By Ashley Smith of My Wanderlusty Life

It’s finally my favorite season of the year—no, not spring—I’m talking about really-should-start-planning-for-Oktoberfest season! It’s the time of year when I start streaming oompah music and really working on my upper body strength. (Fun fact: a full maß weighs 5.5 pounds.) ‘Tis also the season when I start making sure I have everything I need for Oktoberfest. (Sadly, bulging beer-lifting biceps isn’t enough.) If you’re like me, it’s time to get your act-oberfest together. Here’s a list of what you need to bring to pack for Oktoberfest in Munich: 

woman at oktoberfest with long dark hair wearing a pink dirndl dress - how to pack for oktoberfest


Obviously, this is the most important thing ever in life so that’s where we’ll start. Your dirndl will consist of a dress, an apron, a blouse, and a ribbon or something similar that, for lack of actual fashion knowledge, gets criss-crossed in the front. Yes, you need all the pieces. As if I have to twist your arm into wearing an apron as a fashion statement. Be aware that these pieces are not always sold together. It’d be terrible to show up to Oktoberfest in a dress with no blouse. (Oh, the things I have seen…)  

group of men and women in traditional garments like lederhosens and dirndl dresses


 So you’ve put on your dirndl and can’t stop gushing over how cute you are. But wait, you’re not going to just put that bow any ol’ place, now are you? ARE YOU!? That’s right—where you tie your dirndl bow is a fun little game we all like to play called “Who here is a virgin?” When you tie your bow on your right, it shows to everyone, whose business it is not anyway, that you’re spoken for. When you tie your dirndl on your left, it means you’re single. When it’s tied in the front, it means you’re a virgin. (Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!) And when your bow is tied in the back, it implies that you work there so don’t be surprised when people start handing you money. I know where I’m tying mine from now on, how about you?

Now after you figure out where your bow belongs, you’ll need to know how to tie the world’s most perfect bow. And that you can find out here.


Oktoberfest is like 50% standing up, 80% dancing on benches, 20% walking the grounds, and 0% math (thank goodness). Keeping with current trends you can go with black flats or cute booties, but whatever kind of shoes you decide to wear, make sure they’re comfortable. Pro tip: Memory foam inserts can improve the comfort level of just about any shoe. Actually, I dare you to find anything that isn’t made better by memory foam.  


You can wear short socks (like ankle or no-show) or knee socks (which I like to call fo-sho). When it’s chilly out, I like to go with some knitted knee socks in a color that matches my dirndl. It adds a little bit of feminine charm and a whole lotta’ lower leg warmth. The guys and their ankle muffs shouldn’t get to have all the fun, right?

German dirndl dress with medium skirt length


Yes, you’ll need a bra. Every last one of you, don’t even play. Personally, I opt for the push-up-ing-est I can find and in a color that best matches my skin (white blouse and all). Additionally, for the less endowed, you can also add a bra shaper for a little extra oomph. [Click here to check out our post ‘Best Undergarments to Wear with a Dirndl’]


 To each his own but… my biggest Oktoberfest goal every year is to not show my 10,000 new friends all my lady parts. To accomplish this, I wear simple (and comfortable, always comfortable) little booty shorts or bloomers under my dirndl. You’re dancing on benches and you’re probably falling off those benches—so let’s try to keep some things to the imagination, mmkay?

woman at oktoberfest in a beer tent holding a liter of beer in a leopard print dirndl dress


So what’s even better than wearing shorts under your dirndl? Wearing a petticoat, obviously. Who doesn’t want to spend the day twirling about like an 1800s saloon worker? *looks around intently* That’s what I thought. When the temps drop below like 70°F (I’m a wuss, shut up) I pull out the petticoat. Not only is that extra lacy layer adorable under the dirndl, but it also helps keep you all kinds of cozy and warm.

And for the top, A CARDIGAN

September/October is an iffy weather period when it can either be scorching hot or bitter cold. When it’s the latter, I always bring a lightweight, button-up cardigan. But there are rules, girl: make sure it’s light because you’re going to be dragging it around all day and make sure it’s something you’re okay dropping on the floor, spilling beer on, sitting on, or losing altogether. No judgment.   

oktoberfest packing checklist
Click the button to get the Rare Dirndl Official (and printable) Packing Checklist

woman with short black hair in a black and white dirndl dress holding a liter of beer in a beer tent at Munich Oktoberfest


 With the exception of some of the newer blouses, for the most part you’re going to have a ton of open chest space--perfect necklace real estate. I like to keep it simple with something that won’t get in my way and always Oktoberfest-themed. Think: pretzels or edelweiss or deer or even beer. [Click here to shop our entire jewelry department]


Your outfit isn’t the only thing that plays along at Oktoberfest—there are so many adorable Oktoberfest hairstyles out there for you to try as well. Regardless of which fancy braid you create for yourself (show off), you’ll need plenty of those easy-to-forget-to-bring hair ties and bobby pins.  

Woman in traditional dirndl dress


Because you need to bring a purse, there’s no question about that. However, in recent years the Oktoberfest powers that be have started really cracking down on purses allowed into the festival. Now, you’re not allowed to bring in anything bigger than three liters. And since we’re American and really don’t know what that means, I’ll translate: Just bring a clutch and nothing bigger, got it?

And in that purse she had some ASPIRIN, E-I-E-I-O. Oktoberfest is, new flash!, a beer festival. The world’s largest actually. And being that a liter of water costs just about as much as a liter of beer (blasphemy!) chances are your psychic is going to see loads of dehydration in your future. Make sure you take lots of [insert headache medicine of choice] to Germany with you for the mornings after which I like to refer to as Hangoverfest. But also, drink lots of water!

And since there’s so much more to Munich than Oktoberfest, bring along a GERMAN GUIDEBOOK. Munich is full of amazing historical monuments and museums, beautiful parks where people lay around naked and surf on a river, sports stadiums, a famous clock, and so much more. Pick up your guidebook of choice and plan to spend a few days seeing what else is beyond the Wiesn.

Couple at Oktoberfest man wearing traditional bavarian outfit like lederhosen woman wearing tradition dirndl dress


Also key to keep in your purse is cash… like paper money and plenty of those great euro coins. Any of the waitstaff at any of the tents at Oktoberfest will give you the hardest eyeroll/side eye you’ve ever seen in your life if you try to put that round of beers on a credit card.

Would you like this list in Checklist form that you can print out and check off as you’re packing your suitcase? Kein Problem! CLICK HERE to download our FREE Oktoberfest Packing Checklist.

Looking for more Dirndl Style tips & tricks? Click the link to get access to our official style guide! >>

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.