German Costume Ideas

german flagpole image by sumos from

When most people think of a traditional German costume, they think of lederhosen, the dirndl and the alpine hat. Theses traditional costumes have grown quite popular in Germanic countries for various local festivals and in the United States for Oktoberfest. You can purchase these costumes online, but they're a bit expensive. If you're handy with a sewing machine, you can make your own--relatively cheaply--with patterns that are easy to find. If not, but you still have to get the costume together on a tight budget, you can find some items at a thrift store, alter them and combine them with pieces from a costume shop.

Man's Costume

For a man‘s German costume, start with lederhosen, which means leather pants. You can get them online or you can make a pair by adding trim and a fake front flap to a pair of brown or black knee-length shorts. Hold them up with a pair of suspenders and add a decorative piece between the suspenders. Wear them with knee socks, high-top boots and an alpine hat. Wear a white shirt that has small checks or is elaborately embroidered. Decorate your alpine hat with a pin or a feather.

Bundhosen Variation

Another Bavarian type of pant for a man is the bundhosen. These are knickers, that is, trousers that tie just below the knees and are worn with long stockings and high-top shoes. Wear them with the same suspenders, shirt and hat as you would with a lederhosen costume. You can also pair them with an embroidered jacket or vest. Another type of hat that fits this costume is the bollenhute, which has a wide brim and big red pom pom decorations

Woman's Costume

A dirndl is a traditional woman’s costume. This is a dress worn in southern Germany and Austria based on the costume of Alpine peasants. It consists of a tight bodice, a full skirt, a blouse and an apron. The bodice is often embroidered and usually laces up the front. The skirt can be any length from above the knees to all the way to the ankles. The blouse and apron are usually white and can be plain, lacy or elaborately embroidered. A winter dirndl is made of thick cotton, linen, velvet or wool. It has long sleeves and is a rich, dark color. A summer dirndl is lighter, has short sleeves and is made of lightweight cotton, silk or satin. Wear hose, knee-high stockings or tights. For shoes, wear Mary Janes, pumps or even boots