How is the typical Oktoberfest costume and what does it mean –

One of the things that most draws the attention of tourists and visitors to Oktoberfest are the typical costumes worn by both men and women, regardless of age, and that many are unaware of their meanings. Did you know that depending on at what height put the apron tie women can indicate if they are single? We tell you more details below.

What is the typical Oktoberfest costume

Next, we tell you all the curiosities and all the necessary information to wear the typical Oktoberfest costume. That you know, that if you want to show it off yourself, you can find them for sale in many shops in the city, online on the official Oktoberfest website or you can also rent them.


The Dirndl is about the costume of a traditionally bavarian and austrian dress, which previously could indicate the social class or the region where they came from. Today part of that message has been lost, but the costume worn by women at Oktoberfest and inspired by the regional costume is still called the dirndl. Interestingly, it began as a peasant outfit, then a maid, and ended up being accepted by the upper echelons of society as something chic.

One of the most curious aspects is that in the past it gave personal information about marital status of the carrier. Currently, the tradition is also maintained, although within the joviality of the festivity. In this way, depending on where you place the bow on your apron you are sending a message, for example: if it is on the left you are single or if it is on the back it is a widow, waitress or child; if she was in the center it meant that the bearer was a virgin, nowadays it is more translated as “none of your business”.

Of course, all the elements that make up the complete suit of the dirdnl are chosen with care: shirt or blouse, corset, skirt, apron, stockings and shoes. Forget about wearing high-heeled shoes or flip-flops, if you wear the typical costume you will have to use typical shoes and, if your legs are cold, know that in the past women also used loferls (we will talk about them below).

As for the hairstyle You will see that they all wear very well-groomed hairstyles regardless of the length of the hair. You can make different types of braids, located at different heights of the head, and all of them will be sensational with the suit. You can also wear collected or fix the hair with hairpins.


As in the case of women, the traditional costume worn by men in Oktoberfest is inspired by the costume of the peasants of that time. There are some important elements that tourists can ignore or confuse, for example, do they wear high socks?

The reality is that the typical costume does not include high socks, but it is about loferls which are heaters that reach the knee, which means that they do not cover the foot but are used only on the lower part of the leg. They are also known as “stutzn” or “beinhösl” and I have to tell you that sometimes they don’t use socks (originally they weren’t made), although sometimes they are sold together and then yes, especially on the coldest days.

It is considered that this is one of the typical elements and that they cannot be missing to go to Oktoberfest, in the same way that some lederhose shorts, some leather pants, to be worn with the loferls. Therefore, a piece of skin must always be visible between the trousers and the loferls. In turn, another of the important details with the pants is that they cannot be rolled up or folded.

And another equally important fact, you have to use traditional shoes to be able to wear the loferls, it is a very important rule. For this reason, they assure that if you want to take the traditional costume seriously – something that is quite expected – you have to leave the current fashions at home and dress for the occasion. In the same way, be careful not to let your socks show! If you want to wear socks, even if they are not original, you can do it but nobody finds out, they must be well protected so that they are not visible or it is considered a major failure.

Finally, you cannot miss the traditional hat Bavarian that you can find in stores and that is made of felt. You will see that many users wear different pins on their hats and many of them collect them to decorate them.

And what colors to choose? Beware, not everyone is worth it. The traditional costume is the one that marks the color that you have to choose for your loferls, must be perfectly combined. Of course, they assure that it is not a difficult task since today you find them in all colors.

Origin of the Oktoberfest costume

As you may have read in our previous article on the origin and history of Oktoberfest (if you haven’t done so, I recommend it because of the number of curious stories), the origin of this festival is the celebration of the wedding of King Louis I of Bavaria (at that time Prince Regent) and Princess Teresa of Saxony-Hildburghausen, in 1810. One of the best-known activities of the time was horse racing, but what not everyone knows is that it also gave rise to a parade. The success was monumental, so much so that in 1895 1400 people participated in it.

In 1950, it began to be included within the Oktoberfest festival itself, being one of the most important events, where some 8,000 people wearing historical costumes participate.

One of the curiosities that is discussed is that not only groups and associations from Bavaria participate in this parade, but also people from other areas of Germany, just as they usually participate from other countries such as Austria, Switzerland or northern Italy.

If you attend you will be able to see that there is a person who is in charge of guiding the parade, it is the Münchner Kindl. Behind him are the municipal authorities, the president and his spouse, and, I quote, “Trachtenvereine (groups in traditional costumes), Schützenvereine (shooting societies), brass bands, musical bands, the Fahnenschwinger (flag-bearers)”, to then give way to horse carriages that have been laboriously decorated and with very striking colors, as you can see in the photographs.

Another article that may interest you is: