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Trachten – A Basic Guide

Tracht (traditional folk clothing) is most often associated with the German-speaking Alpine regions of central Europe, but is by no means exclusive to that area. Styles and traditions vary widely; wearing Tracht (plural: Trachten) is a long-standing tradition, for instance, at Oktoberfest in Munich, but is also practiced at many other cultural events and occasions, including German-American restaurants, beer halls, and social clubs. Tracht as everyday attire is rare today, but not unheard of.

Hollerbach’s Outfitters – just around the corner from the Willow Tree – now offers a variety of Tracht for men, woman and Kinder alike! And we’re the only Trachten-shop in the southeast where guests can actually try on Lederhosen, Dirndl and other garments in-store – very important for finding the right fit! Styles range from the traditional to garments with a more modern touch, and the inventory is continually being updated. A pair of basic examples are illustrated here, along with a brief guide to a few Trachten essentials.


Hut (hat): styles for both men and women vary widely, but dark gray or green Alpiner or Tiroler hats are common, often with a Gamsbart (chamois beard). Shown here is a style of Sepplhut, often also called simply an Oktoberfest hat.

Lederhose (leather breeches): commonly referred to in English only in the plural (Lederhosen – LAY-der-hose-‘n), these traditional pants are worn either short above the knee, at the knee, or tied below the knee (Bundhosen); the very best and most traditional are made from deerskin, but many other types of leather and even fabric are also used. The Hosenträger (suspenders – optional if wearing a belt) usually have an embroidered pattern on the H-shaped breast plate, and are crossed in the back.

Hemd (shirt): either short-sleeved or long-sleeved (worn rolled-up and buttoned to the upper sleeve), Trachten-shirts can be checkered, striped, plaid or white. Decorative flair options include leather straps, coins, embroidery and bone buttons. No ties! Men’s outfits may also include vests and jackets.

Schuhe (shoes): hiking boots are shown here as one option, but leather Alpine Haferlschuhe, typically with side-laces, a low-cut upper and spiked rubber soles, are the most traditional footwear worn with men’s outfits.

Loferl (calf stockings): usually paired with ankle socks, Loferl should only be worn with the above-the-knee Lederhosen variety; the longer knee-length and below-the-knee Bundhosen should be worn with knee-length socks (seen here).


Dirndl (traditional Trachten-dress for women and girls): the alluring Dirndl (pronounced DEERN-dul – well, not exactly, but it’ll work for non-German speakers!) usually comprises three basic parts:

  • Dirndlbluse: a puffed-sleeve half-blouse, most commonly white.

  • Dirndlschürze (apron): tradition dictates that where the apron bow is tied is actually important! Tied on the left means ledig, or single/available; tied on the right means either verheiratet (married), or simply vergeben (taken); tied in the middle of the back most often indicates the wearer is a Kellnerin, or waitress, but can also mean verwitwet (widowed). And the last one, tied in the middle-front…well, we’ll let you look that one up…

  • Dirndlkleid (dress): worn either as one piece, or with separate bodice and skirt. Colors. embroidery, etc. vary widely per taste and budget, from simple and traditional (in accordance with the Dirndl’s roots as farmer/peasant-girl attire) to fanciful, elegant – and often pricey – fashions.

Schuhe: pumps, flats, high heels, boots…the options are nearly limitless, and often dictated by how much table-dancing the wearer intends to engage in…knee-length socks are common, but socks are often skipped altogether in favor of tights.

Sonstiges: women’s outfits may also include clutches, bracelets, earrings, hats, jackets, petticoats…and much more.

Hollerbach’s Outfitters is located at 111 S. Magnolia Avenue in Sanford.

PH: 407.321.2204 ext 301

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