When autumn rolls around, you may start seeing lederhosen for sale. Lederhosen are traditional German clothing often made of leather. In fact, the word lederhosen means “leather breeches” in German.
Lederhosen were designed centuries ago for working class laborers who needed clothing that was comfortable, affordable, easy to move in, and simple to clean. As the years progressed, lederhosen went out of style—but they have since been revived and are used for different purposes.
If you are an Oktoberfest fan, you may recall seeing lederhosen at different festivals, parties, and gatherings. Lederhosen are also found at German-themed attractions, such as authentic German restaurants. If you are in the market for a pair of lederhosen, let us give you a few things to consider.
When and Where to Use Lederhosen
Lederhosen are often part of Oktoberfest celebrations, which can last for several days in the United States. In Germany, the official capital and home of Oktoberfest, the celebrations take place in Munich, a city in the southern portion of the country called Bavaria.
Bavaria is known for its beautiful mountains, scenery, and important cultural contributions to the region and the world. Oktoberfest here in Munich lasts for a whopping 16 days!
Germans take Oktoberfest seriously—and with all of the time, money, and energy poured into the celebrations, it’s no wonder that Oktoberfest has spread to other parts of the world.
During Oktoberfest, costumes are an important component. Among these costumes, lederhosen dominate. Both women and men can wear lederhosen, and many manufacturers have different styles and versions to accommodate a range of tastes and preferences.
Women may also opt for a dirndl, which is a type of dress that is quite recognizable as a German icon.
If you are planning on trying out an Oktoberfest celebration, consider getting a pair or two of lederhosen. You will find discounts during non-peak seasons, but you will also find last-minute deals and sales as Oktoberfest nears.
Either way, the sooner you begin looking, the more options and time you will have to find the right garment.
Although lederhosen are important for Oktoberfest, they can be used in other ways. They make a great Halloween costume. They can be paired with other traditional German clothing, such as knee-high socks and a German hat.
Simple white shirts look great under lederhosen—so with just a few other pieces, you can have a complete costume ready to go. You might also consider lederhosen for a themed party or costume party.
Types of Lederhosen
You may also notice that many different types of lederhosen exist. They come in simple forms with plain material in colors such as brown, black, or dark green. You will also find lederhosen with a few more details, including scroll-like stich work or exposed seams in contrasting yet complementary colors.
For women’s lederhosen, the design is often accented with flowers or other details. Children’s lederhosen come in similar forms but in a more miniature size—and you can even find lederhosen for toddlers (most of whom look rather adorable in them).
Lederhosen also come in more detailed form. They are accompanied by a top, which looks like a harness of sorts that sits on top of a shirt. Often, this harness-like top matches the lower portion with details that make the two pieces fit well together. Detailed lederhosen can have multiple colors and embellishments—either authentic or more contemporary.
You can also find lederhosen that are a little more obnoxious or exaggerated. Such lederhosen may only slightly resemble the original form and are often constructed in very bright colors with modern elements or other kinds of themes.
When choosing your lederhosen, it is important to consider the material and quality of the garment. Recall that lederhosen literally means “leather breeches.” Therefore, many lederhosen are constructed of leather material. So, if you choose not to wear clothing derived from animal sources, you will want to choose a non-leather option—and there are many!
You can find lederhosen made from other natural materials, including cottons and linens. These lederhosen are a little cooler for those unseasonably warm Oktoberfest celebrations. Non-leather lederhosen are also lighter and more breathable.
Lederhosen can be made from synthetic materials, including polyester and rayon. These types of lederhosen tend to be more affordable, but many times they do not last as long as lederhosen made from natural materials.
You can also find lederhosen made from synthetic materials that mimic leather—so you don’t have to sacrifice the appearance of authentic lederhosen.
If your search for lederhosen comes up short (pun intended!), you can always make a pair. This would make a great project, particularly for beginning sewers, because the patterns are often quite simple in design and only basic materials are needed.
Complementing Your Lederhosen
After purchasing a pair of lederhosen, be sure to accompany your new garment with appropriate items. Consider a white shirt with longer sleeves to go underneath the harness-like top. Many lederhosen look great with dark, black shoes. Don’t forget your knee-high socks, which are arguably the most important complement to lederhosen.
A German or Bavarian-inspired hat also looks great with the costume—and for a really authentic touch, include a feather in the hat.
Be sure that you do your new outfit a favor and care for it properly. Check the tags on your new clothing items and follow the care instructions closely. For leather lederhosen, you will most certainly be unable to wash them at home.
Leather must be wiped or spot cleaned, but we suggest leaving these processes to a professional. Other lederhosen materials may not be washable at home either—and some may require dry cleaning.
When storing lederhosen, we recommend an airtight container if you do not plan on using them for a long period of time. If you want your lederhosen to be accessible, be sure to keep them on a hanger in the closet for best care.
