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VIDEO: Do south Germans really wear nothing under their lederhosen?

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VIDEO: Do south Germans really wear nothing under their lederhosen?
A man wearing lederhosen. Photo: Shelley Pascual.
12:01 CEST+02:00
Is not wearing underpants beneath one’s leather breeches actually a thing? The Local found out on a recent visit to the Cannstatter Volksfest in Stuttgart.

One of the most interesting things we learned about lederhosen after doing some research into the fashion staple had to do with the debate as to whether wearers go nude under their breeches or not.

According to some German media and blogs, the soft texture and comfort of lederhosen lends itself to being worn without underpants.

Focus Online, for instance, recently visited Munich's Oktoberfest and found several men who swore by a leather-to-skin rule, to facilitate ease of access after they'd had a few beers.

But what about at Germany's second largest festival? Do people there choose to go nude under their breeches? Reporter Shelley Pascual made a trip out to Stuttgart last week to visit the Cannstatter Volksfest, otherwise known as the Wasen, to find out.

At the Wasen, at least, we couldn't find much evidence that the tradition exists. One lederhosen-clad man told The Local that, while people in Bavaria may choose to bare all under their breeches, this wasn't common in the capital of Baden-Württemberg.  

At a lederhosen shop on the festival grounds a salesman was quite adamant that he had never even heard of the tradition. But we did find one man who admitted he has going commando because "it's faster afterwards."

The leather shorts have gained popularity in recent years due in part to large folk festivals in southern Germany such as Munich's Oktoberfest and the Wasen, events where lots of people can be spotted wearing them.

But lederhosen may not be as popular as they are today if it wasn’t for a Bavarian teacher named Josef Vogl. When fashion preferences turned to long pants in the 19th century, Vogl came up with a plan with his mates to start a club dedicated to preserving the famed leather breeches.

Lederhosen then went from clothing farmers usually wore to what the bourgeoisie and even the royals in Germany started to wear. 

Nowadays, they are considered a folk costume worn not only by men, but also by women and even dogs.

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