… or “MInga”, as the Bavarians use to say, is currently on everyone’s lips. Not only because of the upcoming state elections, but mainly because of the current Oktoberfest.
During this time, not only the horses of the brewery wagons are festively decorated, also the humans like to dress up themselve.
Here is my personal Dirndl Guide: Today dirndls (traditional female Bavarian dress) are available in countless designs, materials and cuts. However, already when buying one, you should think of a certain “festival-suitability”, such as: model length and robust material.
Since the dirndl was originally a worker’s clothing, the traditional dirndls still today consist of cotton or linen. If you prefer a more extravagant version, you can also decide for a dirndl made of satin or with tulle elements. But intensive celebrations and feasting can ruin the special piece.
In the past, the clothes were usually kept in muted colors such as dark green or blue, but nowadays also radiant colors such as red or pink are often worn. The apron should reflect the colors of the dress as kind of stylish complement. Incidentally, in the 19th century the apron was traditionally monochrome and simply made from bed linen.
Dirndls are probably so popular because they always give their users a good figure and are favorable in all ages. Due to a special body shape, they push the bust and make a nice décolleté. They form a small waist and hide little flabs. While dirndls used to be at least knee-long, shorter forms are of course allowed as well.
Very important for the perfectly fitting décolleté is a well-fitting “Dirndl bra“, called “balcony” style.
The look is completed by a dirndl blouse, which virtually forms the frame for the decollete. Long-sleeved, short-sleeved, ruffled, with flounces – everything is allowed. You may also use any blouse from the wardrobe, as long as color and design are appropriate.
Since most historic beer fairs and traditional festivals usually take place in spring or autumn, you should definitely think of a suitable jacket. Knitted jackets with beautiful ornaments and in muted colors (dark green, rust, gray-blue) or a short Janker made from felt are particularly suitable for dirndls.
Anyway I also like tomboyish variant. Why not wearing leather pants and a freaky had like men as a woman – if the figure allows.
Of course, the styling is not perfect without the right accessories. You have the choice: some kitsch, a touch of class and a lot of tradition is probably the optimal mix.
Currently fashionable are elastic ruffled bands worn on the upper arm or wrist, but also suitable for the beer mug. This year the “Maß” beer (1 liter) will cost between EUR 10.50 and EUR 11.30 this year.
Gladly, a traditional necklace with edelweiss, a classic pearl or cord necklace or for the extravagant look, a tightly worn bolster (my favorite). As a stylish supplement a traditional scarf is recommended, which is either worn around the neck or loosely around the shoulders. In addition to the color coordination, it is important that the combination still looks noble and harmonious.
A really extravagant accessory for the dirndl outfit is the traditional hat – often adorned with feathers and appliqués. The same applies to the handbag. Traditionally, a felt or leather shoulder bag is recommended, providing stylish space for some money, mobile phone and lipstick.
Please note: especially at the Oktoberfest, larger bags and backpacks are no longer allowed for safety reasons. Intensive controls take place before access the grounds and the tents.
Remains the topic “shoes”. A dirndl no-go are of course, sneakers or boots. The matching shoe may be comfortable, i. flat or have a small, lower heel. Sometimes also women ( actually reserved for men) also use traditional “Haferl”- shoes, the latter in combination with coarse wool socks. Eventually a petite black ankle boot looks nice.
And finally: the “loop code”, a valuable method to avoid misunderstandings.
Right loop tied: The Bavarians take this “symbol of occupation” very seriously and stay away from (married) ladies with this knot.
The loop tied left: The dirndl wearer is still single and looking forward for some company of a nice guy with “strong Wadln” (calves).
The loop in the golden middle: This node variant signals that the “Madel” (young lady) is still a virgin. So men, “Pratzn” away (hands off)!
The bow is tied at the back: Either the wearer is widowed or it’s a waitress – so you better be careful !!
By the way, who wears traditional costumes, behaves decently, as it was originally a symbol of group affiliation and it still is till today.
Attention men: “wildes Pieseln” (public urination) is punished with EURO 70.-.
If you want to park your car close to the Theresien-Wiese, some afternoon hours may easily cost EURO 20.-
And finally, here are my TWO Munich highlights in autumn:
Higher, faster, further, louder, more expensive .. is valid only for part of the Oktoberfest.
Ad 1: During my visit I always prefer the so-called “Oide Wiesn“, which is located in a separated area near the “Bavaria-Statue” (be sure to visit or climb the narrow steps inside and look out over the city from the crown – comparable to the Statue of Liberty in New York).
You pay an admission fee of EURO 3.- to enter the “old meadow” – BUT: there it is quieter, more civilized and all local rides cost – according to the ancient tradition – only EURO 1.-! You should not miss the historic whirligig carousel and the Motodrom (steep wall curve rondel with motorcycle-speed-artistic) !!!!
Ad 2: Since 1876, the Maximilianeum located in Haidhausen (a district of Munich) houses the Maximilianeum Foundation for gifted students from the Palatinate and Bavaria. Above all, it is the seat of the Bavarian “Landtag” (government) since 1949. The building is situated on the east bank high above the Isar, surrounded by a beautiful park in the visual axis of the famous Maximilian-Street and the Maximilian Bridge. Incidentally, the “Octoberfest-Parade” always starts there.
On October 6th, King Max II had laid the foundation stone for the construction created by architect Friedrich Bürklein. Until 1918, the Maximilianeum housed not only the Foundation and a historic gallery, but also the royal servant/butler school. After the war, the building was reconstructed and finally in 1949, the Bavarian Landtag elected it as representative headoffice.
Here’s another hint: Every Sunday (except during the holiday season), the Bavarian state parliament can be visited by a free guided tour between 13.00 and 15.00 hours. On this occasion you can not only sit on the chairs of the political rulers, but also visit art and paintings. One of them, a 56 square meters oil painting is certainly larger than some apartments.
In addition, there is a magnificent cafe in the stately rooms with a fantastic view over Munich. Note: To enter the building you need to show a passport.
Here we go …. “The Oktoberfest” this year ends on 07.10.2018, but elsewhere the fun just starts ….