Austrian National Costume
The people in Austria tell a story of their emperor Charlemagne that he once was out for hunting with his knights. He saw all his knights dressed in their best costume showing off their wealth. The emperor was dressed in simple cloths like that of peasants. He was very sad to see his knights showing off their wealth and hence made them run all around hunting, so that when they returned they all were tired, bleeding and all their cloths were torn only emperor and his cloth was fine which was made of local laden cloth. This story depicts the superior quality of Austrian traditional clothing called “Tracht”. The traditional Tracht is made up of wool, linen, leather etc., giving it a coarse texture. However, these were originally adorned by the peasant. The rich and better off people wear something which is soft, comfortable, durable and easy to clean. The type of “Tracht” wore used to define people their status like, their origin, trade, married or single. Though now it is not worn by people in Austria all the time but still they like to wear “Tracht” in official occasions, weddings and festivals.
The other traditional dress of Austria called “dirndl” means “young girl”. It is body fitting attire which also has apron of different colors. This dress can be worn either as sleeveless with a cotton, embroiders lace top or if with sleeves and high neck. In olden days “dirndl” was considered a dress of working class women like maids as these dresses were very much comfortable for working. With time “dirndl” became the stylish and fashionable dresses worn by elite. The “dirndl” is of two different style called as “Trachtendrindl” and another called “Landhauskleid” which is made from linen. The former consists of a dress and a pinafore. The color and pattern of both the dress and the pinafore is a symbol of a regional or a social reference. These dresses has pinafore and its bow is a sign of the marital status of a woman. A bow on the right side indicates that the woman is engaged or married while if it is on left side it indicates that she is available. However, if the bow is at the back side, it means she is a widow. The latter is less authentic and cheap and does not follow any pattern. It does not have a pinafore but have a corsage or embroidery on it. The dirndl dresses of high quality are made from silk, high quality cotton or linen.
The traditional clothing for men is called as “Lederhosen” and is made from leather, linen and wool. This attire has a knee length trousers or short pants which are made from leather. It is best suited with a rustic shoes and woolen socks. Men also wear jackets and hats but their design depends on the region and occasion. Another traditional costume of Austrian men are “steireranzug” . It is greyish in color and has green embroidery. It is made up of loden. It has become so popular in whole of Austria that it is now worn on all occasions from dinner and ball to political meetings.
The five features of Austrian costume are:
- Tracht made up of leather, wool and linen
- Drindl made up of silk, high quality cotton or linen
- Pinnafore indicates the marital status of a woman
- Ledehosen made up of leather, linen and wool.
- Steireranzug made up of loden