How to dress like a German

by Christina Geyer on September 12, 2008 · 70 comments

Typical American (left), typical German (right)

It’s a topic many travelers to and expats in Germany wonder about at some point: how do I blend in with the locals?

In my travels throughout Germany, I’ve found it pretty easy to pick out Americans, even the ones dressing incognito. I’ve developed “American Radar.” There’s a way Americans carry themselves: a certain walk, a certain head tilt, a certain loudness to our voices, that is quite easy to spot once you spend enough time among foreigners. We take up a lot of space, we expect things to go the way we expect. There’s only so much one can do about these things, but if you want (and it’s not necessary by any means), you can at least make an attempt at passing for a local through changing a few simple things about the way you dress.

How American men dressTypical American baggy clothing and sports jerseys

Baggy clothing – If you could stick a second person in your outfit, you are going to stick out like a sore thumb here. Germans tend to wear their clothing cut pretty close to the body.

Long is wrong? – With Americans, shirts often cover the hips. Shorts end below the knee, sometimes even mid-calf. Pants and jeans fall at least to the top of the instep if not further. Women in high heels often have pant inseams longer than their legs. Germans tend to wear shirts ending at the waist, or if longer, they wear them tucked in. Neither men or women are afraid to wear short shorts, pant legs often end at the ankle. Manpris (Capris cut for men) are quite popular, but it’s clear that they are capris, not long shorts.

Track suits and sweats – Only in the gym and on the jogging trail here.

Flip flopping – They’re starting to show up here, but if I see someone in flip flops, 90% of the time, it’s an American. The other 10% of the time it’s a teenage German. Germans do wear flip flops, but not in town, they are pool or home wear here. On the other hand, German middle aged and older men are often seen sporting socks and sandals.

White sneakers, can you guess who wears ‘em? - Yup, Americans. Americans tend to wear big, chunky, basketball/cross-trainer sneakers everywhere they go. Germans, when they wear sneakers, tend to wear sleeker, thinner-soled, narrow sneakers in regular shoe colors (brown, black or tan vs. white or gray). Construction worker type shoes, like Doc Martens, are also not common except among the goth/punk crowds.

American sneakers (left) vs. German sneakers (right)American sneakers vs German sneakers

Square eye wear – Sight-impaired Americans, when not wearing contacts, which is the more common choice, seem to go for slightly larger, more rounded eye wear, while Germans are all about the narrow rectangular frames. Germans also spend a lot of money on eye wear, you see plenty of designer brands here.  Prada, D&G, Gucci, and Dior eyeglasses and sunglasses are common.

Invest in Tommy Hilfiger – You can’t go wrong in the eyes of German yuppies if you’re wearing Tommy. Many a young urban German professional can be seen looking like a Tommy store barfed all over them.

Sports jerseys – Only if you’re attending a game, man.

Coach purses – Dead giveaway that you’re American.  Coach stuff isn’t sold over here and I’ve never noticed a European wearing anything by Coach.

Cargo shorts – They used to be a dead giveaway that you are American, but they are starting to come into fashion here.

Red hair – To blend in with middle-aged German women, dye your hair red.  Not a naturally occurring red tone, more like something between maroon and magenta.

How German men dressGerman men, out and about on a Sunday afternoon

Mythbusting:

  • Germans/Europeans don’t wear jeans – just plain wrong. Jeans are quite common here, they are just leaner cut than in the US.
  • Everyone wears black – nope. Germans like color, they just aren’t always good at matching.

In all seriousness though, here’s a crowd shot of some typical Germans, not really all that different from Americans:

German crowd shot

Do you have any tips for blending in with Germans?

{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Diane Mandy September 12, 2008 at 9:59 am

I always thought I kind of stood out here. Based on this post, now I know I do.

Thanks for the tips!

Diane Mandys last blog post..Excuse me for this shameless plug

2 tessa September 12, 2008 at 10:07 am

Aha, I knew it was the flip flops!

But I refuse to give them up. Not until the weather makes me!

3 cliff1976 September 12, 2008 at 10:13 am

Do you have any tips for blending in with Germans?

Hell yes! Put on a scarf as soon as the sun is partially obscured by the suggestion of a cloud.

cliff1976s last blog post..Senator Jim Inhofe — what a slimeball

4 Scott September 12, 2008 at 10:39 am

> Germans tend to wear shirts ending at the waist,
> or if longer, they wear them tucked in

Or shorter if they want to show off their Arschgeweih (i.e. lower back tatoo) :-)

5 Isabella September 12, 2008 at 10:46 am

Another great post! Relates also to how it feels for myself in the Netherlands. For example: I notice a woman will never be spotted outdoors, unless she’s jogging, in a tracksuit like seen on the ladies at Costco and Starbucks in America.

Isabellas last blog post..12 Meme for Expats in the Netherlands

6 Isabella September 12, 2008 at 10:53 am

One more ;)
Your point about square eye wear is a true point! It is also common in the Netherlands.. But overly-observant me, on shopping trips with my mother-in-law in Germany, I notice this style of eyeglasses more often & especially on the ladies.

Isabellas last blog post..12 Meme for Expats in the Netherlands

7 rita September 12, 2008 at 10:53 am

(oversized) mickey mouse and tweety shirts: chances are that in 9 out of 10 cases an american is stuck inside that technicoloured cotton tent. ;)

women’s hairstyles: perm + flat fringe = dead give-away.

men’s hairstyles: short fringe + cut straight across + plastered to one’s forehead = dead give-away.

8 Sonya September 12, 2008 at 11:38 am

I totally stand out in the netherlands. I like wearing jeans and my Nikes when running errands. I refuse to wear clothing that is going to leave my all grumpy while doing things. Germans and Americans sure look and dress alike. I cant stand the capris for men though..yikes

Sonyas last blog post..Our first tenant

9 geoffry September 12, 2008 at 12:10 pm

Love it, and all the pictures!
You are right with the voices (although the middle-easterners can be even louder)– fortunately my voice is patheticly soft, and my accent rendered unidentifiable through too many years outside the States.
I really like your attitude about being here. It seems to me a bit sad when Americans move here and refuse to make an effort to integrate– I don’t see it as reliquishing an identity but more as respecting the people around you. After all, living in America you would be puzzled and disturbed if your new neighbors refused to learn English or eat American food.

10 Claire September 12, 2008 at 12:14 pm

excellent post! The only men I have ever met that wear colored jeans (i.e. orange, green, etc) were Germany.

Claires last blog post..Sexual Politics

11 cliff1976 September 12, 2008 at 12:22 pm

Manpris (Capris cut for men) are quite popular, but it’s clear that they are capris, not long shorts.

I cant stand the capris for men though..yikes

Ahem…I mean, “Arghhh!”we prefer the term “Pirate Pants.” And I miss mine.

cliff1976s last blog post..Senator Jim Inhofe — what a slimeball

12 Stephanie September 12, 2008 at 1:54 pm

great post –
my only suggestion to blending in is to RELAX, quiet your voice, and try to speak German!!! Even if you butcher it (which I do!), then at least you have the respect of the place you are at – and I find that you are treated better and learn more.

Stephanies last blog post..sushi Murasaki

13 Danielle September 12, 2008 at 3:18 pm

This was a funny post and oh so true. However, I think that flip flops (at least in Berlin) are becoming much more common although it seems to be generational. I frequently see teenagers AND Moms picking up their kids with flip flops on. I have never felt out of place with my Havianas on. However, their tolerance for weather is less than Americans. Flip flops are for fairly hot weather and they don’t wear them when it is slightly cloudy (hee hee cliff1976) like Americans do.

