Tracht became popular in the 18th century, so popular that in France it was known as ‘in the Bavarian style’. In the early days Tracht belonged to a region, an occupation or a social tier e.g. farmers, peasants or rural people, found in the South of Germany especially in Bavaria and Austria. Tracht has a wide meaning in German in the sense of ‘what is carried/worn/borne’ and is connect to the word ‘tragen’, meaning to carry/wear/bear. Tracht is a Dirndl for the ladies or Lederhosen for the men.
- Originated from the uniform of Austrian servants in the 19th century called ‘Dirndl-gwand’, meaning maid’s dress.
- The Bavarian upper classes adopted the Dirndl as high fashion in the 1870’s and today it varies from simple styles to being exquisitely crafted and expensive.
- Primarily older women in rural areas use it as an everyday dress. Today, ‘Dirndl is Fashion’ and is can be worn every day, to special events or just the local Biergarten.
- Lederhosen are shorts made of leather and may either be short/above the knee in length, called ‘Plattler’, or ¾ length Lederhosen finishing just below the knee called Kniebundhosen or Seppl.
- Formerly, lederhosen were work wear, worn for hard physical labour due to being more durable than a fabric garment.
- Today, they are mostly worn as leisurewear for gardening, hiking, working outdoors, special events or to the local Biergarten.