Oktoberfest - ein Fest der Landeshauptstadt München
Photo: Sebastian Lehner

Curious Dirndl facts

The world’s most expensive Dirndl – and what you don’t know about traditional costumes

Dirndls are trendy, make for a fantastic ‘balconette’, and clothe every woman. Those facts about traditional costumes for women are widely known. But do you know how much the world’s most expensive dirndl costs and that there is such a thing as a dive in traditional garb? You’ll find these facts and even crazier titbits here.

The world’s most expensive Dirndl.

Dirndls are available at any price range. The brightly-colored mini dirndls, ill-famed ‘Wiesnfasching’, are relatively cheap. You have to pay considerably more for ‘real’ dirndls with silk aprons and lace blouses. But these figures are nothing compared to what you have to lay out on the counter for the world’s most expensive dirndl. Believe it or not, this exclusive model will set you back around 100,000 dollars. Pure wild silk requiring 300 hours of labor to embroider with 150,000 Swarovski crystals comes at a price.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: Wiesnfasching

Far removed from wild silk and Swarovski are the rogue dirndls that can be ‘admired’ year after year at Oktoberfest. From dirndls made from thermoplastic in the colors of Germany’s Schalke 04 soccer team, through to skintight red leather or peacock-style dresses, we have seen it all. Whatever you’re into...

Diving in a dirndl

Diving is a beloved tradition in many Bavarian communities. As if a dive alone weren’t exciting enough, the organizers have cranked things up a notch. You are only allowed to enter if you’re wearing a traditional costume. As a result, year after year, ladies in dirndls and men in full traditional gear can be seen diving into the pool as gracefully as possible. The organizers have even found a way to include participants who want to take part spontaneously: Those who don’t have their own dirndl with them can rent one at the outdoor pool.

The bulletproof dirndl

It certainly makes sense to improve safety standards at Oktoberfest. Columbian dressmaker Miguel Caballero went a bit too far and offended public taste when he expanded on this idea, however. In 2006, he designed a bulletproof dirndl which he later declared a marketing gag. Yet this backfired not only in Munich, but also in Bogota.

The dirndl boom and The White Horse Inn

In 1930, the operetta ‘The White Horse Inn’ premiered and set in motion a dirndl boom that even spread across the pond. The light opera was performed 223 times on Broadway and included catchy tunes such as “Was kann der Sigismund dafür, dass er so schön ist”. The result? The dirndl conquered the world. From Lake Wolfgang to the land of opportunity.