How I got my "Tracht"
After a decade of visiting the Fest in jeans, I could finally convince my wife Petra that I needed a "Tracht" - the traditional dress worn in Bavaria. (Tracht, by the way, means just "traditional attire", be it for women or men.) Here's what happened: That summer we had been off to one of those fantastic "Oktoberfest warm up" events that take place before the main Oktoberfest. These events help you get in the mood and also to get used to some drinking, otherwise you won't survive the Fest. One of Petras colleagues from the U.S. brought her husband (a Brit), and they both showed up in traditional Bavarian dresses! I was the only one wearing jeans and a normal shirt. Boo! While I am not a native Bavarian, I had been living in Munich for 12 years by then, and concluded that if these guys could wear a Tracht (proudly and good-looking), then I should be allowed to get one, too. All said and done. Off we went to one of the major Trachten outlet stores in Munich, and I got a nice Tracht for myself.
And this brings me to the ultimate question, asked again and again each year by the foreign guests to the Oktoberfest: What to wear to Oktoberfest?