The Dirndl Shopping Dilemma: Should I buy online or in Munich?

So you are getting ready for a trip of a lifetime; finally checking Oktoberfest off the bucket list. Dirndl online beforehand or wait to shop the shops in Munich for your outfit?

The Dirndl isn’t just any ol’ outfit; it’s a cultural emblem and a style statement. So, here’s the deal – do you plan your Dirndl game in advance, or do you leave it to the spontaneity of Munich’s bustling markets? In our exploration of “The Dirndl Shopping Dilemma,” we delve into the pros and cons of buying online and in Munich, aiming to guide you through the maze of choices. Whether you’re a meticulous planner after the perfect fit or a free spirit ready to embrace the Munich vibe, join us for a balanced take on the ins and outs of Dirndl shopping for Oktoberfest!

Check out Munich’s #1 Oktoberfest Packages here!

Pros and Cons of Dirndl Shopping Online:

Buying online has its major advantages, but there are also a handful of disadvantages… so let’s dive in, braids first!

PRO: Convenience and Time-Saving

Availability of a wide range of options online – Picture yourself scrolling through an endless array of Dirndls from the comfort of your home. Choices galore! You can shop used and vintage styles, traditional dirndls or modern Dirndl fashions. If you like options… this route has options a-plenty.

Avoid the crowds – A folk festival like Oktoberfest draws big crowds into Munich… which means that no matter where you go shopping for your Oktoberfest outfit, there will be lots of people looking to do the same. Shopping online means there is no need to battle the crowds or squeeze in a shopping trip before the trip.

Two girls in Dirndls at Oktoberfest
Over 6 million people attend Oktoberfest, and many of them will be shopping for traditional clothing during the festival

Avoiding potential last-minute stress – Stress-free shopping from your couch. No frantic last-minute dashes to find the perfect outfit. It’s like having your own Dirndl showroom at your fingertips. Shopping online for a dirndl outfit makes getting a Dirndl that fits your personal style a lot easier. When buying in Munich you’ll be limited to what is in the store… unless you want to hit up multiple stores to find what you are looking for, but even then… it’s never a guarantee.

CON: Fit and Sizing Concerns

A girl finding the right fit for her Dirndl outfit including the blouse and apron
Finding the right fit can be a challenge when buying a Dirndl online

The challenge of getting the perfect fit without trying it on – Let’s face it, sizing can be a gamble. But fear not, we’ve got tips to help you nail it! Online sizing charts become your trusty sidekick in the quest for that flawless fit.

It’s also important to remember that each brand and style of Dirndl will have a different fit. There should be a size chart linked to each item that you are looking to buy online. But even then… you never know until you try it on.

If fit is a serious concern of yours, consider buying from an online shop that has a good return or exchange policy in case it doesn’t fit.

Another option to consider is to have alterations made by a local seamstress or tailor. Most new dirndls are made with extra seam allowance at the sides which makes alterations relatively simple. Vintage Dirndls… eh… that’s riskier.

PRO: Styling & Accessorizing

If you buy your Dirndl before you travel, it gives you time to style the look with accessories. What shoes will look best (and be comfortable… it’s going to be a long day). Do you want to wear your hair up, down, in braids, with a hat or a floral crown? What kind of fashionable jewelry will you wear with your Dirndl. Having this traditional dress ahead of time allows you to bring more of YOU into the look.

As someone who wears Dirndls a lot, one of my favorite things is to bring my personality and combine with the traditional clothing to make the whole look really feel like me.

Couple posing for a picture at Oktoberfest in traditional clothing. She is wearing a blue Dirndl dress and he wears Lederhosen to celebrate their German heritage
You’ll have plenty of time to match accessories to your Dirndl by shopping online

CON: Screens Can’t Tell You Everything

One of the bigger drawbacks of shopping for a dirndl online is not being able to see the Dirndl in person. The screen can’t capture texture or craftsmanship. But not to fear I’m here to help you navigate potential pitfalls and how to make informed decisions without the tactile experience of in-person shopping for your Dirndl.

PRO: You can take your time shopping around

If you wait to buy in Germany, you might be limited when it comes to price points. If you find yourself at a high-end boutique, you could spend way more than you wanted… alternatively, if you find yourself at a bargain streetside shop, you could be stuck with a generic and low-quality dress.

