There are a few rules for German fashion, at least from what I have noticed.
Rule #1 - Wear a scarf.
It doesn't matter - men, women, children, dogs, everyone wears scarves in all weather. There is some German mother somewhere telling everyone they will get a cold if they go out without one, even in the summer. When we arrived in August we saw a lot of girls wearing tank tops and scarves. Women often wear darker clothes with a brightly colored scarf. Men wear a lot of plaid and solid color scarves. And yes, I have seen a few dogs walking around the lake in scarves too.
Rule #2 - Don't look like a slob.
People here look generally put-together. Even though Germany is probably not the most fashionable country in Europe, it is way more fashionable than the U.S. If there is another place where it is acceptable to wear sweat suits in public, I have not visited there yet. Here you only see people wearing work out clothes if they are actually working out. I think part of it has to do with transportation. That sounds a little odd, but if you are only jumping in the car in your garage and driving where you need to go, then why look presentable? If you are out walking the streets or riding the train, then other people are more likely to see you and you should not look like a slob.
Rule #3- Wear jeans.
There are a lot of jeans worn here. Skinny jeans are very popular with women and yes, with men too. Teenage guys wear saggy skinny jeans, which look like they would be difficult to walk in. And sometimes those jeans are not denim colored but green or red or bright blue.
Rule #4 - Wear skirts.
This applies (thankfully) to women only. I am a big fan of skirts myself so I like this rule. And don't be afraid to ride your bike in a skirt, just don't rip it as you get on the bike. Now I understand why ladies' bikes have that lower bar in the middle...
Rule #5 - Wear boots.
Women wear boots here all the time. They go well with both skirts and skinny jeans. I drool a little as I pass all the stores that sell boots. The boys at Brian's school often wear yellowy leather work boots that remind me of something you'd wear with a flannel shirt to complete your early 90s grunge look.
Rule #6 - All suits are black or gray.
Men's formal wear is pretty boring here. Almost all suits are plain black with thin ties that come in solid colors or very subtle prints. The suits are only more exciting if a man is wearing one while riding his bicycle.
I have yet to see anyone wearing lederhosen, though I did see them in a store once around Oktoberfest time. Maybe they are more common in the south of Germany. The north is more about black skinny jeans and scarves.
- Thanks for coming to my blog. It started as a way to keep in touch with family and friends, and now has become an ongoing project. I'm an American living in Germany and trying to travel whenever I can. I write about my experiences as an expatriate (the interesting ones and the embarrassing ones), and about my travels. There are some recurring characters in this blog, particularly my husband Brian and several of our friends. The title comes from the idea that living in a foreign country means making a lot of mistakes. So the things you used to do easily you now have to try over and over again. Hopefully, like me, you can laugh at how idiotic it feels. If you have happened upon my blog, then welcome. Knowing that people are reading what I write makes me keep going. Feel free to write comments or suggestions for future posts.