Strangers in a Strange Land

Sunday, June 27, 2004

What Do Germans Wear?

Okay, so my good friend Amy from Orlando emailed me and wants to know what kind of clothes Germans wear. (I am now taking requests- I feel so special!)
This is an interesting topic to be sure. I am consulting with my 13 yr old fashion guru...She says that Germans do not have a particular style. Older people dress like old people. They all dress up for Sunday church and walk through their little towns to the church. Other than that, they just wear old people type clothes. Always brown shoes and dark socks. You can always tell an American because they have on white athletic shoes and white socks! Very conspicuous. The farmers and their wives are very stereotypical "German". The old ladies wear the flowered work dress and kerchief and look like they've been working a whole lot! The old farm men still wear the old fashioned hats and I've even seen them cutting hay with those very sharp and scary looking sickles! For Holidays and Fests (and even sometimes on Sundays in the older towns), older people here in Bavaria still dress up in traditional lederhosen (it means literally- "leather pants") and the ladies wear the dresses like at EPCOT center Germany. It's pretty cool. I can't say I've seen many younger people in that get up though.
Germans do not have many clothes. That is because they are so expensive. A pair of no name jeans is around $80. Sweaters are also expensive. You almost never see them wearing shorts and their way of having capri type pants is to take regular pants and roll up one GIANT cuff to make them mid calf level. Very unusual. People here dress much more casual for work and going out. The typical "work day" clothing is usually one of their two pair of jeans and a top. No sweats or sweatshirts hardly ever. One interesting thing is that there is kind of a national "manual labor uniform" here. Plumbers, construction workers, road crews, electricians...etc all wear either bright royal blue or bright orange jumpsuits. At least it eliminates any daily clothing debates for them! Teachers dress extremely casually. They wear jeans and high heels and a top or tshirt. They all carry almost identical leather book satchels too. The German kids in school in grades 1-3 also have matching square hard book bags, and they are quite heavy and very expensive! We paid $100 for Kevin's! No JOKE!
Young people are more fashionable. They wear what would be considered more "hip" fashion, but it always looks a little "off" and absolutely NOT American! The popular things right now are the Japanese Anime' type shirts and they like decals and t-shirts with American sayings. The sayings are not always quite right- I saw one that said "Nothing to Loose". Bell bottoms and jean jackets are also quite popular.
Shoes are also expensive in the regular stores but you can find discounts at Walmart and places like that. One thing that is quite particular about Germans is that they all have a pair of "Haus Schuhe". These are shoes that are only worn in the house. Usually they are like clogs or Birkenstocks or rubber bottomed slippers. Meri even has a pair that she has to wear in school. Also, Germans never wear their sandals bare foot although they are more comfortable with the bare body in general. It is not unusual to see completely naked people at the pool and always on tv in commercials. And the naked people are not always so attractive! Eww..
German people are into outer-wear, I think more than Americans are. When it rains they have rain boots and rain coats. They wear sunhats when it's sunny. In Kitzingen there is a hat store- a whole store devoted to hats! Americans are the only people I see around wearing baseball hats though! In the winter they have nice winter coats and all the ladies wear knitted scarves. I think they bundle the little kids, and babies especially, up too much. Just my opinion. Kevin will go to school with just a jacket and all the other kids will be decked out like an Arctic freeze has set in! It could also be that we don't feel so cold after 3 winters at Ft Drum!
Another interesting fashion trend is that it is really big, and I mean BIG for German women to have unnaturally colored red hair, even the old ladies! Plum, magenta, hot pink, name it and we've seen it. I don't know why that is? It's not uncommon to see even young girls Kevin's age with dyed red hair. Odd, and oh so very German! I am getting used to it, but I am still not used to women with really hairy armpits! It is like a man!! You'll see a really attractive young woman walking downtown with a tank top on and then...ick! Gorilla Pits! I don't know if I'll ever adjust to that! I still shave regularly...although I did go out and buy lots of colored socks!


At December 15, 2011 at 4:46 AM, Blogger Jeff Smith said...

nice post love reading it
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