Right, let me give you the dish on Lederhosen. For those of you not in the know, they’re those delish knee-length leather shorts that the German/Austrian from your stereotypical beer-drinking, chocolate-eating, Oktoberfest-attending dreams most likely sports. Usually there’s some sort of a suspender situation going on over the shoulders and across the chest, and that’s not to mention the knee-high socks with appropriate regional suit jacket, fedora and attitude to match.
“Pfffft Rachel your descriptions are outdated” I hear you cry, “They couldn’t possibly continue to don such garb”.
Couldn’t they, though?
And then there’s the ladies. The Dirndl is made up of a blouse, bodice, full skirt and apron. Traditionally quite modest and knee-grazing, I’ve come across my fair share of modernised cleave-tastic, leggy numbers strutting their stuff next to the beer and brezel stands. I suppose they have to at least TRY to compete with the boys and those tight leather shorts.
The most intriguing aspect of the traditional dress is that it extends across a spectrum of age and gender; boys, girls, men and women, be they four or ninety four are all getting in on the act. It hasn’t always been the case but apparently recent years have been something of a revival for the ‘Bavarian-look’. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s wonderful to see a culture that is thriving so, but I must admit to being somewhat open-mouthed when initially coming across youths on the bus heading out for a drinking session, Stiegl cans in hand and Lederhosen on point. If only it were socially acceptable to take photos. Sigh.
Another thing worth mentioning about these outfits is that they’re feckin’ expensive! After dropping a few hundred quid it’s no wonder they love an excuse to pop them on for the day- weddings and Christmas for the expensive ‘occasion’ pieces while slightly cheaper and less traditional (read: cleave-tastic) versions are trotted out for less formal events. Top recommendation for those of you hoping to ‘go native’ for a festival would be to order a cheap version online or, if you have the time, go for a trawl through your local Flohmarkt…like you need an excuse. You could also potentially go for a rental if a night of heavy drinking isn’t on the cards but you can’t be guaranteed that another inebriated soul won’t go spilling Curry Wurst (not that I’m pigeon-holing) all down your fresh-ta-death dry-clean only front.
Oh and lastly I should mention that I have been guilty of gender (among other) stereotyping in the above as Lederhosen seem to be an increasingly popular option for women, particularly in the waitressing field. Equally, more than one bachelor-party has crossed my path in what can only be described as a hairy dirndl-kaleidoscope, a disturbing yet positive image that proves that tradition is something to be celebrated and enjoyed with a good-natured sense of humour.