What Kind of Clothing Do People Wear in Germany?

Updated November 21, 2016

People in Germany do not walk around in traditional Lederhosen, a kind of leather shorts, and Dirndls, or white peasant blouses, all day, even in the south where these clothing items come from. In fact most Germans dress much like people in every other Western country, where clothing style is determined mostly by age, job and personal taste. Germany does have certain clothing trends that are slightly different from those in the United States, but most styles are familiar to tourists from other countries.


Germany is a temperate country, and does not generally have extremely low or high temperatures. Summer temperatures are usually in the 70s and 80s, with winter sinking to around freezing in the west, but well below freezing in the east. This leaves the population free to wear a variety of styles similar to those worn by Americans, such as jeans, sweaters, T-shirts and sweatshirts.

Business Dress

Formal clothing worn in offices is the same as in other European countries. Black, blue or grey suits are normal attire for people who work with clients, though sometimes office workers combine pink or green button-down shirts with a traditional suit instead of the normal white or blue. Ties are a part of business dress in many companies, especially in the financial, legal and political sectors. Women often combine skirts, blouses and blazers in their office clothing, or a set with a jacket and matching trousers. High heels are popular in more formal offices. People who don't work directly with clients, such as internal employees in IT departments, dress more casually, without ties or in jeans.

Street Fashion

Young people in the major German cities such as Munich, Hamburg, Cologne and especially Berlin can be very creative with their clothing style. It is not uncommon to see neon colours and ripped shirts, or punks with Mohawks and studded leather jackets. Teenagers and university students can shop at discount retailers like H&M, Zara and Mango, which offer cheaper copies of designer clothes seen on the runway. It is not common to see people walking around the city in sweatpants and flip-flops; usually casual clothing means jeans and sneakers.

Designer Labels

Several German fashion designers are famous worldwide, including Karl Lagerfeld, who designs his own labels and also for Chanel in Paris. Jil Sander is well known for her clean and simple aesthetic, a pared-down clothing style consistent in the brand's shops and runway shows. German designer Wolfgang Joop started his first line, Joop!, in 1981 and created many popular perfumes, a line of jeans, eyewear and accessories. He left the company in 1998 and started Wunderkind six years later, a tailored women's line that debuted in Berlin in 2004.


Berlin has established its reputation as a fashion centre in Europe with the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, held twice a year in January and July. In January 2010, a variety of German designers and labels were showcased including Allude, a cashmere knitwear brand, and Patrick Mohr, an avant-garde designer focused on unisex garments. Germany's larger fashion companies also influence what people wear every day. Hugo Boss is a popular brand that started with formal men's suits in Germany in the 1970s. Today the company has different clothing lines for casualwear and sports, in addition to a women's line. The company aesthetic focuses on many casual urban separates, such as cardigans, silk blouses and high-waisted skirts that can be mixed to create outfits.

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