Survey reveals Germany’s lack of fashion sense

Survey reveals Germany’s lack of fashion sense

Germany is a big player in the fashion world. The country is the home of iconic designers and fashion houses like Karl Lagerfeld and Hugo Boss. So why then does it seem like Germany has lost its fashion sense?

Germany: Practicality over fashion

For a country that brought us the incredibly stylish and classy lederhosen, not to mention the Birkenstock sandal, Germany is remarkably ignorant of the latest trends. At least, that’s the result of a survey by the GermanFashion trade association, which found that almost a third of Germans are not interested in keeping up with the latest fashion trends. Perhaps unsurprisingly, more German men (32 percent) are completely disinterested in fashion compared to German women (28 percent).

What is definitely unsurprising is that the majority of German consumers were more interested in the practical elements of clothing, such as the fit, quality, value for money and comfort. On the other hand, exclusivity and conforming to current fashion trends were a long way down the list of priorities for German consumers. "Basically, practical, comfortable and timeless styles predominate in German wardrobes," summarises the report.

The report revealed that Germans mainly preferred cheaper and high street brands, with less than every 10th person sporting the more premium brands. In fact, the report estimates that less than 1 percent of the population has a wardrobe filled with the most luxurious designer clothes, although that might be more to do with the cost rather than an indifference towards fashion.

German love for high street brands and second-hand fashion

The survey found that Germans head straight to the high street when in need of a new outfit, preferring to frequent high street chains and local fashion retailers. However, the coronavirus pandemic has continued to propel online sales to new heights, with the online fashion industry recording double-digit growth even in the third quarter of 2021.

"In the past two years, there have been two winners in terms of forms of trade: online trade and second-hand trade," states the study. Second-hand fashion has experienced a boom in popularity across Germany recently, with even established fashion brands dabbling in recycling and reselling clothes. Obviously, this is a way more sustainable and environmentally-friendly way of shopping and good practice for the fashion industry… not that consumers in Germany are all that bothered.

According to the survey, sustainability is not as important as fit or comfort when it comes to buying clothes. The survey would lead you to believe that German women value sustainability when buying new clothes more than German men. However, according to the head researcher, Christain Duncker, "If you look at the actual behaviour of both genders, women actually buy new items of clothing much more often and also significantly more often from fast fashion providers." One thing is clear, though: sustainability is way more important than being fashionable to German consumers.

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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