you can find to buy your dirndl.  I'd definitely recommend you actually go in a trachten shop to buy one.  Why?  Because the staff selling them are well informed on how to help you pick the one that is right for your body type, what it should look like, and tips on how to tie your apron.  There are so many trachten shops in Bavaria.  My favorite are Moser and Pollinger.  Last year I had the sales women help me pick out mine and she even convinced me that the tighter it is the better.  I was trying to be modest and wear it loosely and she said, "nein" and even encouraged that I wear a pushup bra with it to really accentuate the girls.   Yes, even the older women show their boobs in these outfits. There are a lot of restaurants that the workers wear these in year-round.  

Accessories:

For shoes, some brave girls wear heels which I admit looks best with the dress, but if I am going to be walking around all day, I have to go for flats.  You can also accentuate your outfit with a cute hat and many women wear necklaces like this, that can also be purchased by your significant other or admirer at a fest:


How to Tie your Apron:

Another great thing about actually going in a shop to buy a dirndl is that the women can give info on how to tie your apron.  The woman helping me informed me that there are four ways you can tie your apron, and be careful because you can give an admirer the wrong signal depending on how you tie your apron!  

To the left:  Means you're single (and possibly ready to mingle)
To the right:  Means you are married or taken
To the middle: Means you are a virgin or young
To the back:  Usually means you are a widow

Pricing:

A nice dirndl  can generally cost you between 50 to 300 Euro.  But, you get what you pay for.  You can go and buy a cute 50 Euro dirndl and that's perfectly fine, but you may end up seeing numerous others in the same outfit.  I wanted to find something unique so mine was a little more expensive and cost 200 Euro.  As much as I want to buy a new one for this year, I can't really justify only wearing mine once so far, so I'll be rocking it again this year as many people do.  They are expensive.

Alternatives:

There are so many other looks to a dirndl.  There is a Christmas Dirndl and even a traditional Wedding Dirndl, but if you aren't so into wearing a dress, you can do the alternative and wear a female lederhosen.  If pulled off correctly, these can look really cute. I may need to try this out before I leave.



 So there is everything I know about dirndl shopping.  To be honest, the shopping part and trying them on is one of the funnest parts.  They are so beautiful and a huge part of the culture in Bavaria.  You can read my post about last years Oktoberfest here, but I will also be going again next month!  I didn't touch on the male lederhosen, (I could probably write something on this too if you are interested) but here is a picture of what it looks like below, cute huh?:






I really enjoyed writing this post and while I'm certainly not an expert, if you have any more questions about buying a dirndl feel free to leave a comment and I can try to help you out! Did I leave anything out?  Let me know!

All images (besides my own) were found at trachten-fashion.de





Linking up at:




45 comments :

  1. Loved this post :D I even shared it with my friend in Germany :D

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  2. Interesting :) You look great in them! Thanks for sharing and partying with us!

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  3. I have always wanted to buy a dirndl but where would you wear one to in the USA? Thanks for sharing

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    1. lol you wouldn't wear them in the States. It's a great excuse to visit Germany!

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  4. Thank yooooou! This is so helpful - especially the part about the apron tying, I had no idea! I've been looking at these for so long, and while I haven't yet saved enough for one, when I do get one this will be helpful! If you feel like writing one about lederhosen too, I'd be interested! :D

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    1. Glad I could help. I really love dirndl shopping. I may go again just for fun! Show yours off if you do get one!

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  5. You look adorable!!! What a cute article.


    When my daughter was about four or five she wanted to be Heidi. Well at that time, the only place we could get one was from Germany. We were on pins and needles; it barely arrived in time because it was vacation time in Germany and of course customs. I don't know if I could find one here now, but it is well worth the wait to order from Germany if one wants an authentic and well made dirndl. I put it away when it no longer fit, because it was so well made.

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    1. Thank you. I'm glad you liked it. How was your visit when you were here?

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  6. what a fun post! I wish I had an opportunity to really wear one, not Halloween or something.

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    1. Thanks. Yea, you'll def. have to wear one in Germany!

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  7. This was so much fun to read. I'm ready for a dirndl! I've been to Germany several times and seen a few dirndls, but didn't know about all the background and varieties. I'm going mini, off-the-shoulder and apron tied to the right. :)

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    1. Thanks Cathy. Sounds like a pretty good choice! Thumbs up!

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  8. One of my favorite dresses when I was a kid was a Dirndl. My girl is finally big enough to wear it but is completely uninterested. Oh well. I like all the details about how to buy/wear one. I seriously thought that wearing it "boobs out" was just an American Halloween thing, along the lines of all the other sexy costumes available. I didn't realize it was authentic. And that's a good tip about the significance of how one ties her apron.

