Traditional Costume in The Netherlands

Nowadays, Dutch people wear the same sort of clothes that other people in Europe wear. However, like all older countries, people used to wear clothes that were different from those worn in other countries. Today these are called traditional costume, or sometimes national costume, and are rarely worn regularly. Each area of The Netherlands had its own costume, so that there are actually many traditional Dutch costumes.

The most well known part of the traditional Dutch costume is the wooden clogs. Long ago, only very rich people could afford leather shoes, and so ordinary people wore shoes made of wood. The shape of the clogs was different according to what area of The Netherlands they came from. Today, some people working in the countryside still wear them occasionally, as they are cheaper and easier to wear than gumboots. However, most of the thousands of wooden clogs made today are sold to tourists wanting a souvenir of their trip to The Netherlands.

A few people wear traditional costume regularly, but they are people working in places where tourists visit. Some old people can sometimes be seen wearing the traditional costume. On special occasions in country villages, such as weddings and fairs, some people wear traditional costumes.

Basically, the traditional costume for women consisted of a long skirt and a blouse with an apron and perhaps a shawl or shoulder decorations. Hats varied according to the area.

There were changes to the costume for special days and Sundays, such as better fabric, lace and jewellery. If a woman could afford leather shoes, then she would wear them with the special costume, and she would wear the wooden shoes for daily wear.

The costume would vary according to the area: in some places, the women's skirts would be striped, and they would wear a jacket with short sleeves and an embroidered scarf at the neck.

Men's basic traditional costume is generally wide woollen pants with silver buttons on the front square flap. They would wear a shirt, jacket and a cap. Again, there were differences according to the area that the man comes from, particularly in the shape of the hat.

There is even a museum of wooden shoes in Amsterdam

Acknowledge this source in your bibliography like this:
Sydenham & Thomas, The Netherlands . [Online] (2003)

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updated  © [2008] kidcyber