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GERMAN ATTIRE: Frankenmuth locals look the part

On any given day in Frankenmuth you will see ladies dressed in dirndls or guys in lederhosen. For those of us that work in the hospitality industry in Frankenmuth it’s our regular attire. We are easily spotted in the grocery store or at the gas station. Personally, having worked in that uniform for 17 years, I don’t even feel out of place; that is until I go out of town and wonder why people are giving me funny looks! But there are two times during the year that everyone pulls out their German clothes and takes to the streets, in September at Oktoberfest and, of course, Bavarian Festival weekend.

Many locals get their first dirndl or pair of lederhosen as part of their work uniform. Whether it’s a waitress at Zehnder’s Restaurant or a Sales Associate at the Bavarian Inn Castle Shops, the costumes are worn to create a daily atmosphere. Additionally, it’s very convenient to have one handy for those special festival times.

However, if you aren’t fortunate enough to have one provided for you by an employer, there are still plenty of places to purchase one and join in the festivities. (Please note: I’m not endorsing anything, just passing along what I know.)

  1. Take a trip to Germany…LOL, not really cost effective, but truly the best place to buy German festival apparel. As a town of German descent, there are still plenty of citizens that travel to Germany and buy clothes straight from the homeland during their visit. Obviously, this is not the norm, but the list wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention it!

  2. The internet, of course. Ebay and Amazon have German attire aplenty. You can get them in every color and pattern. Typically, you get what you pay for, but you can find them for a bargain.

  3. The Lager Mill in Frankenmuth has a selection of themed clothing sold by Bavarian Specialties. If you are in town and just want to pick one up, they do sell them off the rack. However, custom orders are available and more common.

  4. Frankenmuth Resale shops or Yard/Garage Sales. Just like any other piece of clothing, we want to update and buy new ones. If you are browsing the racks of the local resale shops, don’t be surprised to come across German attire that’s been donated to make way for a newer version. A city wide Sales Fest is held on May 19th & 20th this year, a great time to comb the city for German wear.

  5. Every other year (2018 is the next one) the Civic Events Council hosts a German Clothes Sale a few months prior to the Bavarian Festival where we buy and sell our old German clothing.

  6. Borrow from a friend! Okay, so this may be more of a local option, but we all seem to have that one friend that collects German clothes for the neighborhood and has them in all sorts of shapes and sizes. It’s always fun to shop in someone else’s closet!

If you can’t afford an entire dirndl or pair of lederhosen, FEAR NOT…I love those t-shirts that have the lederhosen or dirndl image printed on them! Or you can just accessorize with a flower ring or Bavarian green felt hat bought in any shop along Main Street.

Parade Sunday is an unofficial holiday in Frankenmuth and we all want to look the part. Whether we are in the parade or just wandering the streets, the local community puts together their best German look and joins in the fun, festive atmosphere…even if that means donning our work uniform one more day!

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