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The latest Dirndl fashions from Bavaria – in Munich

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

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23 Comments

  • Reply
    Anil
    December 28, 2009 at 12:13 pm

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

  • Reply
    Fly Girl
    December 28, 2009 at 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!

  • Reply
    Barbara at Hole in the Donut Travels
    December 28, 2009 at 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.

  • Reply
    Marie
    December 29, 2009 at 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!

  • Reply
    Heather Cowper
    December 29, 2009 at 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.

  • Reply
    Fida
    December 29, 2009 at 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 😉

  • Reply
    Heather Cowper
    December 29, 2009 at 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!

  • Reply
    TheWordWire
    December 30, 2009 at 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!

  • Reply
    Caitlin @ Roaming Tales
    January 4, 2010 at 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.

  • Reply
    Travelogged
    January 4, 2010 at 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!

  • Reply
    James Moore
    January 6, 2010 at 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.

  • Reply
    Mark H
    January 7, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Wow, looks like the outfits of yesteryear.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Bavarian food from Germany | Heather on her travels
    July 22, 2010 at 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. […]

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  • Reply
    laura@maxi dresses
    October 26, 2010 at 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)

  • Reply
    dirndl
    December 3, 2010 at 8:12 pm

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

  • Reply
    London Photographer
    December 18, 2010 at 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

  • Reply
    Heather Cowper
    December 18, 2010 at 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

  • Reply
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    Dirndl – oder doch nicht? | Meine Mode - "Fesche" Fashion
    April 22, 2012 at 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 […]

  • Reply
    Monika Zechetmayr
    July 30, 2013 at 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.

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      July 30, 2013 at 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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