“The Wiesn,” or Oktoberfest, is the largest traditional folk festival in the world. More than a million people from all over the world visit Munich every October for the festival to enjoy the region’s finest beers, eatables, and mood-boosting music. What would Oktoberfest be without the traditional attire of Lederhosen and the German dirndl? You must buy a real Bavarian outfit for the festival unless you want to stand out as an outsider.
Being a native Bavarian, I can say that you will have twice as much fun at the party if you dress in traditional attire. While it resembles Halloween or Carnival in some ways, perhaps the word “costume” best describes the situation. Lederhosen for men are not commonly worn outside of festive events in Bavaria.
Mens Oktoberfest Outfit: The Lederhosen
The Lederhosen is the traditional garment most closely connected with Bavaria. Traditional lederhosen for men will be constructed from chamois leather or deer skin. Typically, green to yellow yarn or quills are used for the needlework. Since these real Bavarian Lederhosen are made to last a lifetime, they are usually too expensive (starting at about $1,000 USD).
Lederhosen length: Short, medium, or long?
Since Lederhosen are worn not only in Bavaria but also in Austria and Switzerland, there is no simple solution. Models, designs, and lengths change depending on the region. Men typically wear Lederhosen that terminate way above the knee, whereas the places around Munich prefer men to wear Lederhosen that reaches the knee.
Older men often wear long Lederhosen, but in the end, it all comes down to personal preference. A pair of medium-length lederhosen for men, almost reaching the knees is an excellent choice. Mountainous areas like the short ones because they are easier to climb and take care of mountain pastures..
The simplest option would be knee-length, wool-only knit socks. Green and gray are also popular substitutes. Hand-knitted socks are necessary to complete the look of an authentic Oktoberfest outfit.
Women Oktoberfest Outfit: The dirndl
When you go about the festival grounds (Theresienwiese), you will observe a wide variety of folkloristic attire, but that does not necessarily mean they are real. Some looks are too daring and revealing, while others are too dated and dusty.
You want to dress in a German dirndl, which is the name of the traditional women’s clothing used in Bavaria. It’s not only adorable but it’s also cut to show off your feminine features elegantly.
Women’s Outfit: Short or Long?
Typically, a German dirndl should extend past the knees. Wearing a longer dirndl is more demanding in German culture and regarded with more respect than the shorter one. Moreover, remember that late September can be cold in Germany (especially in the morning). You do not want to feel cold.
Additionally, straight hair is a big no-no for women attending the Oktoberfest. Whatever you choose to do, don’t let them hang there. Everything that is braided is fantastic, but you can also choose to wear your hair in a bun or even with flowers in it.