Lederhosen

Avoid buying the wrong lederhosen costume!

Find out what you should consider when buying tracht.

Oktoberfest Tracht Lederhosen DirndlPeople from all over the world meet at the entrance of the Oktoberfest. As you can see, a lot of them wear lederhosen and dirndl.

If you go to a folk festival like the Oktoberfest it is almost a must have to wear the original bavarian  outfit.


Here you will find information about the standard outfit, the quality and prices of different materials for lederhosen, the history of lederhosen

Standard lederhosen outfit (You don’t need more even if vendors try to sell you more).

Traditional Bavarian LederhosenWhen you are watching around at  festivals and in the internet you will find a lot of different  outfits. Some of the things which are sold as lederhosen are not

Males usually wear

–          a checkered shirt
–          Lederhosen (Leather trousers) with or without suspender.
(Recommendation: It should    fully cover  the knees)
–          Trachten Socks
–          so called “Haferl” shoes

You don’t need a hat or a scarf. Sometimes they try to sell it to you but that’s not necessary and will rather label you as a tourist.

Dealers in Munich offer complete sets at a price around 199.00 Euro (including taxes). More robust leather trousers cost more but if you are a good negotiater you can get a discount.

 

Quality and Price of a lederhosen costume

There are a lot of offers for lederhosen and dirndl. What distinguish lederhosen which cost 30 Euro from one which cost 200 Euro? Is there a difference about the quality of the leather? Very often there is a label like “Premium Leather” or “Suede” but this is no indicator for good leather of a lederhosen costume.

Attention: E.g. in Germany it is not allowed to use azo dry for the production. But there are almost no tests and therefore it is used in a lot of cheap lederhosen costumes. This can cause problems for allergy sufferer and kids. And probably the same is right for lederhosen costumes in other counries. The authorities have not enough resources to check all the imports.

Here is a short overview of different kinds of leather and  how much they cost. This information shall help you to identify the kind of lederhosen you want or need. Maybe you just want to wear it once and therefore you just need a cheap one. But if you want to wear it for more occasions you should take a closer look on the quality and buy a lederhosen which costs more.

Velour from a pig:

You will find it very often in huge fashion shops. Origin producers of lederhosen never use this kind of leather.

Advantages:  It is cheap, light and soft. Therefore it is produced for a mass market. Very often there are many fancywork on it and a lot of colours used. They are produced for tourists which don’t know (and maybe mind) the difference.

Disadvantage: Produced inChinaand often impregnated with pesticide. It has often an unpleasant smell. After wearing it a few times it gets baggy and it is more likely to tear than leather from a goat.

Leather from a calf

Is very often produced in Pakistan and sold via ebay. Quality is better than from the pig.

Advantages:  It is cheap. It costs around 50 Euro for short lederhosen. It is light and good for someone who just wears it sometimes.

Disadvantage:   One disadvantage is about the wear comfort. Often the inseam is not very good sewed. Therefore there is polyester added. The result is that they get warmer at hot days and the inner lining crumbles.

Leather from the calf or cow can be thin or thick. Thick ones are more tear-proof but the wear comfort is not that good.

Tip:

  • This one is good for those who wear it only rarely lederhosen. Another tip is to buy a short lederhosen because they will last longer.
  • If you want this kind of leather for your lederhosen than buy it from bigger companies. It is more likely that their imports are controlled which results in better quality and less problems for allergy sufferer. 

For a closer look on more materials for lederhosen have a closer look to the Oktoberfest guide.

Where to buy a lederhosen costume?

Now you have an idea what you should consider, when buying a lederhosen costume. There are a lot of shops which offer tracht which not in the least look like tracht should look like. Invest 10 or 30 Dollars more and you will get a better one and  you can use it more often than just once.

If you want to visit the original Oktoberfest in Munich you can buy your lederhosen directly in Munich. There are a lot of shops in the inner city.  Probably they are a little bit more expensive than bigger shops or online shops but they are experts about tracht and you should get a good one with high quality.

Or you use the internet for your search. If you want to order it by internet you should start around Mai/ June to have enough time to give it back if you don’t like it or it does not fit to your size. We recommend you to buy two or three sizes at once and then send back those you don’t like or does not fit.

One option is to buy your clothes on ebay. There are professional shops and private sellers. One disadvantage could be that you don’t have the option to change your clothes if they don’t fit. But, do you really want to wear a lederhosen which maybe is already full of sweat and beer?

Another option and probably better is to buy a new dress from shops which are specialized on selling lederhosen costumes and dirndl. Here you have the chance to send products back if you don’t like them.

In Germany there are a lot of shops where you can buy Tracht. Here is just one which can be recommended and which is rated as very good by many buyers.

www.trachten-dirndl-shop.de

They ship their clothes worldwide but outside Europe it is getting pretty expensive (~40 euro for less than 2kg).

You will find more shops in the Oktoberfest guide.

 History of the Lederhosen

Traditionally Tracht and lederhosen were worn for hard physical work. They had a great advantage against other clothes. They were easier to clean and more durable than a fabric garment. Nowadays, they are mostly worn as leisure wear for festivals. In Bavaria most villages have the so called “Landjugend” (rural youth) which preserve the bavarian culture. They also were the traditional Tracht for festivals. Therefore you can see the Bavarian one not only during the Oktoberfest.

Even if a lot people think that all Germans wear this style it was not usual to wear lederhosen in Switzerland or southwestern Germany. Formerly they were mainly widespread in the Alpine and surrounding regions, including Bavaria, Austria and German-speaking parts of Italy (South Tyrol).

Some historians think that lederhosen were originally not exclusively Bavarian. They think they were worn all over Europe, mostly by people involved in outdoor activities. It is likley that the flap (drop front) is  an unique Bavarian modification of the basic version.

Popularity of the traditional lederhosen dropped in the 19th century. To a lot of new jobs this outfit did not fit any longer. It was then worn more at leisure occasions. But there were still professions (e.g. carpenter) which kept lederhosen as a style of their profession. They had different cuttings than the lederhosen you see at the Oktoberfest but still it is a kind of lederhosen. Even nowadays a lot of carpenters take to the road to travel around the world within their traditional clothes.

 

 

 

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