Perhaps you’re confused about whether to purchase a Bavarian costume for the Oktoberfest and considering that you’ll need to spend some dollars just to get started if you don’t want to appear ridiculous, we can see why you might be hesitant.
Certainly, here are a few reasons why.
1. Making the effort
However, making an effort to appear less like a typical British bachelor or hen party will go a long way toward earning you a warm reception. There is a small minority of Bavarians who believe that only generations-old Bavarians should be permitted to wear authentic lederhosen and dirndl and that anything manufactured after 1950 is not authentic Bavarian attire. The majority of Bavarians, however, are simply pleased to see everyone dress for what is, for them, a very special occasion and an integral part of what makes their region unique. Also, peer pressure should not be underestimated: between fifty and seventy-five percent of the people in the tents are donning lederhosen and dirndl; make sure you do too.
2. Be kind to yourself
There are cuts and styles of apparel that do not flatter every individual: Horizontal stripes are unflattering if you’re not tall and thin, but low-rise jeans can be a disaster if you have long legs; neon t-shirts and charcoal gray can look odd if you’re not tanned. Given the diversity of women’s fashion, the list is endless, particularly for young women.
But Lederhosen and German dirndl suit everyone! If you have a classic hourglass figure, a dirndl will accentuate it; if you don’t, a dirndl will give it to you by pulling up your cleavage and emphasizing your hips, a few extra pounds around your waist. The dirndl will eliminate those! a few too few pounds on your bust? The German dirndl will attract their attention! As for men, authentic lederhosen accentuates muscular legs and add substance to thin ones, while the thick, chunky waistband can be extremely useful for concealing a less-than-ideal midriff.
3. Fit for purpose
German dirndls and lederhosen are designed for the climate of Bavaria and for traditional Bavarian activities, such as dancing on platforms and lounging in beer gardens. It takes more than a stumble to rip a dirndl bodice, and more than a little bit of roast chicken fat to ruin a pair of lederhosen – in fact, lederhosen looks better with a touch of “sheen” on them. Traditional Bavarian attire is also ideal for inclement weather. Warm enough to withstand a brief precipitation or gust of wind, yet lightweight and adaptable for when the temperature rises around noon. Both authentic lederhosen and dirndl are adjustable and can be pulled tighter or loosened to provide more “breathing space” or to rest cozily against the skin, thanks to lace-up back openings.
4. A special appearance.
The Oktoberfest is a special occasion, and in the same way that you might dress up for Christmas on your birthday, it’s pleasant to mark the festival with authentic lederhosen and dirndl. When you don your Bavarian attire, you will feel different, and your Oktoberfest will be more memorable as a result.