Beer! We love it! We drink it! We celebrate it . . . especially in October, better known as the month of Beer.
If you’re planning to celebrate Oktoberfest, the cultural beer festival, great! You want to dress the part. Don’t know what that means or don’t want to look too cheesy? Read our Oktoberfest attire guide below.
A Word on Appropriateness
We love Oktoberfest – and so do Germans and the rest of the world. But sometimes people forget it’s a cultural tradition/celebration, not just a time to get dressed up to get drunk.
We encourage you to do both of those things but don’t go overboard. Can you imagine trying to fuss with your suspenders to get your lederhosen down, trying to go to the bathroom when drunk? Sounds difficult and like a potentially embarrassing situation.
The same with women’s’ costumes. You don’t want to be flashing everyone when you get up to get your next beer. Watch the lengths of your costume, as a tiny skirt will point you out as a tourist before anything else.
Types of Clothes
There are two main costumes or outfits people wear to Oktoberfest. There’s the dirndl for women and lederhosen for men.
Dirndl: What it is and How to Wear It
The Dirndl is the dress you see women wearing with an apron and a built-in bodice or corset. The corset cinches in the waist, under the breasts, which pushes them up and puts them on display.
They’re usually attached to a skirt, which should hit from anywhere from fingertips-to-thighs level to a few inches below the knee.
You’ll see women in videos and pictures wearing chunky heels with these and knee-length socks, but we don’t recommend either. Instead, wear something you’re comfortable walking in and getting beer spilled on.
You don’t consider how much walking and standing Oktoberfest involves until you’re there in uncomfortable shoes.
You’ll also want a small crossbody purse that you can wear at all times. Keeping it cross-body (with the opening side close to your body) and at your front will keep you from getting pickpocketed. Or at least help prevent it.
Lederhosen: For Men
Lederhosen aren’t just shorts. The word literally translates to “leather pants” which are what authentic pairs are made of. The benefit of leather is that it’s long lasting, but it can get hot, so keep that in mind.
Your lederhosen doesn’t need to be dramatically short. There are plenty of authentic pairs that go to the knee or a little bit above it.
Once you decide on the length, you’ll need to think about whether you want suspenders or not.
We think they look much more authentic (because they are) but they’re a little less comfortable – and make pants harder to operate when drunk.
The comfortable shoe thing goes for men too, so pick a low-profile neutral shoe that you don’t mind getting dirty.
Your Oktoberfest Attire
Whether you’re attending Oktoberfest in Germany or in good old Nashville, it’s worth getting your Oktoberfest attire in beforehand.
That way you can send it back if the bodice is too tight or if the lederhosen is a little too short. Try to order up to a month in advance for the best results.
Get your tickets for the Nashville celebration here.