Danielles last blog post..BBQ- German Style and the inappropriateT-shirt Dad

14 Danielle September 12, 2008 at 3:20 pm

I would also add they seem NUTS about Abercrombie & Fitch stuff!!! If I would have known that, I would have only bought those shirts and worn them proudly everywhere!

Danielles last blog post..BBQ- German Style and the inappropriateT-shirt Dad

15 cliff1976 September 12, 2008 at 5:07 pm

Me again. Thought about this one in the train station today in Düsseldorf.

Do you have any tips for blending in with Germans?

Yeah, if you’re a dude, wear jeans under your sportcoat and tie. Maybe even Grampyjeans (you know what I’m talking about). You’ll fit right in; especially at conference centers and hotel bars and train stations.

16 Sarah September 12, 2008 at 5:37 pm

Ooh, ooh! I can do this, too!

To stick out: a baseball cap (worn non-ironically) with anything BUT ‘NY’ on it. When I’m really lazy about the hair, I’ll wear my Detroit Tigers cap – if anyone asks, I tell them the Gothic ‘D’ is for Deutschland.

To blend in: for gents – jeans that hug your butt; for ladies – jeans you have to lay down on the bed to wiggle into.

Other than that, Christina, you pretty much nailed it.

Sarahs last blog post..Senator Jim Inhofe — what a slimeball

17 heather in europe September 12, 2008 at 6:55 pm

Nice post, I think you nailed it. The only additions, when I want to blend in (as a female) while in the office (where i spend most of my time):
-layers as a style rather than a warmth necessity. t-thirt under lightweight sweater under suit jacket.
-scarf wrapped around neck all day long, if the temperature is below 15.
-wear something orange, it’s such a popular color here. :-)

heather in europes last blog post..From scrambling to scrambled

18 Vicky September 12, 2008 at 7:40 pm

Oh no! I LOVE cargo shorts. That’s pretty much the only kinds of shorts I own. I’m going to have to go shorts shopping if I ever get to visit Germany.

19 Bek September 13, 2008 at 2:16 pm

Great post! Flip-flops for me are only during summer. I can’t stand seeing people wearing them together with a wintercoat shoveling snow.
Another thought about what to wear when in the US: wear flashy T-shirts with huge, silly prints on them.

Beks last blog post..How to know that you are in the US

20 ann September 13, 2008 at 10:02 pm

Oh Heather beat me to the organge. I really can’t stand the color – and purple hair on women of all ages. Hair dyed colors clearly not intended by nature. School children with highlights- sometimes not blond (pink, purple, blue). Boys and girls. Most schools where I’m from wouldn’t have allowed it.

Men with dress shirts open at the collar, no tie a la Klinsi.
I live in one of the warmest areas of Germany and people do wear flip flops here in the summer, but pretty much only with manpris and skirts. Women don’t seem to wear shorts except when exercising.

Oh, and men shaving their legs. No they are not competetive swimmers :)

anns last blog post..Tired.

21 JA September 14, 2008 at 8:32 pm

Excellent post! I would add that if one wants to be exceptionally German, one should never ever take off a coat or sweater before arriving at home or office. No matter how warm the department store, subway, or bus and no matter how much one sweats, one must never ever remove that coat. This is exceptionally amusing on autumn days when it starts out cool and then gets up to about 24 by 17 Uhr.

22 Michael September 17, 2008 at 12:13 pm

I arrived 9/6 for a 6 months stay.
Imagine me walking down the street on Sunday playing The Tourist, wearing an OBAMA baseball hat, jeans, and white Reebok tennis shoes, thinking how Cool Am I. No wonder I was getting The Stare.

23 Christina G September 18, 2008 at 7:17 pm

LOL, all your comments are great. I don’t think it’s necessary to completely Europeanize, but keeping these things in mind is always nice. (Here’s a pic where I am most decidedly not going to be mistaken for a German).

And I totally forgot about the scarf thing. Everyone was out in scarves today and scarfless me (and scarfless Oliver) were probably very conspicuous.

Just to expand on that, I grew up in the southern US and am almost always one of the least bundled up people walking around in the winter here.

24 NewWrldYankee September 20, 2008 at 1:01 am

I love the note about the track pants. I went to breakfast to McD’s with a german friend and she was seriously appalled that I went in a pair of sweats. She said at least three times, “I can’t believe you are wearing your pajamas” – They weren’t actually. =)

And if you think Germans have some ..ahem..interesting matching style, you should see Hungarians. I will be posting some pics up this week, so wait for it!

25 Christina G September 20, 2008 at 8:23 pm

@NewWorldYankee: Welcome! Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m looking forward to the photos, it’s hard to imagine anyone being worse at matching than Germans!

26 LadyRebecca October 5, 2008 at 10:00 pm

We went on our first “German” outing yesterday and noticed the shoe things. My husband, daughter and I were all wearing white tennis shoes. While we saw a few teens wearing white sneakers, most of the adults were wearing “adult” shoes.

We also definitely noticed the voice thing. We are all fairly loud by nature, especially our four year old and we were constantly having to remind ourselves that we needn’t shout.

YAY for scarves! I love scarves and am OH so happy to live somewhere where I can wear one many, many months out of the year.

Thanks for posting. I look forward to getting more advice!

LadyRebeccas last blog post..Feelings post

27 Lily W October 17, 2008 at 5:01 pm

White socks are also a bit giveaway! Great post.
Thanks for the comment in my blog and good luck in Germany. Spent there 3 weeks and LOVED it.
Cheers!

Lily Ws last blog post..The Expat Liaison

28 Mariecel October 17, 2008 at 5:22 pm

Amen to Germans not matching! They often pick nice-looking pieces of clothing, but never match them properly. This goes for accessories too.

Mariecels last blog post..Rich Russians in Denial – Excessive Luxury Craze Continues

29 Yank in Germany November 14, 2008 at 3:38 pm

The germans can go more cut because they aren’t as fat. Except when you hit 30 and grow the beer belly. I get a CNN feed from the states and say Damn there are some BIG people back there.

30 Casey December 7, 2008 at 3:29 am

Thanks for this. I’m sure it’ll be a big help when I (hopefully) go to Germany as an exchange student.

31 honeypiehorse December 9, 2008 at 10:08 am

All true and current. Although, I kinda miss the 90s when German men wore black jeans, black shoes, blue shirts and black jackets. It was boring but awesome!

honeypiehorses last blog post..Conversations with boobies

32 Christina G December 10, 2008 at 5:05 am

@yank: Americans are bigger on average, but Germans are slowly catching up. With the popularity of McDonalds among teenagers here, I think the future isn’t looking great.

@casey: Good luck on your exchange!

@honeypiehorse: Thanks for commenting! Not sure if I wish I could have been here for the 90s! LOL!

33 Juliette January 8, 2009 at 12:55 pm

yeah – long scarves for women, no ski jackets unless you’re on the slopes, no ratty jeans hems, no sports team jackets, no baggy hooded sweatshirts. I live in a university town and can spot the American exchange students in half a second; they usually look like total slobs compared to the rest of the people around them. I wish I could tell them: Boys go for what you call a Metro look in the US, Girls should get ‘done up’ some before going out.

what appalls me here is how women really do run around in spike heels/heeled boots along the cobblestones. It is just mind boggling, first it is tricky physically, and second it kills the heels on the shoes.

34 Leo March 11, 2009 at 1:54 am

What’s the deal with men wearing sleeveless shooting vests? Seemed to see them everywhere.
No guns,though.

35 Christina G March 11, 2009 at 11:35 pm

@leo: I’ve never heard of shooting vests, must be a regional thing in the US. I’m guessing they’re what I’d call a fishing vest. The khaki vest with all the pockets. And yeah, certain German middle-aged guys just love them.

36 sue March 18, 2009 at 3:35 pm

“After all, living in America you would be puzzled and disturbed if your new neighbors refused to learn English or eat American food.”

In response to comment #9 by Geoffery; I live in America and there are many families here who came from other countries and do not speak English or eat American foods.

37 Juliette March 18, 2009 at 3:47 pm

- sue – geoffery — I don’t think ‘puzzled’ or ‘disturbed’ would be quite my feelings on the situation, I get annoyed when people who move anywhere don’t make an effort to learn a few basic phrases in the official language of that country. Ok, maybe fluent won’t happen for some adults, but I know I appreciate it when people at least try a bit, and I know people here in Germany don’t mind my rough German, they’re just happy I do my bit to bridge the communication gap.

As for food: there’s so much personal identity tied up into food for many people, so that will never surprise me. I don’t care what other people cook. It only really comes into play when my German husband wishes his American wife could sometimes make as mean a schnitzel as he could! ha ha!

38 Christina G March 18, 2009 at 10:45 pm

While I worked hard to learn German and integrate, I can see how someone could move to another country and find it too difficult, especially if there is a large community of expats/immigrants from your country where you live. I don’t speak nearly as much German now as I did when I lived in Rostock and Potsdam. If I had moved directly to Regensburg, and wasn’t working for a German company like I did in Berlin, I could imagine having more difficulty learning German and integrating than I did.

I had a couple of Vietnamese friends in high school and college whose parents didn’t speak any English, my Iranian sister-in-law’s mother also doesn’t speak much English. Interestingly, all of them fled their countries. Germany is much more like America than I think Vietnam or Iran is. And the move to Germany was very hard for me. I can’t really imagine life for them.

And as for food, I’m very adventurous and, while I ate plenty of German food in restaurants, still prefer to cook American or Thai at home and only after 7 years am I finally learning how to cook German dishes. A lot of people associate the food they grew up with with comfort, and if you’re living in a foreign land, I think it’s pretty common to need that comfort of your home country inside your house. I think that may only really change when you consider your new country your home and feel more in touch with the people of that country than of your original country.

39 Simon Müller March 25, 2009 at 3:50 am

Clothing is not a key to the German people, because American gesture and use of language differs to much to “blend in with…”.
So do not be disappointed when it will not work out.
By the fact I started with critics, some of you may have noticed that I am German;)

But for those who will try:
Germans consider the British style of the 18th and 19th century as noble. That means tight cuts and just a few colours for men and colourfull, but without agressiv contrasts, conservative cuts for women.
If you dress like that, most Germans will be reminded to the European part of the American roots and that will bring you a lot of sympathy.
The more casual style is very simple. Simple leather shoes and belt, slim blue jeans and a monochrome long armed shirt, t-shirt or top for both, male and female, and you will look like the rest of us.

40 Jo Ator April 22, 2009 at 8:51 am

It is funny about the white shoes. I almost always have a pair on and when I walk past Foot Locker or any other shoe store, over half of the shoes in the windows are white. I think it is more about how the pants cover the shoes. I see women with polyester pants on that are too short, with a big clunky pair of white shoes and yes, this is an American. On the other hand, if she has on jeans that are a decent length, covering most of the shoe, she could be from anywhere. For me, it is more about the body language and hair styles. If the man has one of those severe parts on the side, it is a dead give-away. If one walks down the street like ya own it, you aren’t American.

I have seen a ton of horridly dressed Germans in my 2 decades of living here, but yeah, they don’t wear jogging pants out on the street unless they are junkies or winos. Never see curlers either. The teens really go all out to look quite nice most of the time.

41 Natalia June 24, 2009 at 12:39 am

I go to Germany almost every year and I usually wear sports type shoes and soccer attire. I also wear scrafs alot. I don’t like baggy clothing either. I must fit in pretty good because many people come up to me and start talking in German. (They think I am from there)

Thank you!!!

42 Natalia June 24, 2009 at 12:47 am

They all have odd hair styles and even the older women have like purple and red hair.

43 Buffie September 7, 2009 at 1:51 pm

I love this! There are a couple of things I would add, though: to really blend in as a German, men must wear leather dress shoes with their lean-cut (usually Levis 501) jeans; and older women must always, always have a matching dressy jacket (in a horrible print).

44 Louisa December 13, 2009 at 1:27 pm

well,this might be a way to dress like a german,but the things , if im outiside,i see no one who is dressed like that,i dont know from were you got this pictures but there is no way its normal for germany. a typical german people wouldnt go outside like this,just in summer at the camp.

45 Watches February 8, 2010 at 7:07 pm

Germans and Europeans in general are also into wrist watches quite a bit more than Americans are. They definitely prefer watches with leather bands to the watches with metal bracelets most Americans wear. So a typical European might wear a very colorful fashion watch, or a nice automatic watch with a leather band, while Americans typically wear a Seiko or Citizen watch with a link bracelet.

46 Michele J March 26, 2010 at 8:54 am

Getting in late here, but a few other things that are typical American:
– Tevas
– Rugby shirts
– Crocs
– Wearing pajamas in public, e.g. to airport
– Big logos or phrases on clothing
– Fanny packs

47 Ashley March 27, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Great observations- so funny! I definitely I have American radar too, and am usually spot on, a fun game I like to play when out and about, especially in cities.

48 Yank in Germany March 30, 2010 at 9:11 pm

One thing about the German crowd, even though the guys have beer bellies, the crowd is not as obese as when I get crowd shots. When I watch CNN on sattellite and they are on a US street I say, Damn those are some big people.

49 Christina Geyer April 5, 2010 at 8:55 pm

@yank: Watch a lot of CNN, eh? It seems you didn’t notice comment #29 ;-)

50 Deana Joseph April 14, 2010 at 12:04 am

I’m trying to find out how german woman or girls dress and i can’t find it!!! =[
I HATE finding research!!!!!!! =] =] =]

51 Deana Joseph April 14, 2010 at 12:05 am

I’m trying to find out how german woman or girls dress and i can’t find it!!! =[
I HATE finding research!!!!!!! =] =] =]
Thanks for reading!!! =] =]

52 Deana April 14, 2010 at 12:12 am

HELP!! I can’t find anything!! =[
I’m SOOOO lost!! =[
I looked on every website you could go on!! I thought this would be easier than taking candy away from a baby!!! =] lol =]
Thanks AGAIN!!! =] =]

P.S. If you find anything tell me!! I’m begging you!! Thanxs!! =]

53 Deana Joseph April 14, 2010 at 12:20 am

#29 is so funny!! it sounds like my husband and the beer belly!!!!! =] lol

To my husband:
Sorry honey, but I still love you!!!
JK about the whole beer belly,my husband is slim if you come home from work and drink a 24 pack of beer EVERY DAY!!! =] =]

54 exPATations May 18, 2010 at 5:57 pm

well, if my husband ran around looking like those speciMENs with the caption: “german men, out and about on a sunday afternoon”, i would get a divorce, in germany as well as in the states and anywhere for that matter. “dressed to kill ” gets a whole new meaning. i am tempted to say this may be a bad example to generalize german dressing by.

i am really amuzed at all of your comments! have been living in deutschland since `74 so i have seen alot of style-phases that went thru here. and yes, there is a definite “feel” you acquire for picking out an american in a crowd.

to “46”…are you serious? typical american is pjs in public?? i havent been gone THAT long have i? and to Leo “34”…no guns? where are you from in the states?? the bronx? or the bonanza ranch? i have seen police with weapons here but no one else in public, thank GOD.

getting back to the subject…pick up the latest catalog and youll see that the latest fashion trends for young folks include the 60s hippy-style with empire waists and yokes, mix-and matching prints, tunicas and bells, big necklaces and earrings…thats fun as far as women are concerned (what are the men doing at the moment?) that doenst mean all follow the fad. you can see bright colors are popular right now, all shades of purple for men for instance, from pastels in lilac to raspberry ripple and violet blues. . . why not?

i dress for me, wear what i feel is comfy and what i like. i dont think there is any necessity to dress “not to stick out”. now if you are in the sticks with a bunch of “hinterwäldler” (folks from “behind the woods”, i guess we would call backward) may ridicule you for being an alien no matter what you wear. in that case even dressing to make yourself invisable in a crowd wouldnt stop them from looking for other reasons not to like you as well.

my advice? just be yourself. above all they are curious and my expirience has shown that they will respond positively to you if you show you are outgoing, self-secure and have humor. everyone is a stranger somewhere. a smile breaks the ice in any language!

55 Annie September 3, 2010 at 5:27 pm

If you want to dress like a German woman (20s-ish), you have to wear a scarf at all times, no matter the temperature or wear jackets/sweaters/hoodies that zip up to your chin. For whatever reason, it seems critically important to always have your neck covered.

Go easy on the make-up.

You should probably wear flats or some variation of this shoe: http://www.zalando.de/tamaris-spangenpumps-graphit-black-ta1-fzw-0689-99.html or this one: http://www.zalando.de/victoria-stoff-schnuerer-gris.html.

56 Linda September 10, 2010 at 10:50 am

I just had to laugh about your comment that Germans don’t necessarily match colors well. We’ve been here this time for nearly 7 years and my oldest (who lived the first half of his life in southern California) honestly thinks that lime green and orange go well together! What concerns me is I lived in Germany over 20 years ago and orange was the only available color then, too. Is there a color psychologist who can explain Germans obsession with orange?

57 nicole September 22, 2010 at 4:40 pm

I’m a German citizen, but grew up on American military bases and my number one tip is if you’re a guy, dress like you’re going to a gay club and for everyone else, dress like a non-matching fool. Don’t forget platform sneakers and Starter jackets. And oh yes, the scarves. We have a fear that if your neck is exposed, we will get sick. I know this from my mom always making me cover my neck lol. Also drafts will make you sick (don’t try to open windows on buses and trains, no matter how hot, because everyone will get angry and shut the window because you’re going to make them sick). I don’t know anything about orange, but there’s an obsession with multi-colored shapes on stuff like pants and car interiors. Also, if you go to a club, German girls tend to wear sleeveless shirt or halter tops with pants. American girls are way more hoochie at clubs. But if you go to a fest, German girls will wear micro-skirts with super high heels. Also German deodorant is no good. I know this because I forgot my deodorant on an overnight ski trip in high school and bought some at a local German store (name brand, not some generic deodorant) and I had to reapply it over and over again.

Of course, you will never see a German wearing pj’s to a grocery store. Some guys will wear those adidas pants with the buttons on the side that can rip open. Also, I don’t remember anyone ever wearing jeans and sneakers.

Me and my (American) friends ALWAYS played “spot the American” when we were downtown (Wuerzburg). The jeans and sneakers, the fanny packs, certain polo shirts, cargo shorts, flip flops, oh and stuff like the terrified looking Army wives haha.

Glad I found this, I miss Germany lol:)

58 Herrenblatt April 21, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Funny pictures from the german Sunday afternoon look :D …I agree

We want the germans to dress better. Have a look at http://www.herrenblatt.de/journal/herrenmode/ and you`ll see good dressed people ;)

59 vgirl November 23, 2011 at 6:06 am

Do germens ever wear top hats?????

60 Allen Smith November 23, 2011 at 6:18 am

In my three visits to Germany, my experience is that if you approach them with a positive attitude and speak German, they don’t really care what you wear.

Just as we Amis become annoyed when someone comes up to us in our country and casually addresses us in an unfamiliar language, so do they. Well, duh. What a surprise.

Just make an effort to speak survival German, and they will appreciate it. There are a number of good German language methods on the market right now, including my favorite, The Pimsleur Approach, and the more expensive Rosetta Stone.

