Many visitors to Oktoberfest for the first time are caught up on the colour, excitement, noise and atmosphere of the world renowned event. While there is no strict dress code required at Oktoberfest, many tourists do immerse themselves in the carnival atmosphere of the occasion. So the question is, what should you wear?
The Fast Tracht to Success
A cursory glance at some pictures of Oktoberfest in action should reveal that many attendees like to come fully decked out for the occasion. The traditional attire for Oktoberfest is known as ‘Tracht’, which is the term for the familiar national costume in German speaking nations.
In Bavaria and other parts of southern Germany, as well as Austria, the Tracht has launched a unique fashion style known as ‘Landhausmode’, which translates as Country Estate Style. This unique fashion sense has been influenced by the old style costumes of the local rural inhabitants of the region, including peasants and those who traditionally worked the farms in the area.
The Landhausmode style chiefly utilizes various types of linens, as well as the Loden cape, which is a coat that originates in the Austrian mountain state of Tyrol. The Loden cape is prized for its water resistant qualities. It is made from woollen materials and is said to have been first created by peasants in Austria. The fabric is taken from the rough wool of the mountain sheep, which is where the water resistant properties come from.
For the Ladies
For the ladies, the traditional Oktoberfest attire is the dirndl, a dress that will be familiar to most travellers from around the world. This type of dress was worn historically in Germany, but most particularly in Bavaria, as well as in other German speaking countries such as Switzerland, Austria and Lichtenstein. The dirndl was traditionally worn by the peasants who resided in the mountainous regions of the Alps.
The dirndl includes a blouse, bodice and full skirt, in addition to an apron. The apron, bodice and skirt are often strikingly coloured, featuring bright greens and blues, as well as interesting patterns. The blouse is usually white in colour, although other colours may also be used.
The dirndl is certainly an oft witnessed sight in an Oktoberfest beer garden. Traditional local legend has it that the location of the knot tied on the apron of the dirndl is a signifier of whether the woman wearing it is married, engaged or single. A knot on the left side purportedly means that the woman is single, while a knot on the right signifies that she is engaged or married.
For the Gentlemen
For the gentlemen, there is only one thing to wear when Oktoberfest comes around, and that is the world renowned lederhosen. These leather breeches are quite unlike anything you will find elsewhere in the world – so why not give them a try when you arrive at Oktoberfest to augment your once in a lifetime experience.
Lederhosen are the traditional attire for Bavarian men, so you are sure to fit right in on your Oktoberfest adventure.