Culture Party

Stuck on what to wear for Oktoberfest 2019? A Complete Guide to Oktoberfest Costumes

Welcome to Oktoberfest! Are you ready to join in the annual celebration of all things German this year? Do you have your Oktoberfest costumes ready for the festivities? You can’t join in the celebrations if you don’t have the right gear!

No idea what we are talking about? Never heard of Oktoberfest? Don’t have a Dirndl dress or Lederhosen hidden away in the wardrobe? Well, it’s time we sorted out a suitable costume for you!

Women’s Oktoberfest costume

Women’s Oktoberfest costume

The traditional clothes worn by women at the Oktoberfest is the Dirndl dress worn over a white blouse with puffy sleeves and an apron tied around the waist. Whilst the  Dirndl dress and apron can come in many colours and patterns, the blouse always has to be white. If you are looking for a Dirndl costume, you usually have the choice between an all-in-one piece, where the blouse, Dirndl dress and apron are all one costume or where the blouse and bodice are one piece and the skirt and apron a second piece.

The Dirndl is a traditional peasant outfit and over the years has become something of a fashion statement. Originally fairly plain, the Dirndl can now have elaborate designs and embellishments and are available in lots of fabulous colours. These costumes are available in a variety of different lengths from ankle length, mid-calf, on the knee, above the knee and mini.

If you want to buy a real authentic Dirndl dress from Munich, check out Stockerpoint, Kruger or MarJo, however, they will set you back a few hundred dollars with custom designs in the thousands! On the other hand, it’s pretty easy to pull together a DIY version of the popular women’s Oktoberfest costume, particularly if you are handy with a sewing machine.

What about your décolletage?

dirndl decolletage

Since the bodice of this German costume is meant to fit very snuggly, it’s best to select a size smaller than you would usually buy, since the drawstrings of the bodice can be loosened to allow you to breathe! The shape of the blouse opening can be either a diamond, heart, oval or even full coverage, it all depends on how much of your décolletage you want to display. Most blouses have puffy short sleeves, but you can also wear an off the shoulder option or even long lacy sleeves. Don’t forget that you really need to include a sassy push-up corset bra in your ensemble, particularly if you want to show a daring amount of décolletage!

Secret bow tying tips

long bow dirndl

Authentic Dirndl dresses have a long bow that is tied around the waist, but there is a secret code in the way you tie this bow. If you tie it on the left side of your waist it means that you are single, but on the right indicates that you are in a relationship. If you tie the bow in the middle of your waist, then it means you are a virgin and at the back, it means that you are either a waitress or a widow (not sure how that works out!).

Tying off your bow would most probably be more important if you were attending Oktoberfest in Munich, where it also indicates where families sit in church: men sit on the right, women on the left, children in front and the elderly at the back.

Oktoberfest accessories

oktoberfest beers

No Dirndl costume is complete without a handbag for your money, keys, ID and all your knick-knacks, but what type of handbag suits a Dirndl outfit? Well, it needs to be as small as feasibly possible and it’s best if it has a long shoulder strap so you can either hang it over your shoulder or across your body. Usually, Oktoberfest pavilions don’t allow entry for anyone with large bags, so a small bag avoids this problem. 

Always avoid a clutch bag, because you just won’t have enough hands to hold your bag and drink your beer – which is why an over the shoulder option is best. Traditional Dirndl bags or purses are highly decorative, often in the shape of a heart and made to match your dress. Some even have slots along the top so that it can be hung from the tie on the front of your apron. Whichever option you select, make it as small and as pretty as possible!

What about your hair?

oktoberfest hair style

Your hair can be the final element that pulls your entire wonderful outfit together, so now is no time to stint. Twin pigtails are popular with young girls, whilst older ladies can weave lovely ribbons through their hair, tie it back loosely and let it flow down their backs in long lazy curls or even pop it up in a tight bun.

What shoes to wear to Oktoberfest

Leave your lovely high stilettos in the wardrobe for Oktoberfest, because they don’t suit a Dirndl dress and if anything, will detract from the beauty of the dress. Given all the beer that is drunk and spilled on the floor during these festivities, stilettos and even open-toed shoes are likely to result in more harm than good!

You really have three main choices if you want to be authentic, and that’s to either wear regular ballerina flats (always a safe choice), Mary Janes or leather ankle boots. Mary Janes are always popular because you can make those delicious tap-tap noises with your shoes when you are dancing, whilst leather lace-up ankle boots have a seductive charm all of their own! Now you no longer need to worry about what shoes to wear to Oktoberfest – because you know exactly what to wear!

Men’s Oktoberfest costumes

lederhosen mens costume

Men’s outfits for Oktoberfest are a bit dorkier than the beautiful costumes worn by ladies – think of The Sound of Music! In fact, if you watch that movie, you will see traditional German clothes just about everywhere!

It goes without saying that men are usually easier to dress than women and it’s no different with their Oktoberfest outfits. For their German costume, all they need is a short-sleeved checkered button-up shirt, a Lederhosen (leather knee-length shorts) with suspenders, long socks, sturdy shoes and an alpine hat with a feather!

If you need some serious help organising your costumes for Oktoberfest, check out the oodles of ideas at Costume Box!


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