How to Dress for Oktoberfest

Co-authored by wikiHow Staff | Reader-Approved | 16 References

Updated: March 29, 2019

Explore this Article Choosing Women's Clothing Selecting Men's Clothing Article Summary Questions & Answers Related Articles

Dressing up in traditional clothing isn't required to attend Oktoberfest, but it does add to the festive mood and almost everyone will be dressed up! 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.

Choosing Women's Clothing

  1. 1
    Wear a white peasant-style blouse. Traditional blouses are relatively high-cut, but low-cut peasant blouses are also popular at Oktoberfest. Don't choose anything with buttons, and try to avoid blouses with decorative designs. You may be able to buy something like this in a department store, but it can be tough to find something plain enough (without buttons and designs)[1]
    • If you don't have any luck, try searching online or at a costume shop.
    • If you're shopping online, do so in advance and confirm the return policy before making a purchase.
  2. 2
    Wear a long dress with a sleeveless top over the blouse. A traditional dirndl is a specific type of dress with a full skirt and a low, sleeveless top, similar to what you would find on overalls. It is worn over the white blouse. Traditional dirndls extend to the ankles, but shorter lengths are available. Many have a bodice-like design on the top, which is traditional, but some do not.[2]
    • Traditional dirndl dresses can be quite expensive. You can find far less expensive options at costume shops or online.
    • Always purchase in advance and confirm the return policy when shopping online!
  3. 3
    Mimic the dirndl look with a separate skirt and bodice. If traditional and costume options are out of your budget, you can put together something very similar using your current wardrobe. Pick out a knee-length to floor-length cotton A-line or circle skirt. Go with black, red, dark green, brown, or sky blue. Wear a laced-up bodice over your blouse. Authentic bodices are made of velvet or felt, but work with what you can find.
    • The most traditional skirt option is mid-calf or floor-length.[3]
    • If you can find a bodice with thick straps that go over your shoulders, that would mimic the look of a traditional dirndl best.
  4. 4
    Tie a white apron over your skirt. The apron, also known as a pinafore, is a key element for this costume! The apron should be white and match the length of the skirt. Tie it around your waist with a bow in the front, over the dirndl.[4]
    • Traditionally, where you knot the apron indicates whether you are single or taken. Tying it on the right side means: "I'm taken." Tying on the left means: "I'm single and/or available."[5]
  5. 5
    Skip the long dress and try a pair of female lederhosen. While not traditional, female lederhosen are becoming popular among those who dislike wearing dresses. The lederhosen are high-cut suede shorts with suspenders attached to them. Typically, they are extremely short -- you may want to try them on before you buy them![6]
  6. 6
    Add a pair of white knee-high stockings or socks. Traditionally, these white socks have a bow on them. The bow should match the dirndl. If you usually wear nylon stockings, go with a nude color that matches your skin tone, and wear the white socks over your nylons.[7]
  7. 7
    Wear dark-colored loafers, clogs, or Mary-Jane style shoes. These kinds of low-heeled shoes are the traditional look. You can wear high-heels if you want to, but it's better to plan for comfort, since you'll be moving around a lot.[8]
    • Other options are regular or ballet flats. Go for a black or white pair.
  8. 8
    Wear a blonde wig braided into pigtails (optional). If you want to go the extra mile, opt for a "Gretchen" style blonde wig with long blonde pigtails. You can also simply braid your own hair into pigtails, or wear your usual hairstyle.[9]

Selecting Men's Clothing

  1. 1
    Wear a plain white or checkered button-down shirt. The shirt may have long or short sleeves, but it should be a button-down shirt either way. Checkered is the most traditional, but white is also popular.[10]
  2. 2
    Buy a pair of lederhosen. Lederhosen are a type of traditional leather or suede breeches with suspenders attached. They usually extend to or just past the knees. Authentic lederhosen can be quite expensive, so check out costume shops or go online for cheaper options.[11]
    • You can also mimic the look by selecting a pair of brown, black, or dark green knee-length pants. The pants should be fairly plain and not have many pockets.
  3. 3
    Put on some suspenders. Authentic lederhosen may come with suspenders, but if you buy them separately, try to find some that match the color of your lederhosen or pants. Going without suspenders is also acceptable.[12]
  4. 4
    Add a pair of off-white slouch socks. Slouch socks are knee-length cotton or wool socks. Off-white is traditional, but gray, light brown, and hunter green will also work. Often, they have a tassel.[13] Many men wear the socks pulled up to the knee, but slouching them down a few inches above the ankle is more traditional.[14]
    • Typically, men whose lederhosen stop just above their knee wear their socks pulled up, while men whose lederhosen extend just below their knee wear their socks pushed down.
  5. 5
    Wear dark brown or black leather loafers. If you cannot find authentic "Haferl" footwear, pick out a pair of black or dark brown leather loafers. The look is very similar, and will cost far less! Anything that looks similar to a rugged dress shoe will work.[15]
  6. 6
    Don a wide-brimmed felt hat with a feather in it (optional). The Alpine hat is the traditional look for guys. It has a peaked top and wide brim. A band is usually wrapped around the base of the hat, and a feather is attached to it with thread.[16]

Community Q&A

Add New Question
  • Question
    What do I wear to go to Oktoberfest in Munich?
    Community Answer
    A dirndl for the females, lederhosen for the gentlemen.
  • Question
    When does Oktoberfest occur next year?
    Community Answer
    Oktoberfest will be held September 20-October 6 next year (2019).
  • Question
    What is a good hairstyle for Oktoberfest?
    Amanda Cousins
    Community Answer
    Wear a braid under the hat if you wear a hat. Hats are traditional in Germany.
  • Question
    Can I stay with relatives or friends when I attend the festival?
    Community Answer
    Yes, you can.
  • Question
    I’m in the crest guard. Do I wear the dirndl or lederhosen since I’m a young woman?
    Community Answer
    You should wear the dirndl, but not the lederhosen.
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    Things You’ll Need

    • Peasant-style blouse
    • Cotton skirt
    • Bodice
    • Apron
    • Knee-high socks
    • Button-down shirt
    • Lederhosen
    • Slouch socks
    • Loafers
    • Alpine hat


    Article SummaryX

    To dress for Oktoberfest as a woman, wear a traditional dirndl, which is a long dress with a sleeveless top, over a white peasant-style blouse. If dresses aren't your style and you don't mind going outside of tradition, try a pair of female lederhosen instead. You can pair either outfit with dark-colored loafers or clogs. To create a traditional masculine look, wear a plain white or checkered button-down shirt with a pair of lederhosen and suspenders. Then, add slouchy white socks and dark-colored loafers to complete the look! For tips on accessories and hair styles, read on!

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    Article Info

    This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Together, they cited information from 16 references. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article meets our high standards.

    Categories: Holidays and Traditions

    In other languages:

    Espa?ol: vestirte para Oktoberfest, Русский: одеваться на Октоберфест, Italiano: Vestirsi per l'Oktoberfest, Português: Se Vestir para a Oktoberfest, Deutsch: Sich fürs Oktoberfest kleiden, Fran?ais: 

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