You have the airplane tickets, the beer tent tickets and a place to say. Now it’s time to look the part! Wearing authentic German Lederhosen at Oktoberfest is not just fun but it’s also a necessity. Besides feeling out of place for not wearing lederhosen, you’ll want want to wear lederhosen for fun!
Although Oktoberfest has been around since the 18th century, it has grown exponentially in recent years, spreading its wings across the world. Not only those at the original Oktoberfest in Munich celebrate the festival that has come to be know for great beer, great food and great music but Oktoberfest is celebrated all over the world. So don’t worry if you can’t make the trip to Germany, there are plenty of places to celebrate in the United States.
One of the most recognizable party outfits is the lederhosen (leather shorts for men) and dirndl (German dress with apron for women) as they are worn every year to Oktoberfests around the world. Beginning as a celebration of a royal wedding it later transitioned into the largest beer festival in the world. Over 6 million people attend the multiple day festival every year!
Here are the basics you will need to know if wanting to wear authentic German Lederhosen.
Style and Fit
Leather pants aren’t something we typically wear as Americans so here are some tips on how to pick the perfect pair.
Type of leather- While there are many types of leather, Ernst Licht typically sells four types:
- Cow Leather- this is the least expensive and least durable type. Colors can come in brown, gray and black with or without embroidery.
- Goat Leather- this is mid priced and provides much more durability as well as adds softness to lederhosen. Colors are typically brown and black.
- Buffalo Leather- comparable to the goat leather. Great price, durability and softness. Colors are typically brown.
- Laponia- (calf leather) The highest quality, most durable and softest we have… it feel like butter! Colors are typically black.
For most Oktoberfest goers, cow, goat or buffalo leather is going to serve you well. If you are part of a German dance group or band, we highly recommend going with a pair of Laponia lederhosen for durability. Styles can come with embroidery or without. The embroidery style traditionally is specific to your ancestral origin but many styles are coming without embroidery now.
Lederhosen should not be tight around the stomach. Typically worn higher on the waist than jeans or trousers, lederhosen are held up by the suspenders. You want to have enough room in your lederhosen that you should be able to fit your fist in the waist band. Because of this, we recommend sizing up one or two sizes (or three if you have a belly).
Basic reminders about lederhosen:
Leather relaxes, it doesn’t stretch. It will rip if stretched too quickly. We recommend wearing your lederhosen for 15-20 hours around the house doing light physical activities like walking up stairs and slowly bending over. THEY WILL RIP if not “broken in” properly.
Leather does not go in the washer and dryer. Beer stains are often great reminders of your fun times at Oktoberfest so getting them cleaned is not always needed. However, if you find yours need cleaned, we recommend a dry cleaner who is well versed in leather. Make sure they are careful around the metal suspender buckles!
Accessories to wear with your lederhosen:
Suspenders: most lederhosen come with suspenders but if they don’t, make sure you grab a pair.
Shirt: typical shirts are button down, checkered in pattern, long sleeve or short sleeve.
Socks: Socks can be mid-calf or knee high. Usually tan or gray in color.
Shoes: Put your running shoes and flip flops away. Pair your lederhosen with plain casual brown or black shoes. Even a pair of hiking boots will do.
Hat: a felt Alpine or Trenker style hat is typically worn at Oktoberfest. Colors can vary but green, gray and brown are typical. Hats are adorn with feathers, gamsbarts (goat fur) and pins.
Stay posted for our next blog on Lederhosen accessories!
For the latest update on Octoberfest in Germany, click here!