If you're planning to attend Oktoberfest, it’s important to know what not to wear. As a celebration of Bavarian culture, there are certain guidelines and customs that should be respected when attending the festival. Unfortunately, more often than not, some people stand out as the “THAT American” with their apparel.
To avoid being that person, it is important to be aware of the fashion faux pas at Oktoberfest so you can dress accordingly and not become a spectacle of mockery or judgement. In this blog post, we will explore what not to wear to Oktoberfest so you can enjoy the festivities without fear of embarrassment. Let’s get started!what not to wear to oktoberfest - oktoberfest outfits

Do Not Wear This Type of German Dirndl 

When it comes to what not to wear to Oktoberfest, the first piece of advice is DON'T WEAR ANYTHING GERMAN-THEMED FROM PARTY CITY OR AMAZON! Not only will you look like a walking billboard for these stores, but you'll also stick out from the true Bavarian fashion.
That garbage dirndl or those lederhosen you bought online are no match for the real thing. Not only will you look out of place, but you may even end up on the worst-dressed list in the local Bavarian newspaper!
Sure, dressing up is part of the fun at Oktoberfest, but if you truly want to fit in, opt for a traditional Bavarian outfit that won't stand out like a sore thumb. Let's keep the Party City and Amazon looks at home!
Women in mock Oktoberfest dirndls or dirndl dresses short, skirt lengths and a polyester apron

mens lederhosen costume

Incorporate Your Personal Style


Different people in traditional bavarian outfits like dirndl dresses and lederhosens at a folk festival

Dirndl Do Nots

But, that being said, if you show up in a dirndl that costs less than your boots… you may want to re-think that choice. Here are a few more things to avoid:

  • Thigh high tights
  • Anything labeled as “beer wench” 
  • Teeny tiny hats 
  • Skirts that are not longer than your fingertips
  • Excessive amounts of cleavage
Costume dirndl with white blouse

Lederhosen Do Nots

The same goes for Lederhosen. Lederhosen literally translates to Leather Pants. So, if they’re not made of leather, spoiler alert… they're not lederhosen. We recommend Ernst Licht for Lederhosen in the US

People mocking traditional German attire. Woman in fake dirndl set and man in a German costume

 When people ask me what will make them stand out at Oktoberfest…. looking like that... that will make you stand out and not in the way you want. #thumbsdown

Couple in dirndl and lederhosen at festival

My Advice

Remember, that dirndl dresses are a part of German heritage. There's true meaning behind each element of a German dirndl or lederhosen.

woman in blue dirndl with bodice lightened with blue ribbon

Be thoughtful of that when you're shopping for a German dirndl outfit, and if you do opt for Amazon, try not to have you "filter price" set low to high. You'll definitely see some not so cute outfits that mock the culture. 

Are you planning a trip to Oktoberfest? You might want to check out our friend Ashley Smith who offers Personalized Oktoberfest Planning! 

Woman wearing traditional outfit from the alpine regions. A pink dirndl dress with pink dirndl skirt. The skirt length is last her knees. She is wearing a navy blue dirndl apron and cotton white dirndl blouse.

Have more questions about what to wear to Oktoberfest or the design elements of a German dirndl? Put them in the comments below!  

woman in costume dirndl holding a beer


Looking for more Dirndl Style tips & tricks? Click the link to get access to our official style guide! >> https://bit.ly/dirndlstyle

Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take our quiz and find out now! 


March 01, 2022 — Erika Neumayer


Alison said:

What advice would you give on shoes? I’m partial to flats or Docs.

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