by Mark ZanzigMark Zanzig/zettpress Oktoberfest is approaching at the speed of light (please read the and ). Last year I could finally convince Petra that I needed a Tracht, the traditional dress worn in Bavaria. (Tracht, by the way, means just "traditional attire", be it for women or men.)
How comes? Well, two weeks ago we have been off to one of those fantastic warm up events prior to the main Oktoberfest (you need to train the drinking, otherwise you won't survive). One of Petras colleagues from the U.S. brought her husband (a Brit), and they both showed up in traditional Bavarian dresses! I was the only one wearing jeans and a normal shirt. Boo! While I am not a native Bavarian, I have been living in Munich for 12 years by now, and concluded that if these guys could wear a Tracht (proudly and good-looking), then I should be allowed to get one, too.
All said and done. Off we went to one of the major Trachten Outlets in Munich, and I got a nice Tracht for myself.
Which brings me to the ultimate question, asked again and again each year by the foreign guests to the Oktoberfest: What to wear to Oktoberfest?
Now, yesterday was yet another Wies'n Warm Up at a local pub, and before we went in we made a brief photo shooting, just a couple of shots actually, to illustrate how it looks. The photos itself are not the fancy stuff you can expect from me, as they were taken with our tiny Canon Ixus 60 camera. Hope you don't mind. :-)Traditional Bavarian dress for him
Petra Zanzig/zettpressHere we go. That's me with my brand new Tracht, consisting of:
- Checkered Shirt (plain white is also OK)
- Leather trousers (with suspenders, without is also OK)
- Off-white Slouch socks (pulled down!)
- Haferl Shoes (black!)
- No scarf (even if they sell it to you!)
In any case, please rest assured that when you buy your Tracht in Munich, the sales ladies at the stores will help you with the selection of the right items.
(Note to myself: Watch hand position when posing! :-)Traditional Bavarian dress for her
Mark Zanzig/zettpressAnd this is Petra showing off her Tracht, consisting of:
- Short-sleeved white blouse
- Traditional dress (the Dirndl)
- Sheer pantyhose
- Elegant low-heeled loafers
- The knot of the pinafore indicates the status of the woman. Bound on her right side (just as Petra above) means: "I'm Taken". Bound on her left side means: "I'm single and/or available". Cool, eh?
- The traditional Dirndl is long and falls down to below mid-calf, just as in the photo above. They will sell you a short Dirndl as well, and as a male I agree that it looks quite appealing, but this is a tourist item and has nothing to do with the traditional dress.
- The pinafore should end at the same height as the Dirndl itself. Having a shorter or longer pinafore will definitely indicate that you are not one of the locals. A big no-no. (Petra's pinafore has the correct length, but the camera angle makes it appear to be slightly longer than the Dirndl. It is not.)
- The pantyhose should be just a sheer one, maybe tanned, but definitely not black or weirdly colored.
- The shoes should really be low heeled loafers or ballet flats, black or white. High-heeled pumps might be a beautiful sight and a nice surprise for your husband, but it's not something you wear as part of a traditional Oktoberfest dress.
- Some dresses allow you to thread thin silver chains through the front section. If you have one of these you should definitely wear the silver chains, otherwise the empty hooks will look just plain weird.
Susanne ÜberfuhrAnd the result is a nicely looking traditional Bavarian couple, ready to hit the . Nobody will realize that I am from Northern Germany, and that we do not wear the Tracht up there. Not until I start to speak anyway (my accent gives me away always). :-)