Oktoberfest outfits

Munich’s Dirndl Idol

Tradition or trash? We photographed nine visitors to the Wiesn (Oktoberfest) – and asked a panel of experts to judge their outfits.

Our judging panel: Employee at traditional costume shop Angermaier: Eileen Popielaty (responsible for design) and Andreas Weinhart, a committee member of Munich traditional mountain dress preservation society “D’Wetterstoana”, founded in 1912.


Victoria, 28, from Munich

“Because of the jacket and scarf, we can’t really see much of the dirndl. Clearly, the focus here was on keeping warm as the most important thing.” (Eileen Popielaty)

“Unfortunately you can’t see much here – it was probably a cold day at the Wiesn. But the long skirt is a sign that the wearer has a sense of tradition!” (Andreas Weinhart)


Jonas, 23, from Garmisch-Partenkirchen

“A solid, traditional outfit.” (Eileen Popielaty)

“The shoes are definitely a good match in this case. However, it is not a classic example of traditional costume. Traditionally, the shirt is white and not checked, and the Loferl socks are generally made in two colours. But this young man has more style than many others. He has a rather modern take on traditional costume.” (Andreas Weinhart)


Sirke, 19, from Helsinki

“A nice cotton dirndl! In this case however, we would go for a different blouse, since the gypsy blouse is not really up-to-date any more.” (Eileen Popielaty)

“The dirndl with an off-the-shoulder blouse is a modern-day invention. That is also the case with this one, especially as it is combined with unusual footwear. Really not ideal.” (Andreas Weinhart)


Ricarda, 42, from Munich

“A black dirndl is really versatile because you can vary your look by combining it with a range of coloured blouses. However, a waist-length dirndl cardigan would have been the better choice.” (Eileen Popielaty)

“I would call that traditional costume: a black, ankle-length skirt with a matching blouse, suitable shoes and lacing on the black bodice. Unquestionably the best dressed lady in this group!” (Andreas Weinhart)


Sina, 26, from Paderborn

“This outfit is a cheap version, as you can see from the fit and the finish of the dirndl. Unfortunately, it is a little too short.” (Eileen Popielaty)

“Another mini-dirndl. Still, it has fabric lacing and a blouse that is close at the shoulders. Overall however, it looks more like a costume you would wear to a folk festival.” (Andreas Weinhart)


Gregor, 55, from Wiesbaden

“Perfect! Rustic, classic; we love it!” (Eileen Popielaty)

“That is a member of a traditional costume club. Haferl shoes, grey-green socks, beautifully embroidered black Lederhosen, green traditional waistcoat, grey jacket, white shirt, lovely braces, charivari chain and most importantly: he is wearing a hat! You can also see a chain on his waistcoat, which probably has a pocket watch on it. Who had a wristwatch over a hundred years ago? Sharp!” (Andreas Weinhart)


Sophie, 28, from Würzburg

“A great look from head to toe. Even the bag is perfect.” (Eileen Popielaty)

“There’s no getting away from the mini-dirndl. It is very much in at the moment. But the traditional braided handbag is definitely impressive. And the bridal wreath in her hair indicates a demure wearer!” (Andreas Weinhart)


Björn, 27, from Berlin

“The trousers are too big, he’s completely forgotten about the socks, and the chucks don’t really go with the rest at all.” (Eileen Popielaty)

“If any outfit in this test has nothing whatsoever to do with traditional costume, it’s this one: Classic folk-festival-wear with chucks, cheap knee-length breeches and a checked shirt.” (Andreas Weinhart)


Sarah, 18, from Baden Baden

“That is a lovely, playful floral dirndl for young women – though with that outfit, we would recommend shoes that are a little finer or more delicate. Otherwise, she looks great!” (Eileen Popielaty)

“This is the modern mini-dirndl. On the short side, very playful. The shoes look more like something a dock worker might wear – the traditional costume shops would certainly have something more suitable in stock. Incidentally, it doesn’t matter where you tie the apron. The issue of left versus right only arose in recent years and has no historical significance.” (Andreas Weinhart)



Interviews: Nansen & Piccard; Photos: Frank Stolle

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