How To Dress For Oktoberfest

A Guide for Men and Women


german womens dirndl

Dirndls are the most simple and elegant way to dress for Oktoberfest. Even the more modern designs, and can be very intricate, modern and beautiful.

Usually worn with a white blouse underneath, a dirndl can be long, medium, or mini. The white blouse can be short or long, as it isn’t fully seen underneath the dirndl. You can choose the design you want for the neckline. You just must determine how much skin you are comfortable showing. Most adult women show a decent amount of skin at Oktoberfest. While younger girls are always more on the conservative side. Choosing the blouse also allows you to consider the lace features on the puffy sleeves. These varying designs can complement the dirndl extremely well.

Here are the apron fashions for Oktoberfest. Depending on how you wear it, you are likely always sending a message to those around you. If you tie your apron on the right side, then you are in a relationship, or married. If you wear it on the left side, then you are single. Wearing the apron bow in the middle means you are a virgin. And when the bow ties in the back it means you are a widower.


Here we offer the traditional dirndls. But for those looking for a cheaper alternative, we have a costume section. These are authentic looking Oktoberfest costumes, avoiding those cheap American “beer fest” costumes. These are complete outfits, so you don’t have to stress purchasing an apron and a blouse on its own.

When it comes to shoes, being comfortable is always the main priority at an Oktoberfest. There are thousands of people gathering, and dancing and walking for an entire day. So, wearing heels isn’t always extremely practical. Most German women wear classic Mary Jane flats, black with a buckle over the top of your foot. Some women opt for a “dirndl pump”, it’s a pump with a chunkier heel and the classic buckle over top. Avoiding open toed shoes at Oktoberfest is a must. Beer steins breaking are a constant, so putting your safety ahead of fashion is a necessity. Also avoiding any sort of long boots, or cowboy boots is best. It’ll look awkward with most Dirndl lengths. They will also stick out like a sour thumb in a German festival like Oktoberfest.


For purses or wallets, the smallest option is always the smartest. The best option is a small purse that can hang around your body. Most tents don’t allow huge purses inside, and you also don’t want to be stuck juggling a 1-liter glass and a giant hang bag.

German Jewelry is always a fun way to express yourself at Oktoberfest. You can never go wrong with a classic edelweiss necklace or earrings. You can also feature a scarf around your shoulders, or a shawl to match your apron. Using an umbrella as an accessory can sometimes become an inconvenience. For both packing and carrying around in Oktoberfest.

Another completely different clothing option is a women’s lederhosen outfit. These are becoming more and more popular in Germany. Not a traditional outfit like those that has been custom in Germany. But a more modern option for those who want to feel more comfortable. These play on the men’s lederhosen, but a shorter cut and tighter fit. Perfect for those who want to branch out from the ordinary.


           For men, the traditional Lederhosen in Germany is the best option. At Ernst Licht we offer the highest quality leather to the most affordable traditional costumes.

german mens lederhosen

Lederhosen directly translates to “leather” “pants”. This is the main outfit you see men sporting at Oktoberfest. They can come in multiple styles but the main ones are Bundhosen and Plattlerhosen. These are available with matching suspenders. In addition, all of them feature traditional white, tan or green embroidery.

Imported vs Domestic

Lederhosen imported from Germany are authentic. German companies provide the highest quality leather. But during Oktoberfest it is much more expensive to buy a pair while you’re already in Germany. You may need to break your lederhosen in. Plus it is very likely that you may need alterations made or a custom size, so always plan ahead for these events.

USA-Made: We offer different styles made at our Oley, PA location. They come in the traditional black, or in the more modern brown style. Embroidered and hand sewn leather by our seamstresses. This provides an authentic lederhosen to meet all your German Bavarian needs for Oktoberfest.

Types of Leather

Cow: leather made from cow is the most affordable leather offered by Ernst Licht. It is great for Oktoberfest events or Halloween.

Goat: leather made from goat is a great combination of durability and pricing. More durable than cow leather, goat leather is also softer.

Laponia: The highest quality of leather sold at Ernst Licht. This is a durable leather with a smooth texture for a professional appearance. Pairs made from this are perfect for dancers and customers wanting a sturdy garment.

As a bonus tip for men, buying yourself one good pair of Lederhosen is always a good investment. They are made to never need to be washed, and the style is the “dirtier” the better. Sizing up is also recommended, because the traditional look is a more loose fit.


Suspenders are as much of a German staple as lederhosen are. These are made to hold your lederhosen up and are also an opportunity to show off with your chest plate. Your chest plates are usually embroidered. And these can be custom made. A cross piece for the back of your suspenders is also recommended, so they won’t continue to slide higher up than you want them too while adventuring around Oktoberfest.


Wearing a shirt underneath your suspenders is a must. Usually they are embellished with stags, and embroidered with designs. A lot of them are checkered, or a plain white or tan. Wearing a nice collared shirt is a comfortable way to walk around Oktoberfest.


The traditional German look always includes a hat. A regular Alpine hat should have you blending right in, and make you look fashionable. For a more extravagant look, a Miesbacher hat is the number one option. With these hats it is custom to add a feather to the left side of your hat. Another more fun option is being able to cover your hat in pins! These can be as many as you’d like, or as little as you’d like. We offer a huge collection of pins.


Knee high socks are the custom socks to wear with your lederhosen. And also, it can become extremely cold at Oktoberfest, and this is a great option for keeping you warm. Also wearing a thin jacket that you don’t mind getting beer spilled onto is a good option just in case the weather takes a turn.

For more information, specifically about Oktoberfest and what to do, you can visit their official website.