So, one distinct feature of my trip to Munich was Lederhosen.
I was recently forwarded a joke along the lines of daft American tourists who’d been to Germany and not seen any atual Lederhosen – well, I can report that in Munich in July they were definitely in evidence. Our host for the weekend said that people started wearing them in the late spring, once the beer gardens opened up again, and that they got progressively more popular as the weather got hotter. And by the time Oktoberfest comes around they’re practically compulsory.
Here is some documentary proof that people do wear them. Random Germans (presumably) going about daily life in central Munich
I was certainly intrigued by them, and when I saw that you could buy them in C&A, I decided to at least have a go. So one afternoon, I picked out lederhosen, a rustic shirt and snuck into a changing room with my camera and the outfit. As if by magic…
I couldn’t quite get the straps on right. But the big surprise was that they are really, really comfortable. The leather is soft suede, which feels really good, and there’s plenty of movement. The interesting rustic shirt had metal button detail finishing, and the whole ensemble was pretty nice.
But it did cost nearly €100, and I reluctantly decided it wouldn’t be money well spent on an outfit I’d almost never wear at home. And there was also the issue of cleaning them. Apparently, you don’t. Urgh!
I did see some more affordable baby-lederhosen in the window of a specific lederhosen shop, but on sending a picture-message home to my nephew’s parents, I got a pretty clear steer that this would not go down well back home.
Whilst browsing the traditional German clothes shops, I found two further things of note. 1) Dirndls (the dress the woman is wearing in the photo at the top) are masses cheaper than lederhosen. But I figured if I was never really going to find an excuse to wear lederhosen, I definitely wasn’t going to find one to squeeze into a dirndl. And 2) the Wolpertinger: