Friday, October 12, 2012

A Lederhosen Costume For Halloween Hiking

Have you considered a vintage Lederhosen Costume for your Halloween fashion look? In 1968 you could have ordered them from The Swiss Cheese Shop in Monroe, Wisconsin. Presumably, you could also have ordered some Swiss cheese while you were at it - although German cheese would probably be more costume-appropriate.

On Halloween 1968 I was six years old (almost) and I think I went around dressed as a stereotypical witch, black gown and hat courtesy of my mother, who was brilliant at sewing. I don't recall what she dressed up as way back in the 1930s, but my father seems to have gone out in the classic sheet-with-cut-out-eyes, as a ghost. He also grew up in the 1930s, in Brooklyn. His favorite Halloween anecdote involved him making spiders out of ink-dipped corks, with rubber-band legs. He would then stand in the building's elevator, having turned out the light, and wait for unsuspecting ladies to scare.

Ready to hike and party! (Wikimedia Commons)
I think something like lederhosen sounds a lot more fun (certainly more fun for the unsuspecting ladies, in any case). Lederhosen - literally "leather breeches" in German - are short leather trousers or breeches traditionally worn by working class men in Bavaria and some parts of Austria.  They were considered perfect for work, leisure and hiking - warm, easy to clean, and practical. Also quite cute, from the look of the little family group on your right, from 1883.

If you do wear lederhosen for Halloween, you could also carry a rustic backpack to hold your collected treats in, which is a great plus! Just add a colorful shirt, a thick sweater and some warm socks and hiking shoes, and you will be totally ready to walk long and far trick or treating. I especially like the socks that the seated man in the 1883 photo is wearing, by the way.

In fact, you'll probably be much more comfortable than all the folks dressed up as Batman or as Disney Princesses. Because a lot of costumes are not warm, and certainly not made for long walks, are they? And you will also stand out as being more original. And then there's the rucksack accessory - think of all the mini chocolate bars you'll be able to carry around in that!

All in all, lederhosen are sturdy and practical, unlike, say, the Halloween novelties (brought to you by Billboard in October 1948), on your left. A Casanova mask that looks like Groucho Marx as drawn by Charles Schulz? An Electric Bulb whose main attraction is that "It Lights Up!" Oh, I don't think so. Tradition, warmth and comfort - plus a rucksack? Lederhosen wins all around, I think.

Note: This is a sponsored post for Lederhosen 4 U, however all the points and views are my own.


VelmaDinkley said...

I remember my dirndl. My brother had some matching lederhosen, and we were little and blond and the same size, so everybody thought we were adorable. But I loved the bejesus out of that dirndl. You could do ANYthing in that thing, and it was really comfortable! It was so sturdy that you could climb trees and play soccer and roll down a grassy hill covered with leaves, and your mom wouldn't yell at you not to ruin your dress, but it still counted as a dress and it was covered with pretty embroidered flowers, so you could wear it to school and the grown-ups still made a big deal out of you. Pretty much the perfect garment; I was terribly sad and angry when I finally grew out of it.

Lidian said...

Velma - I was going to write a bunch more about dirndls, which are pretty cool and retro, but the post was getting too long...I will definitely put this in my idea notebook! Yours sounds great. I never had one but my mom had an Austrian (?) boiled-wool jacket, which sort of goes with a dirndl, and it was amazing, really stylish and warm. I like traditional clothing a lot -

Marcheline said...


Velma Dinkley said...

Oh, right - I got so excited when I saw that they also sell dirndls that I forgot that it was all about the Hosen. I suspect that they worked better in the seventies than they do now - which is too bad, because they are actually pretty practical and comfy.

Then again, Oktoberfest. Think about it. How many non-swimming opportunities do the gentlemen get to show off their legs? The thick socks enhance the perceived muscularity of your calves in the same way as the construction of the Dirndl makes me look as if I had appreciably sized, um, strudels.

Mae West NYC said...

Lidian: someone gave me a teddy bear dressed in lederhosen, etc. and if a button were pressed, the bear would YODEL. The gift depressed me; I stuck it away in a closet. Years later, EBAY appeared. For fun, I searched for yodelling teddy bears. Jackpot. I sold that hideous thing (still in its box) for a nice sum. . . . . . . . . . re-gifting is the best revenge. :-D