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German Christmas dress code
Prior to our immigration to Alaska, my husband and I used to visit our families the two days before Christmas. When visiting my in-laws I always went for a respectful, feminine look that still represents my style, for instance, an outfit like the one shown in the photo above. In Germany, it was expected that you would not wear anything overly sexy, i.e. no cleavage or mini skirt. It also was wise to steer away from anything too girly like a cute floral skirt, too body conscious, or sheer except for tights.
In the US, I would always recommend not to wear anything leather! On the contrary, in Germany, leather is fine for visiting the in-laws. Plain leather and suede are considered elegant, and luxury. Here, in the US, leather is more associated with Rock’n Roll.
Speaking of cultural differences, most German women over 40 would not wear the typical Christmas sweaters or the beautiful holiday dresses that are so popular in the US. The brightest color would be red as it is conceived as a feminine neutral, sort of. Thus, red with winter white and black are save color-wise, but also tricky. One has to pay attention not to look like Santa Claus’ wife. A red sheath with white turtleneck underneath and black tights and boots would be such a fashion faux pas. However, such an outfit would also get three no nos here in the United States. 😉
Celebrating Christmas three days in a row
To accommodate both parts of the family plus the own little family there are two Christmas days plus Christmas Eve in Germany. All three days are off for most employees except some of those who work in public service, retail, gastronomy, etc. You get the idea. Thus, many young couples celebrate one of the three days with their own kids, and visit on one day his and on the other day her family. Doing so, allows for both grandparent couples to see their grand-kids at Christmas. Thus, a German Christmas can be quite stressful when having to spend a lot time on the roads to please everyone. Some feel like whatever they do, they cannot please anyone.
The last photo of this post shows an example for a respectful Euro chic visiting the in-laws outerwear. Why is the outerwear important? First of all because of the road trip; second you need a cover-up for the Christmas walk after lunch.
Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.
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Photos: G. Kramm
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