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What are Lederhosen?

The dirndl is taking New York City by storm this summer, as our Dirndl Ambassadors will be at events all over town showing off their flirty frocks. But did you know that there will be some lederhosen-clad men in the mix as well? Yes, we’ve found a few good men who are willing to show off their legs while showing their Austrian spirit.

Bad Ischl children in traditional clothing © Bad-Ischl-Kinder-Rettenbachalm--TV-Bad-Ischl-Wolfgang-Stadler--d

Just like in Austria, whenever you see dirndls you can count on seeing lederhosen too. You’ll spot this traditional Austrian dress at local festivals all over the country as well as in everyday life in the Salzburg Lake District. Lederhosen is as essential when going on hike through the Alps as it is when attending the Almdudler Trachtenpärchen Ball in Vienna – although probably best with different shoes.

The term lederhosen has made its way into the American vocabulary, and indeed most are more familiar with it than they are with the term dirndl. But they might not know that lederhosen translates literally to “leather shorts.” These leather short must possess certain attributes: a front flap with two buttons, cuffs and a small pocket on the lower right for a knife. There are variations on the length, and while the embroidery can be quite ornate it isn’t mandatory. Leather suspenders with a cross bar are the traditional accessory. The styles of jackets and hats vary by region.

Lederhosen shares a similar history with the dirndl, both owe their resurgence in popularity to Emperor Franz Joseph. In the middle of the 19th century, the royal court would vacation in the countryside of Salzburg. They embraced the clothing worn by the country folks and soon it became extremely fashionable. The macho appeal of lederhosen continues to this day.

If you’re looking to mingle with true Lederhosen lovers, we suggest you visit the annual Lederhosen Festival in the Alpine village of Windischgarsten in July. There you will find thousands of lederhosen enthusiasts who have come from all over the world to celebrate the iconic garment with contests, music and beer.