History of Lederhosen
In recent years the tradition of wearing Lederhosen
and Dirndl in Germany (also known as "Tracht") has
experienced a sort of modern day revival. What
originated as the garb of the working peasantry of
the 18th Century, the Lederhosen as well as the
Dirndl has undergone many evolutions along the way.
We at Bavarian Specialties are working hard to bring
the fresh, new stylings of the contemporary "Tracht"
to the United States, keeping all the old traditions
alive and well, but with a more vibrant look.
The Lederhosen, which are said to have emerged in
the Alpine regions of Germany and Austria, were the
trousers of the working peasant community - they
were sturdy and held up to the rigorous work of the
time. However, leather trousers were actually worn
in many regions of Europe by riders and also
hunters. But it was in the south of Germany or
"Bavaria" that a unique style developed - a pair of
leather trousers with a front drop "flap". This
style became quite popular and in France the style
was dubbed "a la bavaroise" or "Bavarian style".
During the Rococo period of the 18th Century it was
also fashionable for the courtly society to emulate
the simple life of the peasants, and hence, the
style also took hold in the nobility. While the
peasantry wore both short Lederhosen and longer
styled "Kniebundhosen" made of goat or sheepskin
that was dyed black, the nobles, who were often
adept hunters, chose to make their Lederhosen of
deerskins - a much softer and higher grade of
leather. These were then richly decorated to
symbolize their nobility.
Part of the uniqueness of Lederhosen can also be
attributed to their intricate embroidery that is
found both on the trousers as well as on the
suspenders. Oftentimes the embroidery signified a
certain region of the country and people began to
attribute a regional pride in wearing their
Lederhosen. In fact, in many of the small villages
the regional "Tracht" was taken very seriously and
one often owned several pair of Lederhosen for
different occasions - for everyday work as well as
for very festive occasions such as a wedding. While
these traditions have lasted even into the modern
day in some areas, most of today's Lederhosen have
been replaced by blue jeans for everyday life and
work and Lederhosen are now worn mostly at cultural
events or festivals, such as the Oktoberfest or "Kirchweih"
as well as to a Biergarten.
During the onslaught of blue jeans across the earth
(which ironically were also invented by a Bavarian
named Levi Strauss who emigrated to San Francisco
during the California Gold Rush) the Lederhosen lost
their popularity in everyday life, especially among
younger generations. However, in recent years there
has been a new interest in this traditional garb,
and people of all ages are again wearing them to the
festivals. The Lederhosen now come in short and long
styles, and in many leathers along many price
ranges. One can expect to pay about $250 for a basic
pair made of durable goat leather. They typically
come in black and brown leathers, but other colors
are also available: khaki, gray, and even red for
younger boys! However, more expensive Lederhosen are
also still available in deerskin and come with
intricately designed embroidery and can cost up to
* Short Lederhosen with "H-Style" Suspenders - in
dark brown and khaki colors.
* Kniebundhosen with "V-Style" Suspenders.
* Schuhplattler Lederhosen - black with special
* Customized Lederhosen and Bundhosen for clubs,
restaurants and businesses also available upon
* Lederhosen for boys and kids ages 1-15 years also
available in many colors.