What is Lagenlook?

Lagenlook is like a flashback of the past with a contemporary twist. A style you have to dare to wear.

It’s a reflection of those who resist to flowing with the mainstream world into soulless modernity of today. Their ambition and struggle to preserve the soothing reminiscence of bygone impressions and memories woven into the patterns of our lives. Their threads of thoughts leading to the future by the back door of the faded past. Their attempt to revive the brilliant legacy of ideas from previous generations. That is my Lagenlook.


The term itself seems to be an informal expression derived from a German word ‘lagen’ meaning ‘layer’ to describe the phenomenon of a ”layered look”, the very basic feature of this unique style.

There are no specific boundaries for creating this look and a lot depends on our own inventiveness, but some typical features are easily noticeable:

(besides layering)

1.  asymmetrical

2. voluminous

3. creased

4. with a vintage character

5. made with natural fabric such as linen, cotton, silk, wool

6. odd embellishment – buttons here, patches there, big pockets everywhere

7. unfinished look – rough outside stitches, fraying

8. abundance of frills, ruffles, flounces, lace ribbon trims

9. loose, comfortable fit

10. mostly patternless, plain fabrics (although delicate checked, stripped or floral fabrics are not that unusual)

11. colours ranging from different shades of white, cream, beige and grey to pastels like lilac or dusty pink to the earthy shades of brown

12. lots of pin-ups and uneven  hems


Personally, I break down Lagenlook into 3 different types:

Urban Lagenlook which is less rich in embellishment but more colourful, adjusted to the need of those of us who appreciate the novelty of the designs but are not ready to go too deep with the frills, ruffles and the like.

Below you see what I mean by that. Here are examples of Sara Santos’ creations:

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Classic Lagenlook represents the very essence and richness of the idea behind Lagenlook. Bright neutral colours and the density of the features mentioned above per square meter of fabric make the outfits exuberant and distinctive.

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Raggenlook is a term I coined to describe Lagenlook in its most ragged form. Earthy colours, rough edges, outside stitches. Generally speaking – messy, unfinished look.

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Although it’s not an official division, it shows the diversity within one style.

But Lagenlook is so much more. Above all, it gives you the real freedom to create your own style within Lagenlook concept. Each one of us becomes an artisan who builds up every outfit with bits and bobs gathered over time. And the possibilities are endless. Sometimes it’s even a bit overwhelming.

I’m definitely not into Urban Lagenlook since my taste in flamboyant colours is over but I tend to traverse from Classic to Raggenlook with a change of seasons.

Which Lagenlook sub-style might be your own?

If you’d like to add anything to my definition of Lagenlook, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.


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