** Lederhosen constructio

Lederhosen: Construction

Figure 1.--Through the 1940s, boys wearing lederhosen almost always wore the halter with them. The one notable exception was Hitler Youth boys. This German boy was photographed in 1958, notice thenew double zip front flap style.

The design and construction of lederhosen was quite varied. The various elenents, the halter and the especially the shorts had many varied elements and detailing alternatives. The shorts varied as to length, fron flap, pockets, cuffs and other elements. Some were plain and highly utilitarian while others could be very ornate.


The Lederhosen worn by German boys in the 1930s and 1950s were mostly more or less exact copies on a smaller scale of the Lederhosen worn by adults, with those special elements included. Also after adults had stopped wearing them in their free time, the Lederhosen for boys mostly kept to the model and their special features, perhaps only gradually changing some aspects of it. Only the Lederhosen for very small boys (of todler-age) were just simplified versions of the adult model, leaving out some 'superfluous' elements like the small triangular pocket at the side for a pocket knife. This is the kind of Lederhosen shown here. Boys at that time did wear their Lederhosen every day too (so played in them, romped in them, cycled in them, etcetera) and that they therefore should be solid and practical in sunny and rainy weather both, and should be able to stand a lot of mud and dirt. This is, I think, a main difference with the situation today: if boys do wear a Lederhose now (as still is the case in Bavaria and Austria), this (apart from scouts) will be a more neat decorated one of the Trachtenlederhose-kind for festivals and special occasions only (in church on sunday), were kids are supposed to behave in a less untiring way.


Here are the major items comprising Lederhosen and their construction details.


Through the 1940s, boys wearing lederhosen almost always wore the halter with them. The one notable exception was Hitler Youth boys. Normally the alter was compsed of two over the shoulder narrow straps that crossed at the back. Buttons conected the halter to the shorts at front an back. In the front the shoulder straps were connected with cross pices of different sizes and shapes, usually oval. The straps had clasps which could adjust the length for proper fit as the boy got older. Commonly the cross pieces were decorated with Alpine symbols like ear and flowers. Some lederhosen are made with bib fronts rather than halters.


Lederhosen are made to be worn with a halter that holds them up. We have noticed that older boys, especially Scouts, tend to wear their lederhosen without the halter. I'm not sure why the halter is not popular with the olderr boys, perhaps they see it as a juvenile style. Often the older boys add a belt. Lederhosen do not normally come with belt loops so the belt appears largely ornamental as it does not hold up the lederhosen. The belt may have some practical purposes, especially for Scouting as a variety of items can be attached to the belt.


Some basic information is available on the lederhosen short pants. They have come in a great variety of lengths from very short to knee length. Other variations concern the pockets and front flap. Some shorts are worn with cuffs turned up while others have no cuff or have them turned down.


Some basic information is available on the lederhosen knivker-length pants. Like the shorts, they have come in a variety of lengths from knee-length to calf-length. Other variations are similar to the shorts and concern the pockets and front flap. There are also different kinds of hem fastenings. Lederhosen for everyday wear are predominantly the shorts style. The longer knicker-length lederhosen is ideal for colder weather but suffers from the fact that the boy is more likely to grow out of them long before he has started to get any wear out of them. They appaer tio have become more common in recent years as German and Austrian boys no longer wear short pants in cold weather. Some knicker-length lederhosen are made to traditional patterns and can come with halters for support.


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Created: April 2, 2001
Last updated: 9:39 AM 12/29/2020