What to Wear to the Oktoberfest

I thought with Oktoberfest starting this pack weekend in Germany, some of you may be wondering… What do I wear to the Oktoberfest?! Well, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered with my guide.  The Oktoberfest runs for two whole weeks, so you still have time to get your party gear on! My guide is broken down into women’s (Damen) and men’s (Herrn) fashions. Let’s start with the Damen.

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The most obvious choice would be to wear a dirndl (the name of the type of dress below).  The dirndl comes in three basic lengths: long, midi, and mini!  I chose the long dress because it was cold when I was in Germany during Oktoberfest.  What I do recommend avoiding though, is the super short ones that people wear as Halloween costumes. You know which ones I’m talking about. They’re too short, slutty, and tacky. Dirndls range in price from 80 dollars to 500 dollars. There is a wide variety of quality. If you choose to buy yours in Germany, there are *tons* of shops over there that sell them just for tourists.  Mine cost around 200 dollars. There are also a ton of websites online that sell them. I think it is way more fun to go into a store and have a fashion show!

What to Wear to the Oktoberfest

The next step is choosing a blouse.  As you can see, they range from sexier cleavage baring to modest warmer ones. Up to you to decide what to wear! Remember, your stomach will be covered so don’t worry about the crop top!

Outfits for the Oktoberfest

Tying the Knot
Now, when you tie the knot on your apron for your dirndl, the side the bow lays on determines what it says about you:

The bow to the left: you are single
The bow to the right: you are married or taken
To the middle: for children
To the back: widowed


My biggest question when I got my dirndl was, what shoes do I wear with this?!  Turns out, you can wear a variety of different shoes!  You can wear cute pair of flats, pumps, mary janes, clogs, boots! Anything goes! I wore boots with mine. I think if you are going to be walking around all day, a pair of flats, clogs, or boots would be your best bet!

Dirndl Shoes for Oktoberfest

Now, to complete your look, let’s have a look at some accessories…

Some women like to wear hats with their outfits… Germany can get a bit chilly in the Fall!  These two hats are the most traditional Bavarian hats to wear… they are made of boiled wool. Yes, I have one too!


If you choose to wear a necklace, the most common necklaces to wear with your dirndl are edelweiss necklaces and heart shaped necklaces. The heart shaped necklaces are usually patterned after the gingerbread hearts and have terms of endearment on them.

Now you need something to put your ID, phone, and lipgloss in.  The most popular type of purse to wear with your dirndl is a heart-shaped purse.  Again, these echo the gingerbread hearts that are seen everywhere.

Now, if you aren’t into dresses, there is also female version of lederhosen. I think they are kind of cute! I am not sure if these are cheaper than a dirndl, as leather shorts and pants can get expensive!

Below, is a picture of my cousin and I wearing our dirndl and lederhosen in Austria. As you can see, my dirndl is long. I love the pink and green! I chose the longer one because it is not warm in the Alps!

I am including these editorial photos from some high end dirndl designers to show you how pretty dirndls can be!  Also, take note, the most popular way to wear your hair with a dirndl is in a braid! Click on each picture to see a larger version

Now, let’s say you are going to an Oktoberfest party here in the USA and don’t want to wear a dirndl or lederhosen, but want to have “the look”.  I have found some similar outfits that you can assemble to wear to your Oktoberfest party.   

You can wear a pair of bermuda shorts or khaki capris with a gingham shirt, or a peasant off the shoulder blouse with a midi skirt. Pair it with clogs or boots. If it is cold, put on a boiled wool sweater or wool cardigan.  To accessorize, wear a heart shaped necklace and if you have a heart shaped purse, great!

Selections below, click to buy (affiliate link)

Menswear (Herrn)
Ok, the men wear lederhosen. It’s as simple as that. There are varying lengths: super short, then above the knee, below the knee, and pants. They come in a variety of colors – brown and black are the most common.  They are often sold in sets: the set includes a gingham plaid shirt, lederhosen, suspenders, socks, and shoes.  The sets are often around 150-250 Euros.  I recommend buying the set… if you purchase each item individually it will end up costing more!

men's outfits for the oktoberfest

Green lederhosen shorts with red socks on the left, and then hikers wear short lederhosen shorts with the traditional hat.

Here is Mr. Stylish below with his boiled wool coat, lederhosen, red socks, and a scarf that the Europeans love to wear. I feel like he’s going to start singing Edelweiss to someone!


Here is the traditional hat to wear. Often feathers and pins are tucked into the side.

Now, I know a lot of guys don’t want to wear lederhosen (like my husband).  I put together a board showing you how to get “the look” without prancing around in leather pants.  A gingham shirt, corduroy pants, a wool cardigan (preferably boiled wool), boots, suspenders, and the alpine hat will get you the look!

Men's outfits for the oktoberfest

Click on the picture below to buy, contains affiliate links.

One last look at us two… a bunch of random people took our picture as we stood in front of these cows. I guess we certainly looked the part! In Germany, I *highly* suggest wearing the traditional outfit! At first I felt a little silly, but then I put it on, went to the festival, and got SO MANY compliments! The greatest part was, everyone kept talking to us in German. Granted, I can speak German pretty well, but it’s certainly not my native language.

I hope this guide helped you.  Have you been to the Oktoberfest in Germany? If not, do you go to local Oktoberfests in the USA?

Picture sources  other than my own (and also sources where you can buy your Oktoberfest outfits):
Bavaria Lederhosen (also sells dirndls)
Lena Hoschek
Ernst Licht
Deutsches Haus
If I missed a credit for a picture, please let me know! I downloaded a whole bunch and forgot where I got some!

Written at http://peoniesandorangeblossoms.blogspot.com
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  1. September 22, 2015 / 2:26 pm

    I want to go to Octoberfest!

    • September 23, 2015 / 9:31 pm

      Me too! Wouldn't it be nice to head to Munich right now?

  2. October 1, 2015 / 2:14 pm

    What a cute idea for a post!! Love it! Pinned the style! Thanks for joining Home Sweet Home!