SHORT LEATHER PANTS · MY OWN PANTS
All the pants have been well restored in the last years
Cloth pockets and waistbands were renewed with leather material. Defective zip fasteners and faded piping have been replaced with new ones. Without a doubt the pants will outlive their owner. Hans Christian Andersen says in one of his fairy tales: “Gilding fades fast, Pigskin will last.” However, pigskin may be the right choice for chairs, but it is, as an expert explained to me, too stiff for clothing. Certainly all my short pants are made of cowhide.
Dark Grey · Waist 30 ½
Acquired 1956 at Horstmann & Sander, Hanover
Unknown manufacturer · Date of manufacture early 1960s
My favourite pants for indoors. Behave like a silent girlfriend during meditation hours. Smooth and tight. I would not allow anyone to try these pants on. Leather pants are quick to take offence like cats. It could happen that I don't get the Zip fasteners open at a delicate moment.
GREY · WAIST 31 ½
Acquired 1962 at Horstmann & Sander, Hanover
Unknown manufacturer · Year of manufacture approx. 1960
These leather pants represent the classical model for boy scouts with Germanic oak leaf decorated pockets. The typical knife pocket at the right side did not leave any trace, when, shortly after purchase, it was dismounted in a burst of juvenile pacifism.
Yellow-Brown · Waist 30 ½ · Acquired 1965 in GDR
Manufacturer Franz Werner, Osterwieck / Harz (GDR)
Date of manufacture early 1960s
Sturdy clothing for meadows and woods. Reliable companion in wind and weather. Likes long
sessions at trees. The tight trouser legs prevent ants from entering.
Black Smooth Leather · Waist approx. 30 · Enlarged to 32
Acquired in GDR 1966 · Unknown manufacturer
Date of manufacture early 1960s
In the course of a visit to relatives in the GDR, I wore blue jeans, which yet were for their anti-working class character a taboo in the socialist countries. My cousin swanked around in short black leather pants. This style counted in the FRG (Western Germany) rather as luxury. We boys certainly would have changed our pants, but the parents did not agree. So, with my East German mark, I bought a brand-new piece. It was amazingly cheep. However, I chose it undersized and became ashamed to wear the flashy skin-tight pants. When granny’s old Singer had been repaired, I enlarged my luxury pants to size 32. Which gives the shorts at the flanks a personal touch. Anyway, what in the sixties among adolescents was quite usual, nowadays is indecent – these high gloss finished leather pants are not appropriate in the public sphere! But they are very stimulating for introspection during meditative sessions.
Green smooth leather · Waist (adjustable) 30 to 33
Trade mark Bergfreund · From a schoolfellow 1967
He detested his boyhood shorts
My oldest pants. The patent mark of the German Reich (D.R.G.M.), concerning the adjustable waist mechanism, makes clear that this clothing had been manufactured at first in 1945, most probably already in the thirties. The pants had hardly any signs of use when I got them. They are still like new, as I wore and wear them rarely. No matter, which age puts on these leather pants – in urban life they look a bit strange. However, the extremely smooth and comfortable pants go nicely with shadowy woods or moonlit nights walks.
Green-Yellow-Grey · Waist 32 · 1968
Barter with a fellow bookseller ·
He received a few volumes of Karl May from me for his pants ·
Manufacturer Franz Werner, Osterwieck / Harz (GDR), mid 1960s
My favourite pants for indoors and outdoors. There are acres of room inside. The smooth leather protects the waistline of cold draught. This clothing lived many years with me in France and Spain – nearly unrecognised by the local population. If people never saw leather pants in Germany or Austria, they will hardly be able to distinguish leather trousers from common trousers at first glance.
Light Grey · Waist approx. 31 ½
Obtained 1968 from the parents of a schoolfellow
Manufacturer Trachtenzentrum Naumburg / Saale (GDR)
Date of manufacture early 1960s
Walter and I, we did best in writing class essays. No one could follow us up to Parnassus. Due to a pulmonary disease, he was exempted from sports as me because of scoliosis. We did not become really close friends, although it would have been obvious. Therefore I do not know much about him. He was an adoptee from an Eastern Bloc country, an unattainably gentle, early-maturing boy. The gods must have loved him dearly. They invited him for ever to Parnassus just the day before his twentieth birthday. I keep some of his best school essays. And his leather shorts.
Yellow-Grey · Waist 29 · Enlarged to waist 31 ·
2007 acquired at a flea market in the Lüneburg Heath ·
Manufacturer Produktionsgenossenschaft des
Bekleidungshandwerks Jüterbog/Brandenburg (GDR) ·
Manufacture date presumably in the late 50s
These typically tedious leather pants had been often worn, when I bought them on the cheap. They placidly existed as one item more among my other leather pants, until I rediscovered them some years ago. The future photo starlet got leather pockets instead of the cloth ones. Furthermore new pipings plus ribbons at the leg and the back side. Damaged seams have been mended, and reinforcing little brown patches were placed at weak points. Two braces buttons each backwards and forwards are an individual element. The tight leather pants demonstrate even to slim people, which special feeling leather produces on the skin. After buzzing days of shooting, that photo model again enjoys long idleness.
Dark Green Leather · Waist 78
cm · From an internet sale 2008
Unknown manufacturer and fabrication date
A late keeping up with the Joneses among my schoolfellows, who at the end of the prosperous fifties possessed green smooth leather pants. Interior and leg turn-up were slightly rough, the outside glossy. Most commonly, these pants had leather pockets, being in terms of solidity much superior to the cloth pockets of standard leather pants. Boy fists are ready for attack in such deep leather pockets like in boxing gloves. The impeccably clean, scarcely worn pants have been purchased by auction for less than 30 Euros, although leather pants of this style and quality could easily obtain the treble or quadruple.
Dark Green Knee-length · waist 28 ½ · enlarged to 31 ·
Internet purchase 2008
Manufacturer Haelson® (GFR) · Manufacture date early 1960s
Trousers by Haelson® were and still are considered the Rolls Royce of leather trousers due to their outstanding quality, even though the company has not produced any clothing for quite some time. These knee-breeches, as well a good bargain (20 Euros), required a major overhaul: enlarging, extending, patching up two holes, replacing the zip. The result is nothing to sneeze at.
Once again, the reason of this acquisition is a late keeping up with the boys from wealthy families among my schoolfellows. At my most awkward boy age, I had to go to school in Ulm, Swabia, for two years. There, my Northern German accent had been met with refusal. But one classmate liked me very much. At weekends, he invited me to his family at the countryside. In school, the strong boy became for me a kind of bodyguard.
As he was very bad at German, I brought him up to speed and spared him having
to repeat class. Almost the whole year he wore knee-breeches of thick black split leather, red knee-length wool socks and black shoes with lateral lacing. Thomas was always polite and red-cheeked
like a ripe apple. We never have quarrelled, which is uncommon between boys of that age.