[ www.oktoberfest-insider.com ]
Everything you always wanted to know about Oktoberfest
Bookmark and Share

What to wear to Oktoberfest?

by Mark Zanzig
View across Oktoberfest
Mark Zanzig/zettpress

 

Oktoberfest is approaching at the speed of light (please read the Oktoberfest FAQ and see more photos). Last year I could finally convince 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.)

How comes? Well, two weeks ago we have been off to one of those fantastic warm up events prior to the main Oktoberfest (you need to train the drinking, otherwise you won't survive). 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 have been living in Munich for 12 years by now, 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 Outlets in Munich, and I got a nice Tracht for myself.

Which brings me to the ultimate question, asked again and again each year by the foreign guests to the Oktoberfest: What to wear to Oktoberfest?

Now, yesterday was yet another Wies'n Warm Up at a local pub, and before we went in we made a brief photo shooting, just a couple of shots actually, to illustrate how it looks. The photos itself are not the fancy stuff you can expect from me, as they were taken with our tiny Canon Ixus 60 camera. Hope you don't mind. :-)

 

Traditional Bavarian dress for him

Traditional Bavarian Dress for men
Petra Zanzig/zettpress

 

Here we go. That's me with my brand new Tracht, consisting of:
  • Checkered Shirt (plain white is also OK)
  • Leather trousers (with suspenders, without is also OK)
  • Off-white Slouch socks (pulled down!)
  • Haferl Shoes (black!)
  • No scarf (even if they sell it to you!)
Actually, there is very little you can do wrong. However, if you are opting for medium length leather trousers, there should be enough leather to fully cover the knees when sitting. Otherwise the trousers are too short, and you may become the laughing stock at the Oktoberfest.

 

A word about the price for a Tracht. The Munich dealers offer complete sets, containing the items above (including the dreaded scarf). These usually are Euro 199.00 including taxes. If you want more robust leather trousers, we recommend to have a look at the more expensive ones. You will still receive a discount on the list price when you are buying a complete set. For example, the regular price for my combination was 367.90 Euro, but I negotiated for a 35% discount and paid just 239.60 Euro.

In any case, please rest assured that when you buy your Tracht in Munich, the sales ladies at the stores will help you with the selection of the right items.

(Note to myself: Watch hand position when posing! :-)

 

Traditional Bavarian dress for her

Traditional Bavarian Dress for women
Mark Zanzig/zettpress

 

And this is Petra showing off her Tracht, consisting of:
  • Short-sleeved white blouse
  • Traditional dress (the Dirndl)
  • Pinafore
  • Sheer pantyhose
  • Elegant low-heeled loafers
You should be aware of a few rules for the female dress:
  1. The knot of the pinafore indicates the status of the woman. Bound on her right side (just as Petra above) means: "I'm Taken". Bound on her left side means: "I'm single and/or available". Cool, eh?
  2. The traditional Dirndl is long and falls down to below mid-calf, just as in the photo above. They will sell you a short Dirndl as well, and as a male I agree that it looks quite appealing, but this is a tourist item and has nothing to do with the traditional dress.
  3. The pinafore should end at the same height as the Dirndl itself. Having a shorter or longer pinafore will definitely indicate that you are not one of the locals. A big no-no. (Petra's pinafore has the correct length, but the camera angle makes it appear to be slightly longer than the Dirndl. It is not.)
  4. The pantyhose should be just a sheer one, maybe tanned, but definitely not black or weirdly colored.
  5. The shoes should really be low heeled loafers or ballet flats, black or white. High-heeled pumps might be a beautiful sight and a nice surprise for your husband, but it's not something you wear as part of a traditional Oktoberfest dress.
  6. Some dresses allow you to thread thin silver chains through the front section. If you have one of these you should definitely wear the silver chains, otherwise the empty hooks will look just plain weird.
Other than that, it's pretty simple, really. The sales ladies at the stores in Munich will help you with the selection of the right items anyway.

 

Traditional Bavarian Couple

Traditional Bavarian Clothes for Oktoberfest
Susanne Überfuhr

 

And the result is a nicely looking traditional Bavarian couple, ready to hit the fun at the Oktoberfest. Nobody will realize that I am from Northern Germany, and that we do not wear the Tracht up there. Not until I start to speak anyway (my accent gives me away always). :-)


Bookmark and Share


Copyright © 2013 by Mark Zanzig, Munich, Germany - All Rights Reserved | Imprint | zanzig.com