There are many places around the globe that throw their own version of Oktoberfest. However, there’s no better place to celebrate than in the city where it originated – Munich. I’ve been living in Munich for the past few years, and I can genuinely say there’s no event quite like the real deal! For three weeks in September and October, people gather to drink, eat, dance, and celebrate everything about the Bavarian culture.
But don’t think you can just show up wearing jeans and a T-shirt! Most attendees wear Trachten, traditional garments commonly worn in southern Germany. So, if you want to celebrate like a true Bavarian, then make sure you come to Oktoberfest in the following outfits!
What to Wear to Oktoberfest in Munich
If you’re visiting Oktoberfest in Munich for the first time, you can wear normal clothes, or you can choose to wear traditional outfits. Most locals and tourists will come dressed up in trachten. Wear what you want, but keep in mind it may be cold.
Traditional Munich Oktoberfest wear for men means wearing lederhosen. Most women also wear dirndls, a traditional dress with a blouse and apron. There are so many kinds of outfits that you’ll have no problem finding something that fits your style, budget, and body shape!
Do I have to Dress Up at Oktoberfest?
Of course not! While many people choose to wear traditional outfits, you’ll also see many people wearing everyday clothes. There is no strict dress code at Oktoberfest. But in my experience, you’ll have more fun (and a more authentic experience) if you decide to wear an authentic Bavarian outfit.
And please keep in mind that lederhosen and dirndls aren’t supposed to look like tacky Halloween costumes.
These are traditional outfits that hold a lot of meaning to Bavarian citizens. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see older generations wearing them to restaurants or out in public – even when it’s not Oktoberfest time! So, if you do decide to dress up, please be respectful of the local culture.
What do Men Wear to Oktoberfest?
As I mentioned, you don’t have to purchase any special outfit to have fun at Oktoberfest. But if you want to blend in with the locals, there are a few must-have pieces to invest in.
First and foremost, you’re going to need a pair of lederhosen. In German, lederhosen translates to “leather pants.” High-end lederhosen will most likely be made from deerskin, although many budget-friendly options are made out of synthetic materials instead.
There are many different styles to choose from. You’ll find lederhosen in different colors and lengths and with varying patterns of embroidery. Some pants come with suspenders, although it’s also common to wear your lederhosen with just a belt instead.
In addition to your pants, you’ll also need to pick out a shirt. Most Oktoberfest shirts are solid-colored or checkered long-sleeve button-ups.
While you can wear any color you like, the most common colors to wear are white, blue, green, or pink. Yes, you can buy a shirt specifically to be worn with lederhosen, but a regular button-up shirt will also work for the festival.
Shoes and Socks
You’ll be walking, standing, and dancing the whole night, so it’s key to wear something comfortable on your feet. Traditionally, men wear specific shoes made just for their lederhosen, although for an event like Oktoberfest, its more common to see boots or even sneakers.
You may also choose to buy a pair of ankle or knee-high knitted socks. But for an authentic look, I recommend Loferl, which are very trendy two-part socks (one part is the ankle sock, and the other looks like a leg warmer!).
What do Women Wear to Oktoberfest?
Women have a lot of clothing options for Oktoberfest. If you decide to dress up in tracht, you’ll find there are many different styles and dirndls (and even feminine lederhosen) that you can wear to the festival.
A dirndl is the traditional Bavarian outfit that most women wear at Oktoberfest. It consists of several parts – the dress, the apron, and the blouse. In most cases, the dress and apron are sold together and are usually in coordinating colors.
When putting on your dirndl for the first time, you’ll notice that it’s form-fitting and quite exposed in the chest area.
But this is perfectly normal in Bavarian culture! The dirndl is supposed to be snug and show off cleavage (although you can find blouses that are more modest if it’s too exposed for your liking).
And when you tie on your apron, pay special attention to where you position the bow. If you’re single, you’ll want to tie your bow on your left hip. If you’re married or in a relationship, tie it on the right!
And if a dirndl isn’t for you – don’t worry! Women can also wear lederhosen if they want to! It’s becoming more popular to wear lederhosen-style shorts with a button-up blouse.
As Oktoberfest is in the fall, it’s possible that it can get quite chilly in the evenings. There are special knitted sweaters sold especially to be worn with your dirndl.
But if you’re not looking to spend too much money, you can always bring your own cardigan or pullover from home. If it’s very cold, you can also wear a scarf or tights under your dress.
It’s important to wear a comfy pair of shoes to Oktoberfest. I can tell you firsthand that heels are a terrible idea! After all, you’ll be walking from tent to tent and dancing on slippery, beer-covered benches. It’s much comfier (and safer) if you wear flats, boots, or sneakers with your dirndl.
The best thing about Oktoberfest is that you can accessorize to your heart’s desire! You can choose to wear a felt hat and chunky necklaces and chokers (there are dozens of stalls that sell these items at the festival). You might even choose to adorn your dirndl with pins, buttons, or other small trinkets!
How Much Does an Oktoberfest Outfit Cost?
To be honest, you could spend a lot of money picking out your outfit for Oktoberfest. If you’re just going once or twice, you can find many shops around Munich selling trachten for under 100€.
But for this price point, don’t expect to have the most authentic dirndl or the highest quality lederhosen.
If you’re willing to spend a little more, you can get a good dirndl or lederhosen for around 200 to 300€. However, this is still on the lower end of the spectrum. When shopping in the stores, you’ll see that some pieces can cost well over 1,000€!
My only advice when shopping for Oktoberfest outfits is to avoid anything that looks too cheap. If you bought it at a Halloween store or if it’s labeled as a “costume,” it’s probably something you shouldn’t wear to the real Oktoberfest.
As you can see, dressing up for Oktoberfest is almost as fun as attending the festival itself. This once-in-a-lifetime experience is a great way to meet people from all around the world and to immerse yourself in Bavarian culture. So, come with an open mind and get ready to have a fantastic time in Munich! Prost!