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    1. Michele,
      Yep, there are those Americans that wear them as costumes and I admit, I probably would have too before I came too Germany, but they are real here! So much fun too! Daughter's are random like that. Maybe she will be interested when she's older?

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  9. I just met people on vacation in Puerto Princesa who were from Munich and they brought up Oktoberfest! I'd love to go one day!

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    1. It's seriously so much fun. I can't wait to go again this year.

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  10. Wow, this is so interesting, to find out the background of this traditional type of outfit! I love wearing traditional outfits from different cultures!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Rachel. What other outfits have you worn? I've only worn a dirndl.

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  11. I had no idea there was so much to buying a dirndl. Very, very interesting.
    I'm with you on the heels, you've got to be comfortable if you're walking around all day.
    Hope you enjoy this year's Oktoberfest!!

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    1. Omg yes! Flats! Especially after drinin all day long.

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  12. We have a work Oktoberfest every year. I bought a dirndl last year from Ebay for 30 euros - I hope it's still good for this year! It wasn't so bad and looked nice on. I love lederhosen on girls, they look so cool...but I'm too short and dumpy to pull off the look.

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    1. Yea I agree, some girls can really pull off the female lederhosen I've never actually tried on on so I don't know how I would look. Prbly not good haha.

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  13. haha! this is awesome! i've always wanted to go to germany, go to a festival and get all decked out! thankss o much for linking up with us!

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    1. Thanks for hosting. Yes, come visit Germany. I am having too much fun here haha

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  14. You have just proved that you can find literally just anything on the internet! I am already three years in Germany but I was somewhat not sure which drindle to choose. But after reading this post I am sure I will get one this year, thanks! BTW, may I reblog part of your entry in my blog including one picture and then post a link to your original entry, so the readers get the full article on your site?

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    1. Thanks for letting me know you are going to use some of my content with a link back to my website so readers can get the full story. It's so good to hear that people are giving proper credit! Glad you liked the post and it was helpful.

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    2. O and please put the link here so I can read it as well when you post!

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  15. I am familiar with lederhosen, but my only recent remembrance of dirndls is from the fraulein on my Doubletake IPA beer carton! :-O We have a Bavarian town that has Oktoberfest. Now I want to go!

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  16. Haha. What is this Bavarian town in the States? Sounds awesome!

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  17. Hi Brittany, I featured this post and gave a link to the bone church on Inspired Sunday today. I used the pic of you in your dirndl - hope you don't mind. If you prefer I use the models, I will. You just look so much more authentic!

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  18. AHHHH I loved this post! I lived in Austria for six months when I was 16 and I always admired dirndls! When I went to Germany for Oktoberfest, I was a bit broke from traveling in Scandinavia, so I didn't buy one and it was a huge regret! Now it's a goal to get back to Oktoberfest in Germany WITH a dirndl on!

    Thanks for sharing this -- it's good info for what to look for! :)

    --Erika
    http://www.chimerikal.com

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    1. Thanks Erika. Living in Austria for six months doesn't sound too bad, I can't wait to visit!

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  19. What a fun (and informative) post! I love your dirndl, especially that lovely scene on the apron! We live near this place called Frankenmuth, which is like a mini German town plopped right down in Michigan, and there are definitely dirndls a plenty. I didn't know there were so many varieties so next time I'm in Frankenmuth I'll know what I'm looking at!

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    1. Wow a little German town in the middle of Michigan? That's different. In PA where I'm from, we have a lot of German towns but I've never seen anyone wearing a dirndl.

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  20. Love this! I have always wanted to buy a Dirndl! My family is German so I always thought it would be neat to get one if I ever got a chance to visit Germany

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    1. Well if you ever do visit, absolutely buy one and where it somewhere, there is always a fest or markt to wear one at.

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  21. Haha, great post. I see a lot of these on Halloween in the States:)

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    1. O yea, plenty on halloween! Except they are all scankified lol

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  22. I feel like I've had an education!
    Blessings from the Middle of America,
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

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  23. This is far the most detailed articel I have ever read for this topic. Great work. the only think I a missing are the differencens in quality. Yes there are dirndls for 50€ but these are made from pretty cheap fabric. Traditional and real dirndls have a far higher quality and you have to invest at least 200€ to find something that will last nearly a lifetime.

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I love to hear from readers! Questions and comments welcome. I try to respond to everyone (I respond back to your comments on the comments page so check back for a response). Thanks for reading!

-Brittany Ruth