Everything about the ‘Lederhose’

What comes to your mind when you think of Oktoberfest? Maybe you think of beer and brass band music, but it is save to say that the ‘Lederhose’ will be somewhere at the top of the list. It is the symbol of Bavarian tradition, even if the Lederhose nowadays is only worn during the Oktoberfest on the Theresienwiese and during other Bavarian festivals and celebrations. In the past this was very different, however. The Bavarians wore their Lederhose the whole year round. To mark the start of the Oktoberfest festivities, we would like to provide you with some interesting facts about the history of the Lederhose, its distinguishing features and how a real Bavarian treats his.

History of the Lederhose

The Lederhose has its origins in the 18th and 19th century. The hard-working rural population in the Alpine region was tired of wearing the usual harem trousers and knickerbockers because these were heavy and impractical. The so-called ‘Culottes’ worn by the nobility on the other hand, were far lighter and more comfortable to wear. But because their usual fabric would not be robust enough for the hard work on the land, the farmers used leather instead. A tradition was born.

But a Lederhose is not simply a Lederhose

In the period that followed, a wide variety of different types of Lederhose were developed. Various functions required various types of cuts, and the embroidery and seams were varied in order to make each region distinct from the rest. When hunting and working, a short Lederhose was worn, while longer ones which reached just above the knee were worn on festive occasions. In eastern Bavaria the buttock seam is traditionally round like a plate, in the Allgäu on the other hand it runs vertically. The ‘Miesbach variation’ usually includes moss-green decoration, while the ‘Chiemgau Lederhosen’ have a more white and simpler embroidery. If you would like to find out more about traditional Bavarian clothing, we recommend that you follow this link.

How a real Bavarian treats his Lederhose

While fashion styles and trends change with every season, the most important thing of the Lederhose is its steady longevity. A real Bavarian doesn’t buy a lerderhose just for one Oktoberfest, but for the rest of their life. And this is why the Lederhose can most definitely display signs that it has been often worn, such as, for example, food and beer stains. And the stains stay because the Lederhose is actually not supposed to be washed. So if you get a little bit nervous in the run-up to the Oktoberfest because of a few stains on the Lederhose, this piece of Bavarian wisdom will put you at ease: “The greasier the better”.

image source: Romi/Pixabay

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