The latest Dirndl fashions from Bavaria – in Munich

December 27, 2009 by  

With the party season upon us, I thought you might like to have a taste of the Dirndl fashions that the well-dressed Bavarian lady is wearing this season. On my recent visit to Munich, I was intrigued by the number of classy shops showing evening dress in traditional Bavarian style in their shop windows.

Dirndl Fashions from Munich

Dirndl Fashions from Munich

Where you or I might choose a little something by Valentino or Versace for our big night out, the ladies of Munich clearly enjoy sporting their Bavarian traditional dress in gorgeous silks and velvets. Apparently, the dirndl is the outfit of choice for any formal evening events, a visit to the Opera or any social event with a traditional flavour.

Dirndl Fashions at Ed Meier

Dirndl Fashions at Ed Meier

Dirndl Fashions at Ed Meier

Dirndl Fashions at Ed Meier

Dirndl fashions at Ed Meier

Dirndl fashions at Ed Meier

I can’t say I’m a Dirndl expert, but a spot of googling enlightened me on a few dirndl factoids;

  • The Dirndl consists of a skirt, apron, tight bodice and short sleeved blouse worn underneath and perhaps a shawl or scarf at the neck.
  • The Dirndl is the typical dress for waitresses and barmaids in pubs and beer gardens in Southern Germany
  • The placement of the knot of the apron denotes your marital status – on the left means you’re single and available, on the right means you’re married, engaged or taken, and at the back means you’re a widow.
  • The Oktoberfest, the famous beer and folk festival held in Munich (in October since you ask) is a favourite place to wear your dirndl for tourists as well as locals – even Paris Hilton wore one when she was at the Oktoberfest and Salma Hayek nearly popped out of hers on German TV.
  • This is not just a fashion your Mum would wear – the teenagers really get into it as well and the fashions change every year.

Dirndl fashions in Munich

Dirndl fashions in Munich

Dirndl fashions in Munich

Dirndl fashions in Munich

If you’re in Munich for the Oktoberfest and want to know where to buy a dirndl, new or second-hand, it will probably cost you from €100 up to hundreds or thousands for a top end or bespoke Dirndl – these are the places I found suggested on my internet trawl to buy one;

Paris Hilton wearing her Dirndl

Paris Hilton wearing her Dirndl

Lola Paltinger/Lollipop and Alpenrock – high fashion by former Vivienne Westwood designer (where Paris & Salma like to shop)
Trachten Peterandl – Custom made, high end dirndls
Angermaier – Well established Bavarian outfitter, with plenty of trendy dirndls
Loden-Fry – Top Munich Department Store with a dirndl department
Weisn, Tracht & Mehr – new and second hand for the younger, trendy end.
Kleidermarkt – A big selection of second hand dirndls

For more on Dirndl fashions you can read what the NY Times had to say and thanks to Birge’s blog for enlighting me on the best places to go.

Looking for a Munich hotel? Compare prices and book at Hotels Combined

Other Munich articles to enjoy

Visiting the Munich Christmas Markets – Podcast
Drinking Feuerzangenbowle to warm the spirits in Munich
Postcard from the Christmas Markets in Munich

Munich Resources


23 Comments on "The latest Dirndl fashions from Bavaria – in Munich"

  1. Anil on Mon, 28th Dec 2009 12:13 pm 

    Very interesting, I didn’t know there was an elaborate culture around this particular style of dress.

  2. Fly Girl on Mon, 28th Dec 2009 2:52 pm 

    I’ve always admired dirndls. I remember seeing many versions when I was in Austria. I never knew that there was cultural meaning behind them besides being the national costume. Great post!

  3. Barbara at Hole in the Donut Travels on Mon, 28th Dec 2009 10:26 pm 

    Good Lord! I’d feel trussed up like a Christmas turkey. You can barely get me put of Yoga pants or jeans and into a regular skirt, much less a getup like this.

  4. Marie on Tue, 29th Dec 2009 12:55 am 

    And what colour did you buy?
    Actually, I think they are quite cool, but I couldn’t imagine a place to wear one in New Zealand!

  5. Heather Cowper on Tue, 29th Dec 2009 9:02 am 

    @ Barbara – I think the idea is that this accentuates a ‘feminine figure’ with small waist & boobs on display!