Shopping online ahead of time allows you to check multiple sites, with multiple price points to find the style that is right for you and within your budget.

Pros and Cons of Dirndl Shopping in Munich

So, you’re leaning towards soaking up the Munich vibes and snagging your Dirndl right there in the heart of Oktoberfest. Wise choice? Let’s unravel the magic.

Woman wearing a fashion Dirndl dress at Oktoberfest with a mid length skirt, velvet fabric apron and while blouse

PRO: The Local Experience

There’s nothing like immersing yourself in the local culture + there is something to be said for being able to say “I got it in Germany!” The Dirndl isn’t just a garment; it becomes a cherished memory of your time in Munich.

You can find Dirndls everywhere in Munich during Oktoberfest. The cultural heritage is everywhere from shops in the train stations and department stores to adorable Dirndl shops and exclusive designer boutiques. Munich and the surrounding areas have it all.

CON: Potential Tourist Trap

Just like any popular travel destination, when there is high demand, you will find items targeted at tourists who simply don’t know better. You may find a Dirndl dress at a store that looks “authentic enough” for 60-90 Euros, but this dress is more than likely one of thousands that have been sold and you are not only likely to see someone wearing the same one, but it might not make it home in great condition either. Fast fashion exists in the world of traditional German attire too.

PRO: Trying Before Buying

Skip the sizing uncertainty – One of the most obvious advantages of buying a Dirndl in Germany is that you can try it on to ensure a perfect fit. Trying on your Dirndl ensures it’s a match made in Oktoberfest heaven with no surprises when you’re twirling on the festival grounds.

Touch, feel, and fall in love with your dirndl – Nothing beats the hands-on experience. You can feel the quality of the fabric for yourself, and see the details of the lace or trimming. You can see which blouse will fit best for the design. Not to mention the charm of some of these Dirndl shops (and their owners) makes for a memorable experience.

A clothing rack with a wide selection of different traditional Dirndl dresses which include an apron and different skirt lengths
If you shop locally, you can try on a Dirndl before you buy

CON: Limited options or availability during peak times

Oktoberfest crowds can be intense – navigating the shops to find the perfect Dirndl amidst the hustle can feel like an overwhelming task. Again, you might find something that’s “good enough” but is that what you really want?

On the flip side, you might find yourself in a high-end designer Dirndl store with traditional wool Dirndl starting at 600 Euros when that wasn’t what you had in mind. Doing a little bit of research ahead of time and knowing what your budget is will help to make the experience better.

Shopping takes time – depending on what kind of shopper you are, this process could potentially eat away from your time at the Wiesn. While you’re trying on blouses, skirts, and aprons or looking for the ideal pair of Lederhosen… your friends may already be in the beer tents enjoying the music, food and of course beer!

Expert Tips and Recommendations

Alrighty… here we go! I’ve weighed the online and Munich options, and now it’s time for some insider knowledge to make your Dirndl decision a breeze. I may not be the ultimate Oktoberfest expert, but I am a Dirndl expert, and here are my recommendations for getting your perfect Oktoberfest outfit.

SIDE NOTE: All of this advice applies to Lederhosen shopping as well.

Designer of Rare Dirndl smiling at a booth selling high fashion Dirndls worn for special occasions, traditions and celebration
Designer of Rare Dirndl, Erika Neumayer

Research is your ally

Dive deep into reviews, sizing guides, and customer experiences to ensure a smooth online shopping journey. Consider the source of where you are buying from and the return policy. If something feels off… chances are it is.

When you are going to shop in Munich, try to go shopping during non-peak hours and talk to locals to get their recommendations for the kind of Dirndl you are looking for.

Know your measurements

Grab that measuring tape and use the size charts available. Take measurements wearing the underwear and/or shapewear you plan on wearing. No use taking a bust measurement with a sports bra on when you will be wearing a push-up!

The measurements needed are the bust and waist. Your bust is the largest part of the bust line usually around the center. The waist is the other key measurement which is where your body bends when you tilt to the side. The natural waist is typically within an inch of the belly button.