German Decorations for a Party
Decorating your home for a special celebration, or buying decorations for a party, can be a fun and rewarding experience—and German decorations might be just what you need. You will find many German decorations with unique character and attention to detail.
Many German-themed decorations are simple and affordable. But some may cost you a little more. Because such a wide range of German decorations exist, we have gathered a few facts and considerations to help you in your search and purchasing plans.
Not Just German Christmas Decorations
When we think of German decorations, many of us will think of German Christmas decorations. Germany is quite famous for its Christmas ornaments, often made of hand blown glass. Some are made from porcelain, and many are hand painted or have embellishments to add special charm and elegance. But you will find other types of German decorations that exist and can be used for different purposes.
German Party Decorations and Other Necessities
So you’ve decided to host a German-themed party, costume party, or Oktoberfest celebration? German party decorations should be at the top of your list. Among other things, you will want good food, lots of beer, fun games and activities, and thoughtful party favors.
We’ve broken the list into a few categories to help you get started in your plans:
If you plan on serving food at your gathering (which we really hope you do!), you will need some tableware. German-inspired tableware will add that German element you’re looking for in your party.
If you’re going for a really casual feel, you can find paper plates and paper napkins with German themes. Or if you’re going for something a little less casual, consider simple dishes with added colors and accessories to give your table that German touch. Look for some cloth napkins in the colors of the German flag: black, red, and gold/yellow. Look for tablecloths with German themes or German colors.
The authentic Oktoberfest celebrations are held in Bavaria, whose flag is white and blue in color. Often, you will see Oktoberfest decorations and celebrations with lots of blue and white—and this is why. Add some candles for a warmer ambience, or add some fresh flowers such as edelweiss.
Many Germans also love tulips, daisies, and roses. If you’re hosting an Oktoberfest party, consider sunflowers or flowers that are orange, yellow, or red to add a touch of autumn. Even colored leaves would look great on a table set for an Oktoberfest celebration. And we would highly recommend setting out a few bowls of pretzels or other German snacks on the table (and throughout the house).
Hanging decorations create an instant party effect. Choose ones that are German-themed. Consider a few German flags for something more authentic, or if you’re going for something more casual, choose streamers in colors of the German flag (black, red, and yellow/gold) or the flag of Bavaria (white and blue).
If you’re hosting an Oktoberfest party, autumn-themed hanging decorations work very well, too. Colored leaves, pine cones, pumpkins, gourds, and hay would be excellent, affordable additions to any room for Oktoberfest. For German-themed birthday celebrations, choose some balloons in German colors or with German themes.
Everyone loves thoughtful party favors. Start with bags with German-inspired themes—or, for something more simple, choose a small brown paper gift bag or solid color gift bag. Fill with things such as German candies. Or for Oktoberfest party favors, choose some apple products such as apple butter or apple jelly.
Steins and Mugs
Any German gathering would be incomplete without steins and mugs—and lots and lots of beer to go in them! Beer steins are more traditional, large mugs with lids—and they tend to be more expensive than other beer mugs.
You might find beer boots a bit more practical and affordable. Or opt for simple beer mugs that everyone can enjoy. Be sure to have a wide selection of beers. Try a few authentic German beers—but have some backups in case your guests don’t enjoy imported beers.
Don’t forget the music! German music doesn’t have to be just polka or accordion music. With a few quick internet searches, you’ll find that German music is very diverse. From the great classical composers to folk music to contemporary pop music, Germans have a range of sounds and styles that can add nearly any mood you want for your party.
The food is one of the most important parts of a German-themed party. For Oktoberfest parties, choose foods that fit with the autumn season such as apples (think apple cider, apple tarts, apple pie, etc.).
For any type of German celebration, wursts are a necessity. Bratwurst, knockwurst, and liverwurst are some of the more common types (although liverwurst has a very strong flavor and many of your guests may cringe). Sauerkraut accompanies many wursts and German sausages. Choose a variety of hard breads and some different cheeses.
Potato salad is another excellent German dish—and, of course, pretzels. Then comes desert. Think Black Forest cake (a chocolate cake with whipped cream, cherries, and sometimes some chocolate shavings). Or try German chocolate cake (with a coconut and pecan or walnut frosting—it’s delicious!) Other German deserts include streusel and various pastries.
Games and Activities
For even more fun, choose some games and activities that are German-inspired. Maybe you could have a pretzel-making station, or choose a few beer-themed games. Make one of your favorite games German-themed, such as German-themed Pictionary or charades.
Most of all, remember that your German party should be fun and light-spirited. Having the right decorations and other elements of a good party will make planning and hosting much easier.
You want to sit back, relax, and enjoy the work you put into the party—so do the planning ahead of time and once your guests arrive, join them for an evening of memorable fun. If you’re looking for more ideas, try a quick Internet search, or come up with some new ideas of your own!