What To Wear To An Oktoberfest Party To Celebrate In Style

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It’s Oktoberfest season once again! If you’re never been to one, this style guide on what to wear to an Oktoberfest party for both women and men will help you out.

It’s that time of year again! The leaves are changing colors, the weather is cooling off and Oktoberfest celebrations are in full swing. If you like German beer, German bands, and great traditional German foods, then you might have already heard of Oktoberfest. If you’re one of the lucky ones who live in a city with an Oktoberfest celebration, then chances are it’s all anyone can talk about. If not, don’t worry! You can always celebrate your own Oktoberfest by doing a bar crawl with your friends.

If you’re headed to an Oktoberfest party this year, it’s important to know what to wear beforehand so that you’ll have a guaranteed good time. In this article, we will discuss how Oktoberfest parties started and why people all over the world celebrate this fun German tradition every year. Plus we’ll give some great style tips for both men and women on what you should be wearing at the next event.


How Oktoberfest Started


The first Oktoberfest was held in Munich, Germany on October 12th, 1810. The event took place to celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. This German festival first started with horse races, then combined with a state agricultural fair the following year, until food and drinks were introduced in booths.



Beer and traditional food is a huge part of Oktoberfest, and breweries are often represented through parades and extravagant floats that feature beer kegs and beer glasses, with people in folk costumes dancing to traditional German music and skipping around the floats. If you’re a certified beer lover, then chances are you’ll find yourself in a beer tent on the festival grounds.


The Popularity Of Oktoberfest


Oktoberfest is well-loved around the world, with different countries giving off their own spin on the holiday. In the United States, states with large German-American populations often hold their own Oktoberfest celebrations which draw out huge crowds to celebrate a few days of good food, beer, and local culture. This is in fact the world’s largest beer festival, and Oktoberfest parties are typically celebrated from late September until early October.

Oktoberfest is not only celebrated in Germany but around the world too, with notable examples in the US being Cincinnati (Zinzinnati)and La Crosse in Wisconsin. There are also some countries where breweries partake but do not celebrate with an authentic, official festival.

Of course, Oktoberfest is definitely not complete without wearing a costume! The most iconic Oktoberfest costume for women is the beer maid outfit or more widely known as the “dirndl“. This is a traditional outfit that represents the celebration. As for men, the “lederhosen” are optional but highly recommended. These are knee-length leather shorts held up by suspenders. Arguably, dirndls are more iconic than lederhosen, which is why you’ll see more beer maid outfits on beer pubs.


Breaking Down The Dirndl Outfit


If you’re going to an Oktoberfest party this year, it’s important to know the layers of the dirndl costume. Traditional dirndls are made up of a white blouse, a skirt, a waist apron, and a bodice that serves to accentuate the bust. There are different lengths of a dirndl dress for your preference. You can choose between long dirndls or short dirndls. If you’re feeling sexy and adventurous, you can also opt to wear a mini dirndl skirt!

As for footwear, we recommend closed-toe heeled sandals or open-toe heeled sandals. Since Oktoberfest is a day-long event that will surely last into the night, it’s important to be as comfortable as possible. Wear nude stockings to protect your legs and thighs from chafing, and then wear knee-high socks over them to protect your feet. 


Oktoberfest dirndl


Also, one very important thing to remember is to know how to tie your apron knot. The knot serves a purpose; it’s to let people know your civil status. If you tie the knot to your left side, it means that you are single, a knot on the right side means that you are taken. A knot in the middle signals that you’re either a virgin or that your relationship status is none of anyone’s business and a back knot means that you’re a widow, server or child.

Although it’s a traditional dress, dirndls are actually a popular choice for Halloween costumes among women as well. So if you’re going to a Halloween party AND an Oktoberfest party this year, you’re already hitting two birds with one stone thanks to the dirndl dress!

Fortunately, there’s no need to look far and wide to get your own dirndl dress. There are affordable high-quality sets available for purchase in an online shop like Etsy from independent creators, or you can also get your own custom-made costume from them too! Dirndls and lederhosen typically go for just under $100 or a little more than that if you want a high-quality one that doesn’t look tacky. A very beautiful dirndl can even go up to $250 or more if you opt for a custom-made women’s Oktoberfest outfit.

If you are looking for cheaper dirndls (perhaps to also wear during Halloween), Light In The Box is worth checking out as most of the costumes there go for under $50.


Dirndls To Wear To An Oktoberfest Party (For Women)


What to wear to an Oktoberfest party: Pink lace oktoberfest dirndl


Get this dirndl on Etsy



What to wear to an Oktoberfest party: Gold lace Oktoberfest dirndl dress


Get this dirndl on Etsy


Cute dark blue dirndl for women


Get this dirndl on Light In The Box


What to wear to an Oktoberfest party: Pastel pink oktoberfest dirndl dress


Get this dirndl on Etsy


What to wear to an Oktoberfest party: Blue Oktoberfest dirndl


Get this dirndl on Etsy


What to wear to an Oktoberfest party: Black and red oktoberfest dirndl dress


Get this dirndl on Etsy


Red and blue patterned oktoberfest dirndl


Get this dirndl on Etsy


What To Wear To An Oktoberfest Party (For Men) 


As for the men, traditional clothing includes an alpine hat, lederhosen shorts and bavarian trachten shirts (checkered button-up polos). If you don’t have a pair of lederhosen, leather pants are also fine. But if you’d rather go for normal clothes, an Oktoberfest shirt would be fine.

Below are a couple of examples that are available to be purchased through Etsy.


Green lederhosen


Get this lederhosen on Etsy


Brown lederhosen


Get these lederhosen shorts on Etsy


Brown lederhosen


Get this plain lederhosen on Etsy


Oktoberfest lederhosen


Get this lederhosen on Etsy


Faux lederhosen shirt


Get this faux lederhosen shirt on Etsy

If you don’t want to wear actual lederhosen for an Oktoberfest party, a faux shirt like this is fine as well!


Commonly Asked Questions

Can women wear lederhosen to Oktoberfest?

Yes, women can wear lederhosen too! While the traditional men’s costume is a must-have for Oktoberfest parties and beer festivals around the world, it doesn’t mean that women should be left out of the fun. They have their own version which also includes some leather shorts but with an added skirt to give off more feminine vibes.

Can men wear dirndls to Oktoberfest?

It’s not really recommended, but if you’ve ever been to an Oktoberfest parade, then you’ve surely seen men wearing dirndls complete with a wig and makeup ensemble. Short answer: Yes, men can! It’s all a matter of having much fun without harming or offending anyone.

Can you wear normal clothes to Oktoberfest? 

Yes, you can, but do take note that most festival-goers will show up in dirndls and lederhosen. If you want to join in on the fun and you don’t want to get left out, show up in a costume!

Will Oktoberfest 2021 in Germany push through? 

Unfortunately due to the pandemic, the largest iconic beer festival in Munich is canceled. This doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate your own Oktoberfest festival, though! There are surely smaller-scale beer festivals happening around the world, so check the internet and Facebook groups to see if there’s one happening near you. 

We hope you found this style guide helpful! If you’re still looking for more fashion inspiration, check the posts down below.


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