German Sizing

European sizing is different from American or UK sizing. Dirndls typically start at a size 32 and go up from there. For some brands you can simply subtract 30 and that is the American size, but other times it’s not that easy. In one dirndl you might be a 40 and in another, you might be a 42. It’s like buying a size 10 pair of pants at Old Navy, Abercrombie and Lucky and expecting them all to fit the same… It just doesn’t happen. But if you are in Germany… you can try it on.

Plus Size Dirndls

Online platforms often offer the most diverse range of sizes, catering to a spectrum of body types and ensuring that everyone can partake in the Oktoberfest fashion fun. As mentioned before, be sure to refer to the size charts and customer reviews for insights into the fit and comfort of specific Dirndl styles.

Munich markets increasingly recognize the demand for inclusive sizing, providing a chance to try on and select plus-size Dirndls but the style and color choices tend to be more limited.

Nine girls wearing traditional dress at Oktoberfest in Munich
Choices abound when it comes to choosing traditional dress for Oktoberfest!

Rare Dirndl

This is a great woman-owned small business that offers modern Dirndl styles along with some classic and traditional designs. Being a small business they have an easy return and exchange policy and an alterations reimbursement program!

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If you are looking for something truly unique you can apply for a custom-made Dirndl!

Ernst Licht

This family-owned business has been around since the 70s and they are the main supplier of Lederhosen to the US-based Bavarian dance groups… so they know their Lederhosen! It is a great option for shopping for traditional clothing for both men and women.


While you are shopping for office supplies, you might as well check out their Dirndl selection! We live in a global economy so if you already have a prime account… might as well take a look. Be sure to read the verified customer reviews and be mindful of the returns policy.


You can find some vintage gems on Ebay, but you can also find some bottom-of-the-barrel Dirndls when it comes to quality. But if you had your heart set on something 2nd hand or vintage… this is the place.

Marcari, Poshmark & Facebook Marketplace

On a budget? These are other great places to find second-hand designer Dirndls at bargain prices.

Plus Size

Ulla Popkin USA is a great site for exclusively plus size Dirndl designs and Rare Dirndl also offers up to US size 26 and made-to-measurement pieces.

Where to buy a Dirndl and Traditional clothing in the US that isn’t online

Dirndl Stores

Believe it or not there are indeed Dirndl stores in the US. If you live near a major city, try asking Google if there a Dirndl Shop nearby!

German Festivals

Other places to shop for both a Dirndl outfit and Lederhosen is at German festivals such as Germanfest in Milwaukee WI, Wurstfest in New Braunfels TX and Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg TX. Often these larger events will have vendors selling traditional clothing.


As we come to the end of our exploration of “The Dirndl Shopping Dilemma,” let’s recap the key points. Whether you choose to buy online or in Munich, each option comes with its unique set of pros and cons. Online shopping offers convenience, a wide range of styles, and the ability to plan ahead, while Munich Dirndl shopping provides a cultural experience, the chance to try before you buy, and the thrill of spontaneity.

But here’s the thing – there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The right choice depends on your personal preferences, priorities, and the experience you want to have. If you’re a planner who loves to have everything sorted, including what you wear, before the trip, online shopping might be your best bet. On the other hand, if you’re all about embracing the local culture and enjoying the thrill of the hunt, shopping in Munich could be the way to go.

Three women wearing traditional clothing walking through Oktoberfest grounds

Ultimately, the most important thing is to choose the option that aligns with your style, budget, and timeline. Whether you’re scrolling through online catalogs or strolling through the bustling markets of Munich, the goal is the same – to find the perfect Dirndl that makes you feel fabulous and ready to celebrate Oktoberfest in style.

So, here’s to the excitement of preparing for Oktoberfest with the perfect Dirndl. Whether you’re a meticulous planner or a spontaneous spirit, may your Dirndl shopping journey be filled with joy, laughter, and the thrill of finding the perfect outfit. Cheers to a fabulous Oktoberfest experience, and Prost to the Dirndl that makes it all possible!

Looking for advice on how to style your Dirndl? Check out this Complete Guide to wearing a Dirndl.

Image of a girl holding up the cover of a Dirndl magazine about traditional Dirndl fashion and modern designs