Traditional Menswear in Germany

Traditional Lederhosen

Most famously worn at cultural events, the traditional lederhosen is basically leather breeches that were originally worn by the European working class. They eventually became attire worn by men at all kinds of festivities.


Lederhosen is worn with a shirt, knitted stockings, and leather shoes. The breeches is made from authentic leather which allows farmers and workers to easily work in harsh environmental conditions and easily clean and clean stains and dirt off their breeches.

Traditional Lederhosen usually comes in colors of beige, brown, or grey. These dull colors were usually worn by the working class in Europe and marked the traditional leather shades as well. The embroidery or engraved design on the breeches would signify which tribe and region of the Bavarian community or Europe as a whole you belonged to.


The outfit originated in the mountain regions of Bavaria from where it spread to the lowlands as well. There are at least six main regional variations with further minor variations and local styles.

Lederhosen was primarily made for hard labor work but now they are mostly worn as traditional sports or leisurewear. They were widespread among men of Bavaria, Austria, and the Alpine regions of Europe.

Historians argue that lederhosen was primarily worn in Bavaria but also common in other parts of Europe. Although, the front flap feature came about by Bavarian innovation.


Its popularity declined in the 19th Century. Lederhosen began to be considered ‘peasant clothing’ by the upper social class and did not fit well with city dwellers. The 20th Century brought many heritage conservation clubs which worked toward preserving the Bavarian culture and identity in Germany and neighboring states.

Lederhosen became a popular attire in cultural events and festivites. Nowadays, you will see most attendees rocking lederhosen or dirndl at local German festivals of the seasons.


Men usually style their traditional lederhosen with haferl shoes which are thick leather shoes with rubber soles develop by Bavarian farmers. Haferl translates to ‘half a shoe’ in English due to its design based on animal hooves. German men take great pride in crafting their haferl shoes.

Men living in mountainous regions would also style their outfits with Alpine hats which were made of wool to the brim which would offer protection from the harsh sunlight in those regions.

Traditional German Clothing

What you wear says a lot o about where you are from and what your norms and cultures are like. By the 19th Century, it would let travelers know what region of the world had they reached. For example Kimonos in Japan, Sarees in India, and checkered skirts for the Scotts. Traditional German clothing was worn by Bavarian communities which included Germany and bordering countries.


Tracht describes the historical, regional, and traditional German clothing including jewelry and symbols worn by the Bavarian communities since the 17th Century. These clothes initially came to be due to uniform clothing for the working or labor class of European society. These clothes would tell us what kind of social class and status you would belong to according to the symbols and designs on your tracht.

Why Clothes?

This dress code also built a barrier for the lower class to be distinguished from the upper noble and clergy class who were known to wear waistcoats and pants. Germans also like to dress in a certain way which would distinguish them from looking like the French.

German traditional clothing such as lederhosen and dirndl became part of German folklore and history as it built their sense of unity and identity in European history.

Traditional Womenswear

The Bavarian alpines region also had a distinct outfit for females, known as the dirndl. Many variations exist but the main components include a blouse, a knee-length skirt, and a tight bodice style apron. Austria, Switzerland, and Northern Italy have their own variations and styles.

Schuhplattler- Bavarian Folklore

Also known as traditional Bavarian folklore, are historical dances that popularized the use of lederhosen and dirndl as a representation of German cultural wear.

The males would dance by stomping their feet and slapping the soles of their leather shoes together. While the women would spin around them adding an aura of grace and joy.

Saarland- Another Piece of German Clothing

This type of clothing combined traditional and popular elements of the tratch back in the 18th Century. This included incorporating the French form of fashion which meant bodices, scarves, and puffy petticoats for women and button vests, justacorps, and knee-breeches for men.

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