Just put yourself in their Schue.

61 EM January 22, 2012 at 12:10 pm

I can often tell by the glasses.

62 edwina February 24, 2012 at 5:07 pm

This post really makes me laugh! Love the comments. It gets even funnier on the 2nd page – conjuring up visions of white shoed and socked Americans running around in their baggy athletic clothes while the Euros play it cool in their svelt jeans and tops that don’t match! I’m laughing even as I write this and I’m alone! It’s too funny!

63 jeff May 22, 2012 at 5:30 am

I’m half German and my dad is full blood. He is very proud never slouches or is bad mannered neither am i Germans are proud so look for slouchers and those who act like they dont care and you’ll have americans i think

64 Karina September 16, 2012 at 3:50 am

Baseball caps and sunglasses combined are also a dead giveaway that someone is american.

65 Yms March 31, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Thanks so much for your posts. As I read this one, I couldn’t help, but nod my head. I asked the beautician to change my hair from the red to something more light brown. She came back with a VERY bright red (Lucille Ball) to mix with a VERY dark black. I just decided to go with it and wait till I get to the states for my short break there to get back to a honey brown color…just can’t find it here!

66 blue April 7, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Well, I am a vietnamese, but was born and raised in Germany, so I know how the things are going on here. If you would like to dress like a german girl, here are some tips:

1. dress casual, nothing special but pretty
2. don’t stand out with an unique style, just copy the normal stuff (e.g. top, jeans, tube scarf, not-outstanding sneakers/boots & voilà, you look german)

So … yeah, that’s how german girls look like. To me, at least. However, it should be said that there are also many girls which are geared to american/british styles.

67 LakeOfDreams November 3, 2013 at 10:38 am

So I live in Germany. I grew up in a multicultural Family. Through this i noticed a few Things that are different in the culture.

I can tell that midle aged women like to have short hair cuts. Some of them even look like men haircuts to me. And on top of that they like to colour it in a dark purple, red colour. Especialy in east Germany the women like that sort of hair. I belive that its different in the West side. Another thing I have noticed is that some women like to wear Headbands made out of fabrics.
German teenage girls dress different. The average wears longer hair but attention too long hair seems for some scruffy. If you want to dress to fit in wear some skinny jeans. A scarf. And for the top just got to h&m or some other place. The average german teenage girl likes to be fasionable and wear new clothes. Lots of the girls like to colour theire hair but with normal colours. Blond, Brown…

68 Pat June 24, 2014 at 10:20 pm

I just found your website on dressing German and have been laughing! I write WWII books – about Wuerzburger Fritz Bayerlein. I traveled to Deutschland twice per year, for 2-3 weeks each. Due to illness, I didn’t go for awhile. Last April’13 I went back to Wuerzburg. My friend Helga lives there so its great to visit! I do dress German, I like leather black shoes, darker clothes in winter (I travel October and March only). So I’ve not seen Germans in the Summer. Our local travel club asked me to give a lecture on travelling in German, and I did a ‘dressing German’ segment. Surprised the old folks! Yes, in Wuerzburg I saw plenty of us Americans in those huge white shoes! (Ugh) and sports jerseys. One man must have come from a rodeo in Wyoming because he was Western! Big black cowboy hat, tight jeans, checked shirt, cowboy boots. Looked like he ‘hadn’t a clue’ of blending in with locals, or cared not to, which is okay if you don’t mind getting stared at. I’m 61 now and some friends commented that I should ‘dye your hair’ as I have a natural light grey color. I can’t imagine it being red, or even with some, boot black. Does nothing for one’s old face to have stark dark hair! haha. Enjoyed the comments! Hugs to Wuerzburg!

69 ryan June 30, 2014 at 7:43 pm

I NEVER laugh out loud at something I read. And I just did. “Looking like a Tommy Hilfiger store barfed all over them
“. Thanks for making my day.

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