Ethnic Clothes: German Costumes


Figure 1.--These German children are wearing Bavarian folk costume for a cabinent card portrait taken in 1906. Note the different style hats they are wearing, The portait was taken in Sonthofen/Immenstadt n. Oberstdorf. Sonthofen as might be expected is a town in Bavaria.

German ethnic costumes existed for both men and women. They essentially developed out of peasant clothing styles, I think from the 18th century. There were no destinctive chidren's clothes. We note both boys and girls wearing German ethnic costumes. Some of the best known German ethnic costumes are lederhosen, both short pants and knicker style. These ethnic costumes are called "tracht". Lederhosen are commonly worn by German bands and dance groups. Boys participating in German ethnic events commonly dress up in lederhosen. HBC has noted consideable variation in folk costume. Women and girls also wear a variety of ethnic outfits. Boys and girls simply out of peasant dress wore smaller versions of the outfits worn by their parents. Actual outfits varied greatly among different Alpine regions with some basic similarities.

Gender

We note both boys and girls wearing German ethnic costumes. Some of the best known German ethnic costumes are lederhosen, both short pants and knicker style. These ethnic costumes are called "tracht". Lederhosen are commonly worn by German bands and dance groups. Boys participating in German ethnic events commonly dress up in lederhosen. HBC has noted consideable variation in folk costume. Women and girls also wear a variety of ethnic outfits. There are many regional differences. One example is Allgäuer style. The woman's Festtracht exemplifies the traditional simplicity of the area. We wear: a gray skirt (about 16 rows of gathering---the way this skirt is gathered typifies the Allgäuer style) , a white Trachten blouse, a black Mieder, a Allgäuer Hat with feather (worn on the crown of the head) , a red apron, a single red flower Trachten Shoes (white or black hose).

Conventions

German children might wear ethnic costumes for festivals and other celebrations. Most villages and towns celebrated a number of festivals related to the seasons such as harvests or bringing the cows down from Alpine pastures or historic events. There were also religious celebrations. Often the children participating in these celebrations wore accurate ethnic costume which had a number of regional varriants. We also note German boys wearing a kinfd of mock-ethnic costume. Here there is no effort at real accuracu, only a generic folk look. In some instances boys might wear these outfits as a kind of dress up garment. This was especially the case of younger boys. It seems to us that this use of an ethich costume for dress up occassions was less common for girls.






HBC




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Created: September 10, 2001
Last updated: 11:15 PM 10/19/2008