Lederhosen: Knicker Style

Note: I haven't yet addressed this topic seriously and would appreciate any information that HBC readers might have on the tpoic.

Figure 1.--Some German Scouts prefer the knicker-length style of lederhosen. The boys like to wear them and the shorter style of ledehosen with their socks rolled down.

Lederhosen or modern leather short pants appeared first in the German state of Bavaria. I'm not sure when they were first worn. I assume they have originated with knee breeches and gradually become shorter. Thus you would assune they probably originated in the 18th Century. There are two types of lederhose, short pants and knicker-like pants.

The original lederhosen, were kniebundlederhosen--knicker length knee breeches. Men and boys in the 18th Century commonly wore knee breeches. Thus the first lederhosen were made in this style. I'm not sure what the conventions were for wearing kniebundlederhosen and kurzehosen in the 20th Century.

The kniebundlederhosen are still worn by Scout groups in several countries, including Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. Some groups allow the boys to choose either kniebundlederhosen or kurzehosen. The kniebundlederhosen are of course most commonly worn in the winter with kneesocks, but some boys wear them in the summer also.

The European boys seems to prefer to wear kniebundlederhosen with kneesocks, but roll down the socks. A second pair of short socks is often added.

Christopher Wagner


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Created: March 12, 1999
Last updated: August 27, 1999