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What is a Dirndl Skirt?

Updated on February 6, 2017
Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts is a natural born Filipina who lives in her adopted country Germany for more than 3 decades. She loves traveling in Europe.

Dirndln in a  Dirndl shop in Rosenheim, Germany.
Dirndln in a Dirndl shop in Rosenheim, Germany. | Source

A dirndl skirt is a traditional German and Austrian folk dress which is worn by all types of women in Germany, Austria and Alps region. Dirndl (pronounce as dirndel) skirt or dress is derived from a word dirndl which means a young woman or a girl. When you hear somebody mentioning dirndl, he or she either refers to the girl or to the dress.

Dirndl consists of a full tight bodice, an integrated blouse which has a very low neckline, a short, 3/4 or long sleeves and a skirt. An apron is attached to the skirt which can either be short or long.

Everyday dirndl is usually made of cotton and simple in design. This is usually used for women who are working and living in the countrysides like in Tirol and in Bavaria, Germany. Modern fashionable dirndl is made of cotton, velvet or linen with lace and in creative embroidered design.

Dirndl was originated in Austria and was used as a uniform for a servant in the 19th century. In the south of Germany, which is the Bavarian region, older women who live in the countrysides wear dirndln (plural of dirndl) as an everyday dresses.


Map of Europe

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A markerMunich, Germany -
München, Deutschland
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B markerAustria -
Österreich
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C markerAlps -
Brandenberger Alpen
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Types of Dirndl


  • Summer Dirndl

Summer dirndl is made of light cotton, linen or velvet and it is short or just below the knees. Embroidered or not, it is typically used during festivities like town festival or Oktoberfest in the last 2 weeks of September. Oktoberfest is a beer garden festival traditionally located in Munich, Bavaria, Germany .

  • Winter Dirndl

Winter dirndl is made of thick and warm cotton or wool and has long sleeves, long skirt and long apron. The neckline is high. It is usually in dark and in rich color.


The Knots on the Apron:

As what the local people said, the knot of the apron on the skirt indicates the status of a woman wearing the dirndl. The knot which is situated on the left side of the apron means the woman is single. The right side knot means married or engaged, the front side knot means virgin and the back side knot means widowed.

Dirndln Knots Messages

What to wear with dirndl

Dirndl can be worn with many different accessories depending on the occasions you are going to attend. You can wear it with:

  • Shawl, embroidered or not. It depends on how warm or cold the weather is.
  • Embroidered silk scarf for a special day.
  • Boots in winter and sandals or ballerina shoes for summer.
  • Sports jewelry
  • Silver earrings
  • Brooch
  • White socks
  • Dirndl Purse

Dirndln Shop in Rosenheim, Germany
Dirndln Shop in Rosenheim, Germany | Source

Dirndln for Work

Women who are working in tourism branches in Germany and Austria are wearing dirndln to show their traditional folks wear to the tourists. Some waitresses in the restaurants wear dirndln as their working uniforms. German folks theater actresses are wearing these clothes too, during their plays.

Dirndl is a sexy dress to wear specially those embroidered ones. I have worn one when we had an Oktoberfest in the restaurant where I worked before. I was thrilled and delighted to have worn the dirndl as it was a beautiful dress which I got from my lady boss. She bought for us women employees, dirndln to wear just for that special occasion, the Oktoberfest in our restaurant.


How much a dirndl costs?

The prices of dirndln ranges from €100 to more or less € 1,000. It depends on what kind of material it is made of. The more embroidered it is, the more it costs you a lot. However, if you buy dirndl out of season in the Trachtenhaus ( costume shops), you might have the chance to buy it lesser than it was before the Oktoberfest.


Source: Wikipedia and You Tube


Where To Wear Dirndl

Dirndl is not an everyday casual dress except when it is required at your work. It is a comfortable dress to wear but for me, it is only good for a special occasion like Oktoberfest and German folks party. Don't get me wrong but I will only use this dress when everybody else do. I don't want to be stared at in the streets where I walk.

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© 2012 Thelma Alberts

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    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I have had a few of these throughout the years. Great hub..

    • Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

      Tracy Lynn Conway 4 years ago from Virginia, USA

      I just love the fabrics that are shown for these dresses! I also love that they are still being worn and sold. I am always attracted to history and beauty and I enjoyed reading the story behind the dinrdl.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image
      Author

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Hi Carol! I´m glad to know you own some dirndln. Thanks for stopping by. Have a lovely weekend!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      What an interesting hub! I've always thought the dirndl to be sexy and feminine. Thank you for sharing!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Fascinating dirndl information, Thelma. Never knew about the significance of the apron knots before. They can make a significant, positive difference for guys seeking gals who are unattached.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image
      Author

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Hi Tracy Lynn Conway! I love the materials used for dirndl too, especially the velvet one. I don´t have dirndl, but I think I´ll buy one when I find something that suits me. Ready made dirndln are to big for me. I always have a trouble finding clothes for me in Germany. Thanks for your comment. Have a lovely weekend!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image
      Author

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Thank you for your visit vespawoolf. I appreciate that. Have a great day!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image
      Author

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Hi drbj! I did not know the significance of the apron knots placement until I was researching for this hub. I might have tied my apron knot on the left side without knowing that I should put it on the right side as a married woman. No wonder some men were twinkling their eyes to me when I had dirndl on, lol. See...Men should not rely on the knot placement on the apron. Have a lovely weekend drbj.

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Beautiful! It's a wonder the drindle dress hasn't become more fashionable, but perhaps it makes a great Goth outfit? I really like this hub, it's so feminine and sexy.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image
      Author

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Dirndl is one of the fashions in Germany. In fact, there are special companies making dirndln all over Germany as these clothes are popular now all over the world especially in USA and Japan. Thanks for your visit GoodLady. Have a great week!

    • Bastinck profile image

      Bastinck 4 years ago from The Netherlands

      Well, you wrote about something I knew nothing about, apart from the oktoberfest that is. It was interesting. Keep up the good writing.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      I remember that the 'Teddy girls' of the fifties wore them, fascinating history of the dirndl skirt, thanks! nell

    • Thelma Alberts profile image
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      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Thank you Bas yor your comment and encouragement. Take care. Regards to all;-)

    • Thelma Alberts profile image
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      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Thanks for stopping by Nell. I did not know about the `Teddy Girls´. I´ll google them later. Have a great week!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      This is a great hub. My mom is german and growing up I had a dirndl as a young girl. They are far too unflattering to me now, but they really are beautiful. It's always fun to see some of the more "fancy" ones when going out for a special occasion in Germany. Shared and voted up!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      What an interesting topic for a hub. Voted up and interesting.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image
      Author

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Hi Glimmer Twin Fan! I could imagine how lovely you were as a young girl wearing a dirndl. Dirndl is beautiful especially the fancy one for special occasion. Thanks for your comment and for sharing this hub to others. I appreciate that. Have a lovely day!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image
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      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Thanks for your visit Crystal Tatum. Have a good day!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      I had never heard ofthese skirts before but i do now. Thank you for sharing this great hub Thelma and here's to so many more hubs for us both to share on here.

      Eddy.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image
      Author

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Thanks Eddy for your wonderful comment. I appreciate that. Have a great day!

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      These are really pretty. It looks like something worn in the movie Sound of Music. This is a very beautiful, interesting, and well written hub!

    • profile image

      ignugent17 4 years ago

      Very interesting. It is always nice to know something new about things from different countries. Dirndl added to my list of words.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image
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      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Yes, tammyswallow. These clothes were worn by the Von Trapp family in the movie The Sound of Music. It is a beautiful film. Thanks for your wonderful comment.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image
      Author

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Thanks ignugent for dropping by. I appreciate that. Have a great day!

    • profile image

      Justsilvie 4 years ago

      Lovely article! I also have worn a dirdle and I think it was the most flattering dress I ever wore. Voted up and shared!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image
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      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Thanks Justsilvie for another visit. I appreciate that. Thanks for sharing as well. Have a lovely day!

    • TravelinJack profile image

      Jack Baumann 4 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      Oh I love the dirndl, should be mandatory dress!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image
      Author

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      I love dirndl too, but it should not be a mandatory dress because then I will not like it when I´m force to wear it. Thanks for stopping by TravelinJack.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      those are some fashionable Dirndls! Hmm.. now I want one! ^_^ thank you for the great hub Thelma! Voting a bunch and pinning!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image
      Author

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Yes, they are very fashionable dresses. You can buy dirndl online or when you are planning to visit Germany. Thanks for stopping by Mama Kim. Have a lovely weekend!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I had never heard of this type of dress before. Very neat to learn more about your culture, Thelma!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image
      Author

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Thanks for dropping by Christy. When you see a woman wearing this dress in your country, you now know that it´s a German and Austrian traditional fashion dress. This kind of dress is an export article from Germany. Have a lovely week!

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