Lederhosen are breeches made of leather; they may be either short or knee-length. Formerly, lederhosen were worn for hard physical work; they were more durable than a fabric garment and easier to clean. Today, they are mostly worn as leisure wear.
Lederhosen were once widespread among Germanic men of the Alpine and surrounding regions, including Bavaria, Austria, and the German-speaking part of Italy’s province of South Tyrol, but they were not usually worn in south-western Germany or Switzerland.
The popularity of lederhosen in Bavaria dropped sharply in the 19th century. They began to be considered as uncultured peasants’ clothing that was not fitting for modern city-dwellers. However, in the 1880s a resurgence set in, and several clubs were founded in Munich and other large cities devoted to preserving traditional rural clothing styles. After this time, traditional wear such as the lederhosen became an object of inverted snobbery as the upper classes began to hold festivities in a remade traditional atmosphere and dressed up as peasants.
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