So, you're going to Oktoberfest in Munich and you find yourself in need of dirndl dresses. Now the question is, do you buy it before you go there or buy it in Munich during Oktoberfest? This is a question that I have seen asked many times in different online Oktoberfest Travel forums and the suggestions are mixed. 

three women from the Polka band, the Klaberheads smiling wearing dirndl dresses at a German event

Our answer? 

Some people might suggest that you buy the dirndl before going to Germany, since it is quite difficult to find the right size and color when shopping in Munich (especially during Oktoberfest). Plus, if you shop online for a dirndl ahead of time, you can be sure that everything fits perfectly and you won't have to worry about whether it will be available when you get there.

woman wearing a plus size dirndl dress holding a liter of beer at German fest in Milwaukee

On the other hand, if you do wait to buy your dirndl dresses in Munich, then you can enjoy the fact that each piece is locally made. Plus, chances are you could find a good Oktoberfest deal!!

woman in a dirndl posing with a man in lederhosen in Munich - tips for buying a dirndl

While I’m a smidge biased (being the owner of an online dirndl shop n’ all) here are my honest-to-goodness thoughts on this topic. 

There are pros and cons on both sides of this argument which I’ll outline shortly, but the down-and-dirty answer is: 

Will you have enough time to shop during your trip? 

Woman in blue and white dirndl dress - where to buy a dirndl for oktoberfest

If you’re going to be in Munich for 9 days and plan on going to the Wiesn for 3 days, then how cool is it to say you bought your Oktoberfest dirndl in Germany? If you're going to be in Munich for 2-3 days… do you really want to spend 1 of them shopping for dirndl dresses? If you really want to wear something locally made without the stress of finding a whole new outfit, try shopping for new accessories! 

woman in a dirndl dress standing with a man in lederhosen in a beer tent at Oktoberfest in Munich

“How long do you think I’ll be shopping? Good grief… it’ll only take me an hour or so!” 

Oh you think so? There are tons of dirndl dress shops in Munich banking on people wanting to buy dirndls for Oktoberfest. So you’ll have to sift through the cheapo ones, navigate past the floor length, traditional wool ones going for 1,000€ and up, plus find one that fits well and you like… so ya… it’s going to take a while.   

Dirndl shop chicago - Erika Neumayer - where to buy a dirndl in the USA

Ok, that being said here are the pros and cons of buying before your trip vs on your trip. 

Buying ahead of time: PROS

  • You’re more than likely going to get a better price. (But warning… anything under $100… well let’s just say you get what you pay for.)
  • There's a variety of sizes available online, but should you need alterations, you have time to get those done.
  • The internet is FULL of options (including some sketchy ones… so again; you get what you pay for). 
  • You’ll have less stress when you get to Munich with the Oktoberfest crowd.
  • You can use that extra day planned for shopping for accessories, sightseeing or drinking more beer!
  • You can plan for all the details (outfit, apron, accessoriesshoes, outerwear, etc)
woman wearing a blue plus size dirndl dress in Munich at oktoberfest.

As mentioned, one of the benefits to buying ahead of time is if you have a unique size that's hard to find. For example, if you're looking for a plus size dirndl or you're small-chested, super tall, whatever your beautiful, unique body is, you want to make sure you find dirndl dresses that are comfortable, well-fitting and hug your curves in all the right places, so you can enjoy the Oktoberfest celebrations. Buying ahead of time makes it so you can take the time and get the right fit or make any alterations you need.

Woman in red and black dirndl with white blouse

Buying ahead of time: CONS

  • As my Oktoberfest expert Ashley says, “Depending on where you buy it, there’s a chance the quality will be... eh... less than magnificent." (we're not talking Rare Dirndl here tho.)
  • Also depending on where you get it, there is a good chance one of the millions of ladies at the Wiesn will be wearing the same thing. (cough*cough* Amazon *cough*cough)
woman wearing a plus size dirndl dress at oktoberfest with a lace apron standing next to a man wearing lederhosen and a trachtenjacke

Looking for a dirndl online that you WON’T find someone else in Munich wearing?

Buying in Germany: PROS

  • You got it in Germany!! During Oktoberfest!! How cool is that!
  • Your experience will probably come with a good story about how the shopkeepers were brutally honest and “so German”.
  • You’ll get to try it on before you buy it. 
two women posing for a photo at Oktoberfest in Munich. both women are wearing modern dirndls

Buying in Germany: CONS

  • A nice dirndl in Germany is going to run you anywhere from 300-800€ + a blouse (you can do the conversions yourself). It’s not cheap (and if it’s a 79€ special… I’ll say it one last time. You get what you pay for + I 100% guarantee it was NOT made in Germany.)
  • They don’t have an unlimited collection of dirndls… you might not find something you like in the sizes they have available or the dresses may not fit your curves comfortably.
  • No time for alterations. 
  • You will spend a lot of time shopping that you could be drinking, eating, and singing at Oktoberfest, seeing the other amazing sights in Munich… literally anything else! 
    group of people with a man wearing a leaderhosen and three women wearing dirndl dresses with aprons

    So there you have it, folks...

    Pros and cons of buying a dirndl online before your trip vs in Munich, Germany. (Oh… and really all the same bullet points are applicable for buying Lederhosen.)  

    rock n. roll dirndl for oktoberfest

    Want the best of both worlds? Shop our collection of unique dirndl dresses from Rare Dirndl ahead of time, we have so many different styles or fit every ones preferences! Try it on at home and if you don’t love it, send it back for FREE! That’s right. We offer FREE shipping over $100 and FREE returns. Click here to shop our dirndls.

    Two women holding liters of beer at Oktoberfest

     P.S. We’re a small team of women dedicated to your happiness, so if you have questions about anything dirndl related or the shop, call, email, or chat with us anytime and we’ll be happy to help! 

    Woman in green and white dirndl with white blouse


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

    woman smiling in a white and grey dirndl with teal apron at German fest Milwaukee
    Woman in dirndl with white blouse - where to buy a dirndl in the us

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    Buying a Dirndl_ Should I get it in Munich or should I shop online before my trip?
    October 04, 2023 — Erika Neumayer

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