Tracht (f) is the term for traditional costumes in all German-speaking countries. Interestingly, Trachten (pl) are not that old as they only became popular in the 19th century, a period when the idea of Heimat (f) – homeland started to play a more important role in society.
When somebody is wearing Tracht, the person can either show Zugehörigkeit (f) – affiliation to a Volksgruppe (f) – ethnic group or a Berufsgruppe (f) – professional guild. The costume of the Zimmermann (m) – carpenter can still be often seen.
If you are talking about Tracht today, most people will think of the Trachten in the South of Germany like bayerische – Bavarian or österreichische – Austrian Tracht. But you have to know that also in the North of Germany, especially in Friesland, you will find beautiful and very elaborate costumes.
Based on the traditional costumes a new style of fashion has been created over the years which is called Landhausmode (f) – cottage or country home fashion. Landhausmode is defined by its use of special materials like Leder (n) – leather, Leinen (n) – linen and Loden (m) – loden. Traditional Tracht as well as Landhausmode are often reich bestickt – opulently embroidered.
The use of special material and embroidery makes this kind of fashion pretty expensive. Back in the days Tracht was the everyday costume of Bauern (m,pl) – farmers and Landbevölkerung (pl) – rural population. The more verziert – decorated the Tracht, the higher the social status of the farmer.
Today Germans wear Tracht only at weekends or special occasions like weddings or holidays.
Below is a list of German regions where you can still find Trachten (North to South)
- Friesland (mit den Nordseeinseln)
- Spreewald, Finkenwerder Tracht
- Baden-Württemberg, Schwarzwald
- Tirol und Südtirol
What is the traditional costume/clothing in your country or region? Send me a picture via Facebook or Twitter or leave me a comment below.