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How to make a lederhosen costume for Halloween or Oktoberfest

Updated April 17, 2017

Whether you are planning to celebrate Oktoberfest by dressing in traditional German costume or are creating a German outfit for a Halloween party, lederhosen are fun to wear and easy to make yourself at home. These are leather or suede shorts with suspenders traditionally worn by Austrian and German men. Use items you already have in your wardrobe or scour charity shops to find suitable items of clothing to adapt.

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  1. Wear an open-necked white shirt with a collar. If time and skill allows, embroider some patterns across the top or add lace-up ties to the open neck.

  2. Team the shirt with brown shorts. Traditional lederhosen are made from brown suede. Use brown trousers in the most suitable fabric you can find such as leather, suede, faux suede, corduroy or cloth. Cut the trousers off just above the knee and then hem. Use the fabric you cut off to make a square panel to sew over the front of the trousers. Add four large buttons, two at each side.

  3. Hold the trousers in place with suspenders. Brown or decorative suspenders work well. Sew or glue a fabric panel across the front joining the suspenders together. Use material cut from the trousers. Hem it with iron-on hemming and add decorative ribbon trim.

  4. Wear long, light-coloured socks and leather boots or shoes. Add a hat such as a traditional German conical-shaped hat, or wear a straw hat with a feather.

  5. Carry a beer stein. Remember that steins hold a lot of beer, so don't refill it too often.

  6. Tip

    German costumes work well for a couple. German fräuleins can dress in a dirndl and wear braids in their hair.

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Things You'll Need

  • Open-necked white shirt with collar
  • Brown shorts in leather, suede, faux suede, corduroy or cloth
  • Brown or decorative suspenders
  • Decorative ribbon
  • Long, light-coloured socks
  • Leather boots
  • Hat with feather
  • Beer stein

About the Author

Based in East Sussex, Caroline Repchuk has been writing and editing children's books and art and craft features since 1990. Her classic Christmas book, "The Snow Tree," is published by Dutton and her features have appeared in "Art Attack" and "SpongeBob SquarePants." Caroline holds a Bachelor of Arts in fine art from Leeds University.

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