TRADITIONAL GERMAN LEDERHOSEN: Want to catch a few eyes at your next social event?
Slap on a pair of traditional German lederhosen and you’ll be the life of the party.
Love it or laugh at it, the leather pants worn by Bavarian men (and sometimes women) are one of the world’s most striking costumes.
Lederhosen is traditionally southern Bavarian and Austrian clobber.
Up until a few years ago Germans from Berlin or Cologne wouldn’t have been seen dead in a pair except at the Munich Oktoberfest, where they’re manly de rigueur.
But how did lederhosen become so popular?
Let’s look at the story behind the shorts.
READY TO PARTY: A group of guys in
traditional lederhosen at a beer festival,
pretty similar to the the Munich Oktoberfest.
Note: Lederhose is the singular form, which
Germans use to refer to one pair of Lederhosen.
But it was the Bavarians who invented the drop-down flap at the front. The French even dubbed it à la bavaroise, meaning in "in the Bavarian style".
In those days Europe’s aristocracy liked to dress up as peasants for fun, and so lederhosen became popular across all strata of society.
Poorer folk dyed goat or sheep skin black for their pants, which were either short or full length "Bundhosen" style. It was the nobility who started wearing the soft, brown lederhosen made from deer or chamois skin that’s the most common variety today. Revival
STYLISH: A couple in traditional Bavarian
lederhosen. Pic: joe.schloz
VIPs: A couple of men in
on the red carpet at a Eurovision music
That's me in my lederhosen at the Munich
A lederhosen cross-
UNASHAMED: Bruno in
non - traditional German
The men in this YouTube video are doing a Schuhplatter dance in
▪ Socks – Are usually cream or grey and can be knee-length, ankle-length or Loferl-style. Loferls are ankle-length with an extra band around the calves.
▪ Shirts – worn with lederhosen are usually plain white or have blue or red checkered patterns. White or cream shirts are often adorned with embroidery and buttons made of bone.
▪ Jacket – Traditional German lederhosen jackets are called Janker and are usually green, brown or grey have a thin green collar.
▪ Jewellery– A chain, called a chiavari, is sometimes worn with lederhosen across the top of the flap. Chiavari can be decorated with old coins, animal teeth or other lucky charms. A small pocket knife or Trachtenmesser is sometimes carried in a side pocket.
Hat with Gamsbart.
▪ Hats – Older men often wear green or black felt hats, sometimes decorated with badges, or more notably, a Gamsbart, the beard of a chamois (Alpine elk).
• Learn about the beautiful German Dindl dress at German Dirndl.
• See galleries of Lederhosen pictures at Bavarian Lederhosen photos and Lederhosen Photos.
• Getting ready for the Oktoberfest? You'l find a slew of other stories here at the Oktoberfest Index.
• Go from Traditional German Lederhosen to learn more about Bavaria's heritage at Munich Backstory.
• Jump from Traditional German Lederhosen back to Destination Munich Home.
Oktoberfest Dirndl photos