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 pants are made of cowhide.
grey · waist 31 ½
acquired 1962 at Horstmann & Sander, Hanover
unknown manufacturer · year of manufacture: ca. 1960
These leather pants represent the typical model for boy scouts with Germanic oak leaf decorated pockets. The knife pocket at the right side did not leave any trace. After a couple of days, it were dismounted, Thus in a burst of juvenile pacifism.
green – yellow - grey · waist 32 · 1968 acquired from a friend
manufacturer: Franz Werner, Osterwieck / Harz (GDR), ca. 1965
My favourite pants for indoors and outdoors. There are acres of room inside and the smooth leather protects the waistline of cold draught. This clothing has seen France and Spain, nearly unrecognised. If someone has never heard of German leather pants, he will not be able to distinguish them from other pants.
green – smooth leather · waist (adjustable) 30 to 33
trade mark BERGFREUND
from a schoolfellow, who did not like shorts
find in an attic
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 no signs of usage, when I got them, and are still like new, as I wore and wear them rarely. No matter, which age puts on these trousers – in urban life it looks strange. The extremely smooth and comfortable pants go nicely with shadowy woods or moonlit nights walks.
dark grey · waist 30 ½
acquired 1966 at Horstmann & Sander, Hanover
unknown manufacturer · year 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 might happen then, that I would not get the zippers open in a delicate moment.
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 any wind and weather. Likes long sessions at trees. Utmost caution with the deep and very narrow knife pocket! If a handcuff key would get roped into, one will be trapped.
black – smooth leather · waist 29 · enlarged to 31 ½
acquired in GDR 1966
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 Eastern 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. Only when granny’s old Singer had been repaired, I could enlarge my luxury pants to waist size 31 ½. Which gives the shorts at the flanks a personal touch. Anyway, what in the sixties among adolescents was quite usual, nowadays is out of the question: these high gloss finished leather pants are not appropriate in the public sphere. But they are awfully good for introspectiveness during meditative sessions.
light grey · waist 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 essays. No one could follow us up to Parnassus. Due to a pulmonary disease, he was exempted from sports as me because of my scoliosis. We did not become friends, although it would have been obvious. Therefore I do not know much about him. He was an adoptee, 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. From him, there is nothing left for me. Except his leather pants.
dark green smooth leather · waist 78 cm · acquired at eBay in 2008
unknown fabrication date
A late keeping up with the Joneses among my schoolfellows, who at the end of the prosperous fifties possessed dark 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.
yellow-grey · waist 29 · enlarged to waist 31
1967 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 enjoys long idleness.
dark green ·knee-length · waist 28 ½ · enlarged to 31 ·
acquired at eBay in 2008
manufacturer: Haelson® (GFR)
manufacture date: early 1960s
These knee-breeches, as well an eBay-bargain (I paid 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 Joneses 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. 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. Later on, I lost contact with him and we did not meet again.