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Wearing shorts in Germany

Is it proper to wear shorts or capris while vacationing in Germany. I've heard people say not to wear shorts in Europe.

Posted by
10344 posts

This is one of the most frequently asked questions on this site. If you want to browse these prior discussions, click here for search instructions and search on the word shorts. There are hundreds of posts about shorts in Europe, probably everything that could ever be said on this subject has been said here.:)

The short version: Except for some Italian churches (not applicable to your trip), there's no Europe dress code forbidding shorts. But some travelers posting here choose to dress somewhat more conservatively in Europe than they do in the US. Others don't.

Posted by
873 posts

You will be burned at the stake the minute someone sees you wearing shorts in Europe. Watch out.

Posted by
18301 posts

I arrived in Munich last August with a temperature around 30 (Celcius, 80s F) and high humidity. A lot of German men were wearing short. I joined them.

Posted by
3313 posts

No one cares what you wear in Europe. Don't worry about it. Two exceptions: churches and nice restaurants. There, dress appropriately.

Posted by
115 posts

Rick does say this in his books....I think it is more about respect for some of the norms in an area...My husband wore shorts in early June several years ago, but that was for trips to more tourist based sites (like Neuschwanstein or Marienplatz) but if you want to go to evening dinner I would not recommend it..unless perhaps you eat outside....I truly did notice one thing Rick said tho....I saw very few Germans wearing sneakers..young men wore leather shoes..hiking shoes or boat shoes...not dress shoes...it Was mostly tourists with sneakers. Same with baseball caps/hats..ONLY Americans wore them and only the ones on tours (except my son who INSISTED on making his own statement with his) Going by my father in law who is from Ravensburg, I would say that Germans in southern germany at least are a bit more staid in their dress...but anything seems OK in the cities (except again in certain level of restaurants and concerts and church visits/services)

Posted by
663 posts

I was in Germany for the last two weeks, Doug
says it like it is, nobody cares if you are wearing shorts or not. Men wear capris a lot, shorts a lot less but I have seen some.

Posted by
8108 posts

Seriously, no one cares here in Germany what you wear. Shorts are everywhere. As are tennis shoes.

Posted by
1357 posts

My husband and I were actually reminiscing about this a few nights ago. Our luggage got lost a few years ago when we were in Berlin, and we had to buy new clothes. I'm pretty short, so I panicked about having to buy pants in Germany, where women are notoriously tall (yes, that's a stereotype, but short women think about these things when buying pants). I was very lucky that there were tons of capris in the stores. Yes, they came to my ankles, but it worked.

I don't know anyone in Germany who has air conditioning in their homes. So, if it's hot, you better believe they'll wear shorts.

Posted by
342 posts

If Germans don't wear shorts, where did Lederhosen come from?

Posted by
12 posts

Just came back from Germany also. I packed 1 pair of shorts for my husband and 1 for myself. My husband actually wore them more than I expected since I had been reading the same thing about not wearing shorts in Europe. He wore them to mostly tourist type places - Neuschwanstein, Rhein River Cruise and Europa Park. I never wore mine, but I am usually chilly, so I wore capri's almost the entire time. (Our kids wore shorts almost daily).

Bottom line - anything seems to go! I spent way too much time worrying about clothing in Europe and once I was there it didn't seem to matter.

Posted by
11805 posts

If you wear man-capris, you must also wear your man-purse or people will know you aren't local. ;)

Yes you can wear shorts when it's hot and not feel too much out of place (except for church and nice restaurants).

Posted by
1976 posts

I was in Germany a month ago and it was very hot (30-35 C / 90s F), and I was SO glad I decided to wear shorts! No one said anything to me about them when I went into churches. You'll be on vacation and you want to be comfortable, so I would say pay attention to the weather and plan your wardrobe accordingly.

Posted by
446 posts

"If Germans don't wear shorts, where did Lederhosen come from?"

Good point! Although, I think of Lederhosen as more Swiss and Austrian.

Posted by
78 posts

Unless you plan to stop in Afghanistan on your way back there is no reason to dress differently in Europe than at home.

Posted by
337 posts

Tyler, OT but: Lederhosen are traditional for tribally Bavarian people, i.e. the population in the state of Bavaria east of the Augsburg-Nuremberg-line and Austria except Voralberg.

The German-speaking Swiss are tribally Alemannic, just like e.g. the Swabians in the south-west of the Bavarian state. No Lederhosen there.

Posted by
5669 posts

It wasn't Germany, but I was recently in Amsterdam. I very dutifully was wearing my capris. I was met at the train station by two Dutch friends who were wearing, yes, shorts. As soon as I got to their home, I changed immediately into shorts and wore them the next two days. So, travel like a local. Wear shorts in hot weather! Pam

Posted by
115 posts

aha! that is correct with the lederhosen...I saw families wearing traditional clothes like that fathers,sons and women with tradional dresses, on Sunday going for walks together and at the castle in Munich...and I saw older men in particular wearing lederhosen and hats..and they were not working..just out on a Sunday in the park or walking with relatives/friends......but a lot of them had the stockings (I forget what they are called) that are like knee socks...but have no foot covering...just leg covers. That could be hot in the summer too. I have been impressed with how proud the Bavarians are of their heritage and dress...and they ARE shorts. At least they are not all leather like my father in law wore years ago.
AndI doubt if he ever saw heat like this years...just dress neatly and be comfortable.

Posted by
12040 posts

In this region of Germany, it has been mostly cool and wet for the past few weeks (particularly today). Barring an Indian summer, looks like short season is over for the year.

Posted by
8108 posts

It is disgusting cold wet weather today. Windy and rainy, with thunderstorms. It is supposed to get nice again by the weekend though.

The lederhosen thing is funny. If you wore those anyplace else in Germany besides Bavaria, people will stare.

Full grown men don't wear the little shorts either, they are more like long breeches, something you would go hunting in.

Posted by
331 posts

What on earth is all the fuss about? This is Europe not Outer Mongolia. There is no dress code anywhere in Europe that would be different from the USA. As a sign of respect in certain (Catholic) churches, and by no means in the majority, it is not allowed to wear shorts or for women to have their heads and shoulders uncovered, for instance in St Marks church in Venice. I can think of no other situation in which your dress code would be questioned within reason. Respect dictates that you wouldn't for instance wear shorts to a funeral. Just use some common sense. Shoni