The Bavarian traditional costumes (Trachten) go back to King Maximilian II of Bavarian and the subsequent revival of using (supposedly) traditional costumes at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. Bavarian costumes are essentially the costumes of the Upper Bavarian mountain region (Gebirgstracht) consisting basically of leather breeches with a drop-front (Lederhosen or in Bavarian: Buam) for the men and a dirndl for the women.
Until about 1950, the costumes worn within a folk-lore club tended to be rather different as the women sewed them themselves. Afterwards, a uniformity took place in league with the economic progress that occurred within Germany. Since then many folk-lore clubs have decided on specific variations for their respective costumes and so differences with respect to the original regional costumes have arisen.
There are basically six different kinds of Trachten worn in this region. The Miesbacher costume or Tracht seems to be the one most commonly used and was designated traditional costume of the year in 2008 by the German Traditional Costume society (Deutscher Trachtenverband). The different regional costumes can also be subdivided into festive (Festtracht), dancing (Tanztracht), folk-lore club (Vereinstracht) and mourning (Trauertracht) costumes.
- Berchtesgadener Tracht
- Chiemgauer Tracht
- Inntaler Tracht
- Isarwinkler Tracht
- Miesbacher Tracht
- Werdenfelser Tracht
To give an overview of the similarities and differences of the six regions, I have decided to place them in two tables, one for women’s wear and one for men’s wear (see below; you will need to click on them to enlarge the text).
The women’s underclothes consist of knee-length drawers and a petticoat made of white cotton or linen and decorated with lace. All of the costumes are combined with white blouses, which have lace on the sleeves and around the neck. The Trachten shoes are made of black leather but vary in style. The married women wear so-called “Röckli” which consists of a heavy bodice and skirt made of the same material. The calf-length skirt can be decorated with braid, lace or a special type of frill (Froschmaulrüsche – frog-mouth frill). This is combined with a spencer-like jacket with a heavy bodice (Schalkjanker). The Schalkjanker was developed in 1860. Married women tend to wear black hats in the Berchtesgaden or Priener style (see below), or a wide-brimmed black hat with a conical crown decorated with cord (Schnurhut).
The men’s lederhosen have different kinds of embroidery on the drop-front and down the seams or the seat of the pants. All the lederhosen have a knife pocket and a knife is an important accoutrement. Their jackets are also decorated with embroidery or appliqué with the design depending on the region. For special occasions such as funerals, black or green trousers are worn coupled with the Trachten jacket and waistcoat. A forest green suit (Forstgrüner Trachtenanzug) consisting of forest green trousers and jacket combined with a green waistcoat may also be worn.
Variations on 8 types of hat are worn, in fact in some regions more than one type of these hats may be used:
Both the men’s and women’s hats are decorated with various ornaments, including gold cord, tassels, feathers [eagle (Adlerfeder), capercaillie (Schneidhackl), blackcock (Spielhahnfeder), Indian darter (Roagaspitz)], eagle down (Adlerflaum), the well-known gamsbart (tuft of chamois hair in a silver holder), various types of badges or even hunting trophies for the men.
Source(s) of information