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Discovering The Lesser Known Facts About Lederhosen

Men’s Lederhosen has over 400 years of history, signifying a treasure chest full of naked truths. Rufus Wainright says, “Some people go to Berlin to get more cutting-edge; I went and started wearing Lederhosen and going to visit baroque palaces,” clearly pointing to leather breeches becoming a global trend, worn and praised by international CELEBS. In the current dynamic, leather breeches have become the face of Oktoberfest, but there is so much more to these bewitching traditional garments, as we say, “LESSER KNOWN FACTS.” 

All the Flabbergasting Lederhosen Facts

There is a list of facts related to the leather breeches that come as a surprise to many. 

1. Lederhosen is the Bavarian Pride- Along with Other Regions

Most people associate lederhosen with the southern region of Germany, specifically Bavaria. Formerly, leather breeches were the costume of peasants and miners in regions like Austria, Allgäu, Switzerland, the former Austria-Hungary region, and today's Alp region of Slovenia, besides Bavaria.

Historians suggest that Lederhosen was not restricted to Bavaria only when it originated but was vital to the wardrobe of European riders, hunters, or anyone partaking in strenuous outdoor activities.  However, Lederhosen's front drop feature solely belongs to Bavaria and became so popular that during the 18th century, they were called in France à la bavaroise, “in the Bavarian style.”

2. Lederhosen Saw a Fair Share of Lows

Lederhosen saw a downfall for a good many years in the 19th century after being labeled uncultured and peasant clothing. The elites and bourgeois rejected Lederhosen. After the 1880s, a wave started to save the lederhosen with a special association, “ Trachtenverein,” formed in 1883  to save the traditional tracht, especially Lederhosen.

It wouldn’t have been possible without the special efforts of King Ludwig II, who was the greatest admirer of traditional clothing. His acceptance of Lederhosen played the biggest part in bringing these leather tracht trousers into the limelight and making them the unofficial dress code for Oktoberfest. Today, Authentic Lederhosen is the strongest pillar of Bavarian culture. 

3. Lederhosen Manufacturing is a Global Affair

Lederhosen is manufactured worldwide, thanks to the world becoming a global village. Some factories are located in South Asian countries like Sri Lanka and India, as well as other countries like Hungary. Leather is mainly sourced from Pakistan and New Zealand. Hand-made Lederhosen can still be found in the southern part of Germany, and specialized tailors bring every piece to life with rigorous craftsmanship. 

German tailors like Bensmann, who collects the leather himself, get it vegetable-tanned, following all the integral steps of handcrafting lederhosen. He cuts and sews leather breeches in different styles—kurze lederhosen, capri-length (bundhosen), and lederhosen long (plattlerhosen). Price is one significant difference between the Lederhosen manufactured in some factories outside Germany. Bensmann’s lederhosen cost 1000 euros or even more, while the ones manufactured in factories cost a few hundred dollars. 

4. Women Also Garb the Lederhosen 

Women's Lederhosen has become an emerging trend in the Oktoberfest fashion scenes. Women's leather breeches exude feminine sophistication, enhancing the curves. Women's lederhosen carries the same authenticity as men's—made from leather and embellished with regional motif embroidery. The female Lederhosen is always shorter, reaching above the knees. A Lederhosen skirt variant is an option for women to choose from Bavarian traditional clothing.

5. No Blessing for Lederhosen from Catholics  

It wasn’t considered appropriate to wear Lederhosen to church and was declared “immoral” by the Archbishop of Bavarian in 1913. For the same reason, wearing lederhosen is still restricted in some church services. However, things have changed in favor of leather breeches, and more churches have become welcoming towards leather shorts. Today, Lederhosen is worn by the groom and best men at the traditional Bavarian wedding. 

6.  International Celebrities wore Lederhosen

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kevin Spacey, Richard Branson, Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, and many more international celebrities have worn Lederhosen to Oktoberfest or their film premieres. Ed. Sheeran once performed wearing lederhosen, and all these examples are proof that “Lederhosen popularity is not only confined to Germany.” Lederhosen shorts are amongst the few traditional attires with hundreds of years of history, and they still hold the same pride in their cultural pediment. 

7. Northern Germans do not Wear Lederhosen

Undoubtedly, the Bavarian trachten is considered the traditional attire of Germany, but it's not the only traditional outfit worn in Germany. The northern part of Germany has its own traditional attires, and that, too, many. One of the traditional costumes is a “Dachauer Tracht” for women made with 26-foot-long woolen fabric to give the women's dress a fuller look.  

Monchguter Tracht is black with a white bonnet. The former trachten was worn from the confirmation of marriage until the wedding vows were said, while the latter symbolized a chaste lifestyle(purity). Northern Germans abstain from owning lederhosen as a unified traditional costume and want the region's tracht to have its distinct representation.

8.  Lederhosen is All Weather Friend

Bavarian Leather breeches are made of authentic leather and have the unique characteristic of keeping the body warm in winter and cold in summer. The versatile Bavarian trousers are also resistant to tough beer stains. No wonder why lederhosen was made for the rugged terrain work of peasants and praised by the bourgeois for horse racing. 

Wrapping It Up!

Lederhosen existed even before the unification of northern and southern Germany. With a centuries-long history, Leather breeches have endured more than a layman can imagine. Exploring little-known facts about Lederhosen highlights that it has seen many ups and downs; not everyone in Germany wears them. Many international celebrities wear these leather trousers, which have also become part of women's wardrobes. All in all, no one can deny the vitality of Lederhosen in Bavaria.

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