How to Dress for Oktoberfest

Written by ehow holidays & celebrations editor
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Dressing for Oktoberfest can be one of the most important and fun ways to prepare for the upcoming festival. Dressing up for the festival went out of style in Germany in the 1970s and 1980s, but is popular again in Europe and the United States. It is by no means required, but it adds fun to the festival if you dress the part.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


    Know Your Bavarian Accessories

  1. 1

    Acquire one of the two basic and most important elements of a traditional Oktoberfest costume: the "drindl" and "lederhosen." The drindl is worn by women and is composed of three different pieces: the dress ("Kleid"), the blouse ("Bluse") and an apron ("Schurze"). The lederhosen, which are leather pants, can be either three-quarter length pants or shorts and are worn with a special cotton shirt, long socks and boots.

  2. 2

    Consider wearing a hat, also known as a "hut." Men typically wear these hats which are crowned with decorative goat's hair, also known as a "gamsbart" in German.

  3. 3

    Wear a "tuch," or handkerchief, tied around the neck or twisted into a necklace with a metal pendant in the shape of the Edelweiss flower.

  4. 4

    Consider adding some suspenders, also known as "hosentrager." These are made of leather and are often connected across the front by a stitched strap of patterned flowers.

  5. 5

    Wear a belt, or "gurtel," which is usually made of leather and decorated with reliefs made of metal. Be sure the notches fit your waist, as they are usually made for men.

  6. 6

    Complete your outfit with a "kropfband," or choker, which is a necklace that features an Edelweiss pendant.

  7. 7

    Consider decorating your costume even further by wearing a "charivari," which is a chain adorned with hunting items. Men and women both wear these necklaces which are covered with various hunting prizes, such as a deer horn or bear claw.

Tips and warnings

  • If you really want to dress in a genuine pair of lederhosen from Austria or Germany for Oktoberfest, be prepared for the extreme cost of these European pants. If you want a good pair of brown deerskin lederhosen, especially decorative stitching, you will have to pay a lot.
  • If you don't have a lot of money to buy a pair of lederhosen, try looking online at sites like eBay for a good deal (see Resources below).

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