Oktoberfest outfits: What people wear (2024)

Do you have to wear traditional costume at the Oktoberfest?

No. The modern traditional costumes (whether Dirndl or Lederhosen) have become more and more popular as an article of clothing in recent years. However, there is no dress code at the Oktoberfest, so any outfit is allowed for partying.

What is the meaning of "dirndl" bows?

Women can use bows on their dirndls (traditional Bavarian dresses) to indicate their relationship status. However, this unofficial custom is not regulated as mandatory. Thus, the wearers can also put on their bows accordingly for other reasons. Generally, the following bow positions are interpreted in this way (the position applies from the point of view of the person wearing the dirndl).

Meaning of the dirndl bow:

  • Dirndl bow tied on the left: The wearer is single.
  • Dirndl bow tied on the right: The wearer is already taken, engaged or married.
  • Dirndl bow tied in the center back: The wearer is a waitress or widowed.

What belongs to dirndl and lederhosen?

The history of dirndls and lederhosen (leather pants) at the Oktoberfest in Munich goes back to the early years of the 19th century. Originally worn as work clothes and everyday wear, not least the Oktoberfest in 1810 itself gave a boost to the wearing of traditional costumes among the city's population. Over time, the traditional garments developed into symbols of Bavarian culture and identity.

After various phases of ups and downs, modern traditional costumes with contemporary cuts and fabrics are once again in vogue at the Oktoberfest. However, these often no longer have much in common with the festive attire of the rural population.

  • Dirndl: The dirndl developed from peasant clothing. Originally, it was a simple work dress for women that was comfortable and functional. In the 19th century, city dwellers* began to wear it as a fashion statement. A dirndl consists of a top and a long or short skirt. A mostly white blouse is worn with it. An apron emphasizes the skirt and has only decorative purpose. The position of the skirt bow can indicate the relationship status. Accessories such as jewelry complete the look.
  • Lederhose: Bavarian leather pants are made of real or artificial leather and have a short leg length. They are often worn with suspenders and feature embellishments and embroidery. In addition to their original function as workwear, leather pants are durable, comfortable and easy to care for. They also offer maximum freedom of movement. The leather pants are often worn with a shirt, vest, a charivari (jewelry chain on the traditional costume), loferl (calf socks) and a traditional hat.

Why should you watch the traditional costume and marksmen parade?

The traditional costumes and historical clothing, especially in the 19th and early 20th centuries in Bavaria, are shown by the costume clubs and rifle associations during the traditional parade on the first Sunday of Oktoberfest. On September 22, 2024, more than 9,000 participants* parade through downtown Munich. Guests from other Alpine countries also march in the procession, which can be up to 7 kilometers long.

Oktoberfest outfits: What people wear (2024)


What clothes do people wear to Oktoberfest? ›

Both locals and tourists wear traditional Bavarian and Bavarian-inspired clothing. For women, it is a Dirndl and for men, it's Lederhosen. A Dirndl typically consists of a sleeveless dress with a blouse underneath and an apron at the waist.

What do you wear to Oktoberfest if you are not a dirndl? ›

Although a little bit harder to come by, if you want to get the Oktoberfest vibes without wearing a dirndl a German-inspired sweater or vest is a stellar way to make your plain outfit into a German one.

How to make an Oktoberfest outfit? ›

Women should wear or mimic the look of a traditional dirndl dress, which is worn with a white blouse and white apron. Men typically wear lederhosen, which are knee-length pants with suspenders attached. Once you get these essential pieces in place, you can add other clothing and accessories to enhance your look.

What is the name of the dress for girls at Oktoberfest? ›

The dirndl is a folk costume (in German – Tracht), and today is generally regarded as a traditional dress for women and girls in the Alps.

What is an Oktoberfest outfit? ›

For ladies attending Oktoberfest in La Crosse, the dirndl costume is the traditional and trendy fashion of choice. It represents the appreciation and celebration of the Bavarian culture.

What do kids wear to Oktoberfest? ›

Traditional costume for toddlers consisting of shirt, T-shirt and crawling trousers. In their free time and until the right Lederhose or Dirndl fit, little boys and girls can wear comfortable cotton clothes in traditional costume style.

Can you go to Oktoberfest in normal clothes? ›

You definitely can wear regular clothes and still have a great time, but you will be missing out on a key piece of the Oktoberfest experience.

Do you wear a bra with a dirndl? ›

Always select the right colour bra to wear under your dirndl blouse. It's best to try on the bra underneath your dirndl and blouse to find the perfect bra to go with your outfit.

What is the traditional clothing of Germany? ›

Dirndls and lederhosen may quickly come to mind as traditional German clothing. These outfits originated in Bavaria but have been widely adopted elsewhere. A dirndl is a dress consisting of a blouse, bodice, skirt, and apron. Dirndls were originally worn by servants or peasants.

What to wear to Oktoberfest last minute? ›

the staples are:
  • a white or plaid shirt.
  • lederhosen leather shorts with suspenders.
  • knee high socks or Loferl.

What style is Oktoberfest? ›

A beer rich in malt with a balance of clean, hop bitterness, similar to the Vienna lager.

What is the proper Oktoberfest outfit? ›

Dirndls, for women, and lederhosen for men and some women, make up Munich's Oktoberfest trachten, or traditional costumes, and with well in excess of 90% of revellers in the beer halls sporting some kind of Oktoberfest dirndl or lederhosen, for even the short-term visitor an investment in some Oktoberfest outfits can ...

Does Oktoberfest have a dress code? ›

Well, the truth is: wearing dirndls and lederhosen are not officially mandatory – there's no real Oktoberfest dress code or anything like that to worry about. There will definitely be people there who are not wearing them – visitors and locals alike.

What is the female German outfit? ›

A dirndl consists of a close-fitting bodice with a low neckline, a blouse worn under the bodice, a wide high-waisted skirt and an apron. The dirndl is regarded as a folk costume (German: Tracht).

What is the traditional Oktoberfest garb? ›

The leather pants are often worn with a shirt, vest, a charivari (jewelry chain on the traditional costume), loferl (calf socks) and a traditional hat.

What can you not bring to Oktoberfest? ›

Backpacks and large bags are generally forbidden within the festival area. Leave everything at home that you won't need while partying. It'll be much quicker to get into the Oktoberfest if you don't have a bag or backpack with you.

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