Ultimate Dos and Don'ts for Traditional Oktoberfest Costume

Oktoberfest is a festival where Germans are dressed in traditional Bavarian costumes, particularly dirndls and lederhosen. The traditional costume and marksmen parade is held on the first Sunday of Oktoberfest. It showcases these costumes and historical clothing from the 19th and early 20th centuries in Bavaria. The procession, which is up to 7 kilometers long, attracts over 9,000 participants from various Alpine countries.

The exciting part is that it’s among the most touristy fests. Last year recorded 7.2 Million visitors.  Many would believe that locals don’t attend such events.  In fact, out of millions of visitors, 90% are still Germans. 

So, if you want to relate more to the tradition, simply wear the trachten (traditional outfit). Proper clothing for Oktoberfest is essential. So, this is the ultimate way to know the dos and don’ts of wearing traditional Oktoberfest costumes. 

The Significance of Traditional Oktoberfest Costume

Traditionally worn as work clothes, Dirndls have evolved into symbols of Bavarian culture and identity for women. The dirndl skirt is worn with a matching blouse and an apron for decorative purposes. Women have to be vigilant about their ribbon bow placement because this symbolizes different marital statuses, i.e., 

Tied on the front right

being in a relationship or married

Tied on the front left

being single and ready to mingle.

Tied center front

Signifies purity, often associated with virginity.

Tied in the middle at the back

Worn by servers or children

Lederhosen, made of genuine or artificial leather, are worn with suspenders for durability and freedom of movement. They are often paired with a shirt, vest, charivari, loferl, and a traditional Tyrolean hat. 

Dos for Traditional Oktoberfest Costume

During Oktoberfest, traditional costumes are the symbol of Bavarian culture and pride. It is the perfect pathway to connect with local culture and create memories. 

But isn't just donning a trachten enough? Follow these rules and be the center of attention:

Authentic Bavarian Attire is essential.

Dirndls for women and lederhosen for men are a must. These are the perfect attire to appear at Oktoberfest. The type of clothing has remained unchanged for two centuries straight. But, there are the latest trends and styles every year. Traditional Bavarian clothing can help you connect with the culture and festivities. 

High Quality Fabrics

Each piece of apparel needs a proper fabric for better finishing. This festival is as old as the alpine hill, so classic fabrics are mostly used. 

Fine-quality fabrics, such as cotton, silk, wool, and leather, are mainly used to make these costumes. Don’t forget that authentic Bavarian attire is famous for its quality and comfort. So keep it that way.

Go for the Traditional Colors.

Stick to the classics. Earthy tones, i.e, green, red, or blue, and pastel colors are the most authentic for German dirndls. Lederhosen is usually made in browns or blacks, but other subtle options are also available. 

Size does matter (in this case)

Bavarians offer sizing guides, so pay attention to them. There are multiple length and fitting options for the dirndl. Traditional dirndls are usually in three lengths:

  • Mini (Short skirt)
  • Midi (above the knee) 
  • Maxi (above the ankle)

Above all, the fit should embrace the body with the bodice, leaving no excessive material. The appropriate apron bow ribbon should be chosen with more than two finger’s width. 

For men, keep the leather trousers of your size. They adjust to your body. Look for the perfect pair of shoes as well. Also, buy the suspenders that fit perfectly. 

Accessorize your Traditional German Costume

Choose your accessories carefully. Random jewelry or embellishments might seem lousy. Women have ample options, such as aprons, lace-up bodices, and delicate jewelry. Men have limited options but can look good with suspenders or a traditional Bavarian Gillet.

At the fest, you’ll be walking and dancing a lot. Look for comfortable shoes. Bavarian boots, a.k.a. Haferlschuhe, are ideal. Women can simply go for leather pumps or block heels. 

Keep it simple!

Don’t forget the little details.

Be meticulous about the minor details. For example, dirndls need a matching blouse apron. It requires a well-fitted balconette to make your neckline more enchanting. 

Important tip: Keep the shirt in traditional colors, i.e., cream or white. Specific patterns like blue, red, or green can also work. Make sure that it goes with your overall look. 

Don’ts for wearing Traditional Oktoberfest Costume

One lousy choice can make your outfit look “not-so-good.” So, here are some don’t for the Oktoberfest costume:

Say no to Fancy Dress Costumes.

Oktoberfest is all about tradition. Don’t forget about the authenticity of the costumes as well.  Avoid buying fancy dress costumes. The reason is that those costumes lack quality and authenticity. 

Baravian Locals frown upon the dresses that look more like “Halloween costumes.” They are more plasticky and built awfully. 

Don’t Spend Too Much Money

Buying an expensive costume for just one event. Not worth it. Multiple dirndl and lederhosen physical and online stores offer authentic and affordable costumes. Visit them and buy your favorite ones!

Don’t over-accessorize

To ensure a memorable Oktoberfest experience, avoid overloading accessories. Especially the embellishments that don't align with Bavarian tradition.

Flashy or Bright Colors

Stay clear of non-traditional colors, such as neon shades or unconventional patterns, as they may not harmonize with the Oktoberfest ambiance.

Meanwhile, men shouldn’t go for colorful or mismatched shirts. Vibrant socks are also frowned upon. Don’t go near those Oktoberfest slogan shirts or beer hats. It’s totally against the Bavarian style.  

Key Takeaways



  • Authentic Bavarian Attire: Dirndls for women and lederhosen for men are essential.
  • Choose traditional colors: Earthy tones, green, red, or blue, and pastel colors are the most authentic for dirndls.
  • Accessorize yourself: Choose accessories carefully, with aprons, lace-up bodices, and delicate jewelry for women.
  • High-Quality Fabrics: Cotton, silk, wool, and genuine leather are used for the festival.
  • Be meticulous about minor details: Match the blouse apron with a well-fitted balconette for dirndls.
  • Size matters: Follow Lederhosen and Dirndl size guides.
  • Avoid Fancy Dress Costumes: Focus on tradition and authenticity in your Oktoberfest outfit. Avoid cheap, low-quality costumes.
  • No Expensive Costumes: Choose from multiple stores for a unique look.
  • Don’t Over-accessorize: Avoid over-accessorizing, especially those not aligning with Bavarian tradition.
  • Avoid Flashy or Bright Colors: Stay true to the authentic Bavarian style for a lasting impression.


Wear a traditional Oktoberfest costume, such as German dirndls and authentic lederhosen, to connect with the tradition. These costumes symbolize Bavarian culture and pride. Carefully choose your attire to make this event more memorable. Add your grace and go for matching accessories and relevant tones.


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