Lederhosen were not initially, nor have they ever been an exclusively boys' garment. As lederhosen began to be commonly worn by German youth groups, however, they began to be very commonly worn by boys in Bavaria. I have few details on when boys began wearing them, but believe it was the 1920s. As short pants for boys had become common by the 1920s, the lederhosen for boys were mostly the short pants version. Some boys did wear the knickers version, but I think this might have been considered more of a formal version. HBC still has incomplete information on lederhosen as boys wear. Younger boys do not appear to have commonly worn lederhosen in Germany until after World War II. Clothing advertisements suggest that by the 1960s they had become a popular boys' style. They were often worn with ginham or plaid-like shirts. Some short pants were made with lederhosen styling in other materials. Leerhosen have always been considere male garb. HBC notes that in the 1970s, lederhosen were also made for girls.
Lederhosen were not initially, nor have they ever been an exclusively boys' garment. The garment was at first conceived as work attire and then became seen as folk dress. In the early 20th century two developments affected the popularity of lederhosen. Youth groups began to form. The most popular was the Wandervogel. While many Wandervogel wore corduroy shorts--lederhosen were also worn. Lederhosen were both practical and appealed to the Wandervogel interest in folk culture. The Wanndervogel was primarily for older boys. Other youth groups formed, such as the Scouts. Some of the boys wore lederhosen--although they were not the official uniform. Once lederhosen became an accepted folk dress then they were adopted by ultra-nationalists. It was probably at this time that some younger German boys began wearing lederhosen. Until then they have a rather rough outdoor image that were more suiable for men and older boys. They become more associated with boys aftter World War II. We see many impages of German boys, and not just in Bavaria, wearing Lederhosen as casual clothes after the War in the 1940s-60s. With the popularity of jeans they again began to seen more as folk dress.
As lederhosen began to be commonly worn by German youth groups, however, they began to be very commonly worn by boys in Bavaria. I have few details on when boys began wearing them, but believe it was the 1920s. HBC can only conjecture about chronological trends at this time. Photographs from the 1930s show younger boys wearing lederhosen. This was apparently popular un NAZI and other ultra-nationalist families. Photographs of Hitler Youth groups show many of the boys wearing lederhosen--but it appears to have been more common among older boys. The short pants lederhosen in the inter-war period seem to have much more common fvor boys than the knicker style. HBC has little actual information on just how common lederhosen were in Germany during the inter-war period. One factor which has to be considered is that because lederhosen are made of leather, they were expensive. This might have made it difficult for some German families to afford lederhosen. Younger boys do not appear to have commonly worn lederhosen in Germany until after World War II (1939-45). Clothing advertisements suggest that by the 1960s they had become a popular boys' style. As jeans became popular in Germany during the late 1960s and 70s, most older boys stopped weraing lederhosen--except for folk events. It was at this time that girls--mostly younger girls also began wearing lederhosen. Lederhosen continued to be popular for younger boys in the 1970s, but then began to decline in the 1980s as fewer German boys wanted to wear short pants.
As short pants for boys had become common by the 1920s, the lederhosen for boys were mostly the short pants version. Some boys did wear the knickers version, but I think this might have been considered more of a formal version. As shortpants have declined in popularity among German boys, the knicker-type lederhosen have become more common--especially for folk dress.
HBC still has incomplete information on lederhosen as boys wear. They appear to have been primarily a garment for men and older boys. This had changed by the 1910s when some younger boys began wearing them. They wre probably nore common, however, for older boys through the 1930s. HBC is unsure, however, just how common they were among younger boys. Quite a number of younger boys appear to have worn them by the 1930s. After World War II lederhosden were very common for younger boys. Available advertising literature shows many ads for younger boys' lederhosen available in the 1970s. Older boys, except for folk costumes, however, stopped wearing lederhosen at this time--preferring jeans that were sweeping Europe at the time.
Proper lederhosen for men or boys are made from leather. Mostly they are made with suede type leather. Some lederhosen, however, were made in leather with a shiny surface. Some short pants were made with lederhosen styling in other materials. A variety of materials were used--including denim. Only younger boys and girls wore these non-leather pants with lederhosen styling.
Proper leather lederhosen for boys were mase in a variety of neutral colors, including black, grey, and brown. While lederhosen in various shades of these colors were made--they were not made in other colors. Shortvpants styled like lederhosen were made in other colors as were lederhosen for girls, including bright colors like red.
German boys wore their lederhosen with a number of varying stlistic detailing. Lederhosen could be worn with or without attachable halters. Itvappears that the halters were almost alwats worn as part of folk costume or when dressing up with a jacket. Younger boys also commomly wore the halters. For rough outdoor wear, such as scouting, many older boys did not wart the halters. Many lederhosen also had detailing around the pockets. The fly was usuallu a drop down affair that buttoned at the waist. Some lederhosen had zippers--but this was not common. Many lederhosen were worn with suff-like hems. Presumably this was a way of lengthening them as the boy grew older. This cuff was less common on adult lederhosen.
Lederhosen might be worn with folk costumes, but more commonly they were worn with regular clothes. German boys wore Lederhosen with a wide variety of other garments. This was the case because Lederhosen were worn for many different occassions from play, school, casual occassions, and even dressing up. As aresult we see boys wearing Lederhosen with "T"-shirts as well as many different collared shirts. Colored check shirts are often associated with Lederhosen, but white shirts might be worn when dressing up. They might even be worn with a suit jacket for more formal occassions. Bavarian Alpine jackers were especially popular. They were also worn with arange of hosiery from ankle socks to long stockings. Many boys worethem with knee socks. As with other garments both chronological trends abnd seasonality were factors in the choice of these garments. Note: We have linked this sevtion to the general Ledershosen section. As most of our images of boys wearing Lederhosen are German, there seems to be no reason to have two different sections here.
Leerhosen have always been considere male garb. HBC notes that in the 1970s, lederhosen were also made for girls. Goirls in the early 20th century and especially during the NAZI era always wore dresses. They never would have worn anything but dresses at folk events. HBC had noted German clothing advertisements in the 1970s with girls wearing lederhosen. Some of the girls' lederhosen were indistinguishable from the boys' lederhosen, others had distince styling for girls--such as the alter being made in a hear motif. These girls' lederhosen were only worn by little girls.
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