It is October 12, 1810, when Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese exchange vows in Munich. On the occasion of their wedding, there are days of celebrations in the Bavarian capital – in private as well as in public: Among other things, there is a horse race on October 17th, which is called the birth of Oktoberfest. Today the event is all about one thing: culinary delights, carousels and clothing. The latter is particularly important because traditional costumes have a long tradition. It’s hardly surprising why millions of people from all over the world show up in dirndls and lederhosen – but the many outfits lack important details that are actually a must on the Theresienwiese. This article explains what these are and how you can dress up perfectly for the Oktoberfest 2023.

The traditional costume dress is usually cut a little longer, while modern dirndls are much shorter or “only” knee-length. Which model you decide on in the end is of course up to you – a real Oktoberfest outfit consists of the following components (in addition to the dress): the dirndl blouse, a dirndl bra, a dirndl apron, a dirndl jacket and a dirndl -shoes.

The blouseUnder the dirndl, women usually wear a classic white blouse, although significantly more colors have been added in recent years – and the materials can also vary. Blouses made of lace or with lace appliqués, which are mostly low-cut to emphasize the décolleté, are currently the trend. But here, too, you can decide according to your own taste and also choose a high-necked dirndl blouse. In any case, it is recommended to wear a white blouse with a colorful dirndl and a colored blouse with a simple dirndl.

The braIf you want to particularly emphasize your cleavage, you can wear a special dirndl bra. Unlike a regular push-up that just pushes your breasts up, this one has a strong underwire to lift your breasts. The balconette cut also has the advantage that no bra cups or bra straps are visible if you choose a deep neckline. Here’s an example.

The apronMost dirndls are already equipped with an apron, but you can also vary it. In any case, it is important that it ends with the hem length of the dress. The dirndl bow has a special meaning – more precisely the way it is tied: Right means that you are taken. So in love, engaged or married (since the wedding ring is also worn on the right hand side). Left means you are still looking or single. If the bow is tied in the middle, it is said that the woman is still a virgin – nowadays, however, the dirndl bow is only tied in the middle for children. A final variation would be to tie the bow in the center back, but only widowed women do this.

The JacketSince most of the Oktoberfest attractions take place outdoors, you should never leave the house without a jacket. Even if the Oktoberfest starts at the end of September, that still doesn’t guarantee warm temperatures. So that you don’t have to hide your beautiful outfit under an ordinary jacket, there are special Dirndl jackets (so-called Jankers) made of milled sheep’s wool – but the material also has its price. Alternatively, there are many beautiful wool models in different colors to keep you warm.

Accessories Anything that pleases is allowed here. Particularly popular accessories are hair wreaths or hair bands with flowers, which are either worked directly into the hairstyle or simply put on the head. Another classic is the so-called choker, which adorns the neck and emphasizes the décolleté. When it comes to jewelry, Oktoberfest hearts are very popular, as are traditional costume necklaces and costume rings. And even the handbag has heart shapes with edelweiss motifs – an alpine flower.

There are no special traditional shoes for women in this sense, but certain models have prevailed in recent years, which are one thing above all: comfortable. In principle, this applies to all shoes with block heels or flat shoes such as ballerinas. Because the fact is: If you spend the whole day at the Oktoberfest, dancing and swaying, strolling and strolling, you will feel your feet more clearly than ever in the evening. If you still don’t want to do without your high heels, pumps are still a better choice than high heels. What is not at all appropriate at the Oktoberfest are sneakers or boots. Here you risk critical looks.

The hairstyle Again, there are no guidelines as to how you should wear your hair – but if you want to go with the trend, braided hairstyles are the best choice. Whether you’re simply braiding your hair in one braid or two, tying a traditional ring braid or peasant braid, or creating a tricky herringbone braid, there’s no right or wrong.

Lederhosen were worn at the first Oktoberfest in 1810, but they only became really socially acceptable towards the end of the 20th century. Nowadays, underwear made of deer or cowhide is not only a popular item of clothing at the Oktoberfest – in Bavaria, traditional trousers have long been part of everyday clothing and are worn in many places. What’s special about it is, first and foremost, the robust material that can withstand external influences. Apart from the fact that the leather trousers also keep you nice and warm. It’s hardly surprising why you see more and more women at Oktoberfest who prefer to wear feminine women’s traditional shorts rather than dirndls. And this is how the Oktoberfest outfit for men is completed:

The shirt Similar to the Bavarian flag, you can also find a check pattern on many traditional shirts. It doesn’t matter which color you prefer – in combination with leather trousers, any shirt looks good. However, red-white, blue-white and green-white checked models dominate the Oktoberfest every year.

The calf warmersIn Bavaria they are just called Loferl, Stutzn or Beinhösl: the calf warmers. They are worn below the knee on the lower legs to emphasize the calves. The material is usually made of wool to keep the legs warm. According to tradition, the Loferl are not combined with socks, but only with invisible socks that are worn inside the traditional shoes. Sneakers, sandals and sneakers are considered a no-go when wearing short leather trousers.

The shoesFor men, traditional shoes are a must at the Wiesn. They were invented in the Allgäu, around 1800 to be precise – by Franz Schratt. The shoemaker from Oberstdorf recognized the need for sturdy shoes made of leather, which (in contrast to wooden shoes) should give the wearer more security when walking. This resulted in the so-called Haferlschuh, which is still a household name in Bavaria today. And not only worn by the local residents at the Oktoberfest, but also by many visitors who want to present a genuine Oktoberfest outfit.

Leather careReal leather pants are extremely hard-wearing and durable. But after the Oktoberfest at the latest, the material has soaked up drippings, beer or sweat. The “fatty feeling” is somehow part of it and is supposed to make the trousers even more supple in the long term, but a thorough cleaning every now and then doesn’t hurt. Especially when the material hardens due to the high level of contamination. However, the sensitive leather has no place in the washing machine. Instead, you should treat the leather with a special rubber brush to remove the coarse dirt. If you prefer to wash the pants, you have to do it by hand – but never use hot water, it hardens the leather! Use only lukewarm water and curd soap, then the pants are air dried. Or you can leave the cleaning to a professional.

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