Student overalls

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Typical student overalls from 1998. You can also see patches that the wearer exchanged with students from other disciplines.

Student overalls are widely used party clothing in Northern Europe and are part of the student culture there. Originally from Sweden , these overalls have also established themselves in Finland and Norway .

Student overalls have different colors, with the individual student councils of the universities each having their own colors. The suits are provided with all kinds of sponsor prints and individual patches ( swedish tygmärken ), which usually show the name, logo or mascot of a course, a student body or other student association. The patches reflect the celebratory mood of the students and must partly be won through exams of the student associations or in pubs and at parties. At student parties and other occasions, these patches are often also sold as admission tickets, which are then sewn onto the overall. The patches are happily and diligently exchanged with other students. Older students who have actively participated in student life can be easily identified by the overalls, which are completely covered with patches.

Many students exchange parts of their overalls with each other, which are then sewn back onto the other overalls. There are different meanings for this (depending on the part exchanged or sometimes simply according to a very individual definition) - friendship, love, sex or also minor subjects or a second degree. For many students, the overall is a mirror of their student life.

There are a number of unwritten rules regarding overalls (but they are by no means uniform). For example, it is an absolute law for many that you only ventilate the overalls, but never wash them. And in many texts about student overalls you can also read that it is best to wear nothing more than bare skin underneath.

Even if it may look like this at large student events, by no means all students wear these overalls. There are many students (especially in the non-technical courses) who do not want to identify with the associated party culture or who do not wear overalls for other reasons.


The history of the student overalls begins in the 1960s or 1970s at the Royal Stockholm University of Technology (KTH) , from where this fad quickly spread across Sweden.

An alternative to the overalls is the so-called b-frack , which is worn by KTH engineering students specializing in mechanical engineering (maskinteknik), vehicle technology (farkostteknik) and media technology (medieteknik), among others. It has its origins around 1900, when this tailcoat was the festive clothing of engineers. With the advent of overalls, however, they have largely replaced the b-frack .


At the end of the 1970s, Swedish guest students from Stockholm also brought the overalls to Finland, where, in addition to the engineering students, most of the other students and in recent years even students at technical colleges have adopted the tradition. In Finland, the overalls hot haalarit ( finn. "Overalls") that Finland Sweden they call studenthalare .

One of the most important festivals where the overalls are used is on May 1st , when the students celebrate Vappu . The second most important event is likely to be Laskiainen on Shrove Tuesday . But they are also used on bar crawls or at the beginning of the semester.


In 2019, students specializing in mechanical engineering at the German University of RWTH Aachen brought this custom to Germany. There, students can get patches for events and special services and thus show their affiliation to the outside world. The overall is mainly worn at student council events such as the Unicup . But also on other occasions such as carnival.

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