Oktoberfest is the biggest volksfest in the world and it is popular for many reasons: the beer, the revelry, the singing, the carnival rides, the German food and of course, the boob-boosting Dirndls and crotch-hugging Lederhosen.
There is no better way to get into the spirit of things than getting togged up in your Bavarian best and proceeding to dribble beer all the way down your front. Nobody will judge you for this, but woe betide you if you don't strap your bits correctly.
So how do these crazy outfits work? As with most things in life, the men's part is the simplest. Lederhosen are real leather britches, usually with suspenders on the front. They're worn with checkered shirts with buttons made from the antlers of deer (supposedly), and ropey creamy knee-high socks and leather shoes.
One thing to remember though is that leather takes time to wear in, so to avoid chaffage of your tender undercarriage, by wearing a pair of satiny shorts underneath. There is a rumour that you should christen your britches with a ceremonial dump, but given the practice of never washing your lederhosen, this is probably a myth told in jest by Germans to unknowing tourists.
A perk of lederhosen is that everything is connected with buttons, so you don't have to go to great lengths (pardon the pun) to relieve yourself. Another perk is that these arse-hugging (as well as other parts-hugging) shorts never fail to draw the eyes of the ladies.
Now to the ladies' dirndls. This gets a bit more complex, so you may want to crack open a beer for this one.
There's the little crop top undershirt, which is adjustable to give you more or less cleavage. Then there's the dress itself, which you put on over the shirt. You zip it up at the back and then get a trusted friend to mercilessly pull your front strings until your bosoms are hoisted and staring at heaven. Then there's the apron, the straps of which circle your back and are tied in front.
If you're single the bow goes on the left. If you're taken it's on the right. If you're a dirty rotten liar, it's in the middle (this means you're a virgin) and if you are a widow or a waitress, it goes behind.
The most important part of your entire outfit doesn't even come from the dirndl store. It comes from Victoria's Secret, or Target, depending on your budget. It's your pushup bra. Your breasts are supposed to perch like cupcakes on the platter of your dirndl. If you're big-bosomed you'll want proper support to avoid a potential nip-slip. If you're flat-chested, I'm afraid you're going to feel horribly inadequate either way, but a heavily padded, make-the-most-of-what-you-got bra will go a long way to making you feel like you fit the part amidst the voluptuous fun-bags invading your personal space.
They may not be the most comfortable dress-up outfits, and for ten minutes you'll feel restrained and awkward, but as soon as you're one Mass (1litre beer mug) of pure Bavarian beer in, you'll fully embrace your new style and wonder why you ever wore anything else.
Lisa Parsons is part of the team at Stoketoberfest, Festicket's partner at Oktoberfest 2016. Tickets and packages are available below.
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