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Tracht is the Bavarian national dress. Strictly speaking Bavaria is not a nation, but you get the gist. Lederhosen (English translation: leather trousers) are the brown trousers, usually 3/4 length, worn by the men. The Dirndl (no English translation) is the flowery, cleavage-enhancing dress worn by the ladies.

Lederhosen and Dirndls, together with all the other paraphernalia, are collectively known in German as Tracht. You'll see this kind of attire in abundance during Oktoberfest time. Indeed, you're probably reading this article precisely because you want to get kitted up in time for the Oktoberfest.

See: Lederhosen shops and Dirndl shops

City dwellers stopped wearing daily Tracht early in the 19th century, but as early as 1860 people started wearing Tracht to masked balls, when everyone was romanticizing the "good old days" and "the country life". Compared to current city fashion of that time, the traditional dirndl was so much less cloth on the body that women were basically running around in their underwear. Very racy. See Skandaltracht for today's racy dirndls... and muenchen.de's page on Trachtenvereine for information on Munich clubs that still sew their own authentic Dirndls. They get grants from the German government for maintaining German culture too. Real traditional Tracht is available at Tracht und Heimat as well as at Indra Trachten GmbH, Sparkassenstr. 10 (no website).

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