    @ Marie – In chilly December I wasn’t tempted but I believe that even tourists buy their dirndl when they visit the Oktoberfest – there are quite a few places to buy them second hand.

  6. Fida on Tue, 29th Dec 2009 5:56 pm 

    wow – you visited the holy grail of dirndl fashion – Ed Meier. I have to confess, I owned dirndl all my life. Growing up in the Alps it was kind of normal 😉

  7. Heather Cowper on Tue, 29th Dec 2009 6:00 pm 

    @ Fida You can obviously enlighten us on the finer points of dirndl fashions. We did go into Ed Meier to get out of the cold and rather enjoyed looking round, it was all that the elegant country gentleman or lady might want for in the way of huntin’ shootin’ fishin’ and definitely the place for spending some serious Euros in the process!

  8. TheWordWire on Wed, 30th Dec 2009 3:50 am 

    Wow! Without the accompanying article, I’d have thought these photos were taken at the costume department of the local theater. Fancy!

  9. Caitlin @ Roaming Tales on Mon, 4th Jan 2010 6:00 am 

    I had no idea that this was still alive and well in contemporary culture.

    Versace and Valentino? I wish! Not on a journalist’s salary.

  10. Travelogged on Mon, 4th Jan 2010 9:52 pm 

    I also didn’t realize women still wore these styles… Now I’m really curious to go to Munich! (have only been to Berlin)

    Happy New Year, Heather!

  11. James Moore on Wed, 6th Jan 2010 7:09 pm 

    Heather: I live in the faux Bavarian tourist town of Leavenworth, Washington, and I had NO idea that dirndls could be so attractive and modern.

    I think some of those new styles need to be introduced to the barmaids, waitresses and Chambers of Commerce matrons. . . It would liven the place up.

  12. Mark H on Thu, 7th Jan 2010 10:40 pm 

    Wow, looks like the outfits of yesteryear.

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    […] the Munich Christmas Markets – Podcast The latest Dirndl fashions from Bavaria in Munich Drinking Feuerzangenbowle to warm the spirits in […]

  14. Bavarian food from Germany | Heather on her travels on Thu, 22nd Jul 2010 11:25 am 

    […] Bavarian fare should be washed down by a large beer, served by a waitress wearing the traditional dirndl and seated in a pretty biergarten with a view of the Alps in the distance. […]

  15. Review of Hotel Zur Post at Altötting | Heather on her travels on Fri, 23rd Jul 2010 8:57 pm 

    […] hotel is a shop selling clothes and accessories in traditional style including the pretty Bavarian dirndl dresses that are typically worn by hotel staff and by locals on special […]

  16. laura@maxi dresses on Tue, 26th Oct 2010 1:42 pm 

    I like the Drirndl but i didn’t know the significance of knot .It shows your status just like a face book .What if a knot is in the middle .(wink)

  17. dirndl on Fri, 3rd Dec 2010 8:12 pm 

    i love you dirndl
    very good article admin
    thank you very much

  18. London Photographer on Sat, 18th Dec 2010 10:50 am 

    Nice Dirndl! The original ones a much more plain. The ones shown are for tourists…
    London Photographer´s last blog post ..HDR Cow

  19. Heather Cowper on Sat, 18th Dec 2010 8:42 pm 

    @ London photographer. As you say the dirndl was once what you wore every day but now it’s a fashion form. I think the ones I saw were for party wear but I didn’t see too many tourists wearing them. I think tourists would buy them for the Oktoberfest though

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  21. Dirndl – oder doch nicht? | Meine Mode - "Fesche" Fashion on Sun, 22nd Apr 2012 10:46 am 

    […] für Männlein als auch für Weiblein Pflicht. Ich trage nun schon seit Jahren mein blau-weißes Dirndl und ich glaube, es hat so langsam ausgedient. Ich überlege dieses Jahr dieses Jahr die Tradition […]

  22. Monika Zechetmayr on Tue, 30th Jul 2013 8:13 am 

    Dirndl in Bavaria are also worn to weddings and those will cost you a few E 1000s as they are most elaborate and decorated. These are found foremost in the more traditional Alpine, Oberbayens, areas, villages.

  23. Heather Cowper on Tue, 30th Jul 2013 8:57 am 

    @Monika I think they are beautiful and great that traditional dress still has a place in modern life

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