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Kleider machen Leute?!


In German we have the proverb “Kleider machen Leute” (“Clothes make the man”). Of course this statement can be argued, but definitely the clothes and the personal fashion style a person has, is a statement about him or herself. Just as everywhere else, in Germany factors like age, job and personal taste also determine the way to dress. Thus it is hard to give a general picture about what people are likely to wear. In this article I want to talk mainly about young street style fashion that you can find in Germany and I want to let you know which fashion strikes me here to be different from back home.

Within the last years a kind of „alternative style“ has become fashionable and thus more and more „mainstream“ within the younger generation in Germany. For this style it is popular to wear for example converse allstars shoes, slim jeans or leggins (for girls) and casual tops that go over the hips. For boys wearing jeans and stylish shirts are popular. Leatherjackets seem to be another fashion trend and are part of most young people’s wardrobe.

Traveling for example to Italy I realized that fashion there is much more chic. Almost every female is wearing high heels there and also men are often dressed more chic and elegant. Compared to that the general fashion in Germany is more casual. But you do not as find as many people as here in the States wearing sports clothes. I noticed that here on Campus it is really common to wear sports clothes (sweatpants and hoodie). This is untypical in Germany (and also on German Campuses). People may wear a sporty look but usually with jeans. Also German universities do not offer and sale as much „university clothing“ as here. I noticed that even elderly people here dress more „sporty“ than in Germany. In Germany you could never find an over 50-year old man wearing hoodie and baseball-cap.

Did you know that some American brands like nike, adidas, levis and converse are a lot more expensive in Germany than in the States? Those are really popular in Germany and people like to wear them if they can afford it and pay attention to those brands.

In Germany the four different seasons go hand in hand with different clothing too. Here I sometimes was surprised seeing students walking around with shorts and flip flops in autumn or winter weather.

I want to tell you about a few things that are fashionable in Germany:

Glasses – compared to here it seems that much more people in Germany are wearing glasses. Glasses can be a means to express fashion and individuality. Within the last years so called „nerd-glasses“ have been really fashionable. You can find them in different form and variations:

The so called „Jutebeutel“ is a linen bag that 10 years ago was only used by elderly women to do their shopping. In these days it has become a trendy accessory for young people. Self-made or online one can find a lot of creatively designed bags that can express a sense of fashion and sometimes also a good sense of humour.

Concerning hair styles – this kind of hair style has been pretty fashionable lately for guys:

One of the most popular clothing stores in Germany is the Swedish chain H&M. It is always trendy and inexpensive, so usually one can find several shops of this chain in every city.

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